So, you want to speak
to the media…
Top tips to ensure clear communication of your story
Pitch, present & persuade
Ten common mistakes with media interviews
Why do media encounters sometimes go wrong? Drawn from our knowledge of coaching
senior executives before TV and press interviews, here are the mistakes others make:
Mist a k e s
1. Not preparing
The better you prepare the better you will perform. Learn AMEN
2. Losing control
Don’t sit there answering questions. You should set the agenda.
Get your message out early in the interview.
4. “No comment"
It makes you sound weak. Use bridging techniques instead.
5. Too much detail
Keep it simple and compelling. Don’t qualify your answers.
6. Looking nervous
Practice; keep calm; look sincere.
7 Reacting to speculation
If you don’t know the answer, say so. Don’t be led into guessing.
8. Half-hearted performance
Get trained to be as exciting as your business – it’s not hard. All the
best interviewees are coached.
9. Implicit agreement
Beware of being polite and agreeing. Learn how to get your story
out and avoid pitfalls.
10. Off the record
Don’t. If it’s a good story, it will be used.
Interview preparation – step by step
Based on 10 years experience supporting senior executives, we have developed a simple
but rigorous approach to making sure your interview goes well. The highlights include:
Be st Pra ctice
1. Do you really know this interviewer ?
E.g. what’s their style? How do they write/question? What’s important
to them? What do they think of you? What’s their deadline?
2. What story do they want to produce?
What does their editor want? What will make big news, and what
will get ignored?
3. What evidence do you have to back up the story?
If you have a newsworthy story planned then you are more likely
to get the coverage you want.
4. How can you show the story’s impact?
Make it real for the reader/viewer. Use practical examples.
5. Have you simplified enough?
Make it easy to understand. Avoid complexity.
6. What nasty questions could they ask?
Anticipate all the tough questions. And practice your answers.
Learn techniques for handing the unexpected.
7 Do you look as good as you sound?
Learn techniques to appear honest and engaging on TV and
8. Have you rehearsed properly?
The best interviewees rehearse a lot. Practice with experts and
use video feedback. Be the best.
0845 676 9766 • firstname.lastname@example.org
How to improve your media interviews
Talk to us.
We help organisations look and sound better when talking to the media.
If you want experts to review your messages, polish your sound bites,
teach you how journalists think and help you get the best result from
any interview, then we can help.
Our expertise has been demonstrated in our work with private and
FTSE 100 companies, magic circle law firms, private equity, hedge
funds, charities and the top PR agencies. See our client list at
We help you develop your interview skills, polish your messages, improve
how you prepare for interviews and rehearse your interview. Our media
trainers are almost all leading journalists with a passion for helping
interviewees get it right.
Call us before your
nexT medIa enCounTer
Contact Louise Angus or Benjamin Ball
0845 676 9766 or +44 20 7193 0130
www.benjaminball.com • email@example.com