By: Michael Russell
It is not everybody’s cup of tea to become a great speaker. It requires exceptional speaking skills as well as a huge amount of patience and presence of mind. Journalists firing continuous questions at you can be a rather nerve-wracking experience. If you possess the natural skills within you, it is always possible to improve upon them. Professional media trainers are specialists in turning average spokespersons into great speakers.
Role Of Media Spokespersons
Great spokespersons are people who have the ability to mesmerize audiences ranging from reporters to industry conference attendants. Media spokespersons are the voice as well as the face of a particular company as they are responsible for demonstrating industry expertise and conveying key messages. The manner of communication with colleagues, partners, customers and investors has to be somewhat different. Some essential things to be understood in this regard are:
It is normally assumed that the listener understands the key points as well as the context of the topic of discussion. As far as media interviews are concerned, all the content that is delivered is edited.
Presentations or conversations are normally started with facts and figures for building sensible conclusions. Conversations with reporters should start with key points and facts should only be used as illustrations.
The views voiced by you may be that of your own or that of the organization. But, when conversing with the media, you are the organization’s sole representative.
Understand Your Audience Before Delivering The Message
The media outlet’s readers, viewers and listeners are your real audiences, rather than the reporters. Hence, your content should always be directed at them. Few essential tips for helping in this regard are:
Don’t introduce more than three ideas at a time and have thorough knowledge about them. Emphasize upon your messages through the proper usage of voice and gestures.
Questions should be answered with key points and avoid the usage of industry specific technical terms, acronyms and always prefer to use plain English.
Matters which are beyond one’s responsibility should not be commented upon and always stay professional and cool while addressing the interview questions.
Techniques For Interview
Certain techniques that help in leading the interview to our prepared key points and messages are:
Bridging: It involves moving from the posed question to our key point after providing a brief description.
Anecdotes can be used for illustrating key points so that they are received well by the audience.
Flagging: It involves prioritizing or laying emphasis upon our key points by logically concluding the discussion topic upon it.
Back-Up: Facts, statistics, quotes of famous persons and analogies can be used for making the statements even more effective and memorable.
A media spokesperson has to be competent and well-prepared as his spontaneity and presence of mind is tested in every interview that he faces. Unlike, an online salesperson, he does not have the cushion of delivering without answering. In today’s information age, media spokespersons don various roles such as Website Spokesperson, Marketing Executive, and Media Manager and so on.