Jim DeLorenzo: Public Speaking-Media Training Presentation July 2012
BEGIN WITH THE BASICS• Be prepared. Have notes, slides, material, references.• Be on time.• Be courteous.• THIS IS IMPORTANT. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. PUT YOUR PHONE OUT OF YOUR MIND. PUT IT IN YOUR BRIEFCASE, LEAVE IT IN YOUR CAR.• Because THIS GROUP is IMPORTANT. More important than any phone call or text message or Tweet you will receive in the next small period of time.• Be Yourself. You are an expert about running -- you have credibility and a reputation, experience and a message that people want to hear.• Enjoy your time with your interviewer or the group.
SPEAKING IN PUBLIC• You have been asked to speak to a group.• This is a great thing.• It is an honor.• There are reasons why you have been asked to speak to a group: • You are an expert on the subject matter, running; • You have credibility in the world of running; • You (and your employer) have a great reputation; • You have experience; • You are learned.
ENJOY THE OPPORTUNITY• Yes, you will be nervous. Everyone is nervous speaking in public.• You may make a mistake – or two. No one is perfect, certainly no else in the group you are speaking to is perfect. We are all human.• Relax! We are our own worst critics.• If you make a mistake – no big deal – don‟t call attention to yourself.• You‟re on stage -- you‟re in the spotlight – it‟s fun!• If you want to emulate someone you‟ve seen speak in the past – that‟s great. Watch videos, watch presentations . Learn from others. Watch the evening newscasts and see which sound bites make the broadcast.
LOOK SHARP• The better you look, the more ready and professional youll feel.• A lot of people are going to be looking at you -- make sure you look your best.• Be neat and tidy.• If you‟re going to be interviewed on TV, wear a solid, powder- blue, shirt• Comfortable and presentable• Dress appropriate to your audience, but…• Dress appropriate to the way you want to be seen.
KNOW THE ROOM• Check out the “specs” of the room where you‟ll be speaking.• Conference room? Auditorium? Football stadium?• Find out about the sound system beforehand, test it before anyone is in the room.• Be familiar with your environment – you‟ll be more comfortable in your presentation and/or your interview.• Talk to the room. Look people in the eye. Make eye contact around the room.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE• What is the group you are speaking to?• Is there a moderator?• Are there other people “on the panel” with you?• Have a good idea of what they want from you.• Tailor your speech to your audience and deliver it directly to them.
KNOW YOUR MATERIAL• Don’t wing it.• Be prepared.• Do your research.• Know your topic, and what you are going to say about it, and how you would like to say it.• You can over prepare. It‟s okay to leave something out during the course of your comments. That‟s what the question and answer session is for, too!• Remember that you were asked to speak, you were asked for an interview, because you know something that they would like to know.
NICE AND EASY• Slow down – don‟t talk too fast.• If it‟s a speaking event with a meal – don‟t eat.• You are not there to eat you are there to speak. You can eat after you are done.• They came to see you but it‟s not all about you!• Don„t be the speaker who wouldn‟t leave. Keep your remarks as brief but informative as you can.• Be yourself.
ARE YOU SPEAKING ALONEOR AS PART OF A PANEL?• Understand beforehand the nature of your appearance.• If it is just you speaking, you can shape the nature of your presentation.• If you are part of a panel discussion, you are one voice in a “choir.”• If you are part of a panel discussion: • Don‟t be an echo of someone else. Be yourself. • If you have a differing opinion, present it diplomatically. • It‟s a group effort. Do you know your fellow panelists? • Chat with fellow panel members beforehand to make sure everyone is comfortable with the discussion. • Meet with your moderator, if there is one, and see if they have already prepared questions for you and your fellow panelists.
YOU ARE THE SUBJECT EXPERT.• Tell them a little bit about your background.• Talk about running based on your own experience or your research.• Talk about running in plain language – laymen‟s terms.• If you use “jargon,” explain it – just don‟t leave it hanging out there.• Stay away from acronyms. • Say “Personal Best,” not PB. • Say “Boston Marathon Qualifying Time,” not BQ.• Talk about things you know about.• Don‟t talk about things you don‟t know about.• If you don‟t know about something, be honest. If it‟s a question from your audience, involved them by agreeing to respond to their query as a follow-up.
WELL WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?• Former Sports Information Director, Villanova University, 1990-1995.• Assistant S.I.D. 1984-1990. (Cross Country and Track & Field)• Worked with 24 NCAA Division I men‟s and women‟s teams, coaches, student-athletes, administrators, media members.• Former Publicist for Professional Men‟s Tennis Tour – top personalities included John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg.• Former Director of Public Relations for one of the first Internet advertising agencies in the world, US Interactive (launched 1991) – led PR & Marketing from ramp-up in January 1997 to Initial Public Offering (IPO) in July 1999.• Started my own Public Relations consulting firm in July 1999 – technology, business, non- profits, entertainment, entrepreneurs, authors, sports properties & personalities.
DEALING WITH A MEDIA INTERVIEW• As before, be yourself.• Be prepared.• Put away the cellphone, turn off the computer, turn off distractions, pay attention to your interviewer and their questions.• If it is a telephone interview, or Skype, concentrate on the conversation. Close your door if you have one. Go somewhere without distractions or interruptions.• If it is an “in person” interview, prepare almost as if it is a public speaking engagement.• This time you have an audience of ONE.• BUT…you also have an audience beyond the reporter speaking with you.
DEALING WITH A MEDIA INTERVIEW• Break the ice with the reporter by asking something about them – where they grew up, what their interests are, what kind of stories they have covered – Do they run? Have they run?• Prepare a single “objective” that you want to convey in the interview, and two or three secondary points.• Have statistics or information available if appropriate, to put an issue into perspective to a reporter.• State the most important information first, then provide the background.• Keep responses brief but long enough to help the reporter get quotes.
THE BASICS FOR AN INTERVIEW• There is no such thing as “Off the record.”• Know your audience – who reads this reporter‟s work, who watches this reporter‟s show, who listens to this person?• Know your interviewer.• Dress appropriately.• Speak clearly, concisely, and don‟t speak fast.• Make eye contact (if possible).• Be yourself, but as before, be the self you want to be seen professionally.• It‟s almost like a job interview.
BE PREPARED.• Learn about the reporter before your interview. • Read recent stories or watch recent clips. • Know where the interview will appear. • Google is a wonderful interview prep tool. • Have an idea about the reporter‟s style and media outlet.• Ask the reporter questions. • What‟s your deadline? • What kind of story is it? • What‟s your angle? • Who else has been or will be interviewed?
DURING AN INTERVIEW• Speak in complete thoughts. Your response will stand alone in the finished interview.• Sometimes you can talk too much. Stick to your main points, and repeat your points if necessary to get back on track.• Mention your subject – i.e. the Philadelphia Half-Marathon – by name several times during the interview.• Use the reporter‟s first name in answering a question once in a while – this is best for print or radio interviews, not necessarily for video.• Don‟t overestimate the reporter‟s knowledge of running or other subjects.• Identify what you say as either fact or opinion – your opinions are your own but facts are facts.
BE COMFORTABLE• Sit up straight, sit in a good chair.• Know your “elevator pitch” – what are you going to say.• Think your answer through beforehand, but don‟t hesitate to give your response.• Look the reporter in the eye.• Know where the camera is.• Keep calm. Speak normal.• Control the time.• Stand still. Any motions should be made with your hands, not the head or your whole body.• Smile – or at least don‟t make a face!
KNOW YOUR STORY.• An interview is an opportunity to tell your story.• Select three key messages.• Include facts, figures and anecdotes to make your story more compelling for the audience.• Don‟t give a reporter more than your message. Don‟t embellish or keep talking to fill an awkward silence.• Stay “on message.”• Use examples of your own experiences or events you have been involved with, analogies to illustrate your message. “Last year at the NCAA outdoor track championships…”
REMEMBER YOUR AUDIENCE.• An interview is your chance to reach the public or a key audience.• Always prepare for an interview as if it is on television.• Look beyond a reporter‟s interview techniques.• Tailor your remarks and your demeanor to your audience.• The lowest-common denominator – laymen‟s terms – no jargon, no acronyms – you‟re talking to an audience that is not an expert like you are – pretend you‟re explaining something to your family at a holiday dinner.
BE ASSERTIVE.• Don‟t just answer questions.• Seize every opportunity to drive your messages.• Reporters grab their audiences‟ attention by leading off with the most important, newsworthy or interesting information.• Do the same thing with each of your answers.• Short – pithy – sound-bites. Think of the “trends” stories you‟re read, or “trends” stories you‟ve written or edited yourself.• A good reporter will write a balanced story – don‟t be afraid of that.• Make your final comment clear and concise, re-emphasizing your main point. If you feel that you failed to get the message across earlier, work it in at the end. (“I think we‟ve missed the critical issue here…”)
USE FLAGS AND BRIDGES.• Signal that a key point is coming up by flagging it with a phrase, like: “the key point is… “ or “what makes this important is…”• Link each answer to a positive message by using “bridging” phrases like “but let me put this into perspective…” or “but the real problem is…”• You “bridge” the interview from the question you don‟t want to answer to the answer you want to give.• “I can‟t tell you that, but what I can tell you is…”• Never buy into a reporter‟s negative question – i.e. “Isn‟t the Philadelphia Marathon an afterthought to New York and Boston?” – don‟t answer “No, it‟s a major event just like New York and Boston,” try “In fact, Philadelphia attracts many of the same competitors…”
TURN NEGATIVES TO POSITIVES.• Don‟t be provoked.• Anticipate tough questions and develop responsive answers that are not defensive.• Use each question to bridge to one of your key messages.
WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW, SAY SO.• You are an expert but you don‟t have all the answers.• Say “I‟ll get back to you,” or “I can put you in touch with someone who has that answer.• Be honest.• And be responsive and responsible. If you say you will follow up with the reporter you should do it. Respond as quickly as possible.
AVOID PROFESSIONAL BUZZWORDS.• Again, use laymen‟s terms. • “Personal best” instead of PB; • “Anterior cruciate ligament” instead of ACL; • “Half-Marathon” instead of 13.1 miles; • “Repetitions” instead of “reps.”• Don‟t use jargon or buzzwords even if the reporter does.• Explain abbreviations and technical terms.• Know your audience.• Realize you need to “keep it simple.” Sometimes.
FOCUS ON YOUR OBJECTIVE.• Don‟t get mired in statistics or lengthy explanations.• If you want to be quoted, speak briefly and to the point.• Correct misstatements and misperceptions during the conversation.• Keep a sheet of paper with your main messages or points that you wish to make in front of you. Print it out. Hold it in your hand.
BEWARE OF INTERVIEWING TRAPS.• Use your own words.• Don‟t repeat negative language or allow the reporter to put words into your mouth.• Never lose your cool.• Go ahead and repeat the question back to the reporter if that helps you collect your thoughts, but don‟t lose sight of your answer.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OFF-THE-RECORD.• There is no such thing as an off –the –record interview or statement.• In this age of 24/7 media – instant messages – text messages – Twitter and Facebook – cell phone cameras and videos – everything is fair game.• Off the record is what is in your head.• If you say something, you can be sure it is heard or “recorded” by somebody.• Protect yourself – protect your employer – protect your reputation – say what you mean but think about it before you say it.• Every interview counts, even with the seemingly smallest blogger or small-town newspaper or radio station.• Treat every interview as if you are television.
HAVE FUN WITH IT BUT BE SERIOUS ABOUT IT.• Talk with the reporter as if you were talking to a colleague or competitor.• Have an actual conversation.• Understand that it‟s not necessarily an adversarial relationship but it is a serious relationship.• Be yourself.• “Stay within yourself.” Trust your instincts, and trust yourself.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.• Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or observations.• You can contact me through David Tratner, or you can contact me directly.• E-mail: JIM@JHDENTERPRISES.COM• Phone: (215) 564-1122• Facebook: Facebook.com/jim.delorenzo1• Twitter: @jhd16• Google+: Jim DeLorenzo• LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jimdelorenzo• Website: http://www.JHDEnterprises.com
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