Beretta Australia

“Truly sensational and although challenging, I’d be very happy to do it again.”

Luca Cella
Marketing Manager
Beretta Australia

Hall and Wilcox Lawyers

“Excellent. I enjoyed and needed the practise. Doug and Milton were both fantastic and very helpful.”

Sally Scott
Partner
Hall and Wilcox Lawyers

Walter & Eliza Hall Institute

“Excellent. First class – much more useful than I had anticipated!”

D. Hilton
Director
Walter & Eliza Hall Institute

Victoria Legal Aid

“Fantastic! One of the best and most relevant training courses I have ever done!”

Leanne Sinclair
Family Violence Program Manager
Victoria Legal Aid

Obama speaking

Who’s a Great Public Speaker? Barack Obama, that’s Who!

By Doug Weller

Whenever anyone asks me “Who is a great public speaker?”, I always give the same response…Barack Obama. Obama speaking cropped

Obama is amazing; his public speaking and media skills blow me away.

His presentations are brilliant. Always articulate, always engaging and always to the point.

Barack Obama speaking about Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions demonstrates his skills.

His answers about Trump were short and sharp, clear and to the point. His language was easily understood. He paused in between messages allowing the audience to process what he said. Instead of speaking too fast, he allowed his messages to resonate.

A lot of people make basic mistakes when delivering presentations.

They rush through it talking too fast, but not Obama.

They deliver jargon and acronyms that hardly anyone can understand… but again, not Obama.

Barack Obama masterfully delivers clear, understandable messages.

Sometimes, the President will speak ‘off the cuff’ but other times he reads from a teleprompter/autocue, as he did in his Selma Bridge Speech.

No matter whether he is ad libbing or using a prompt, he always looks and sounds credible, genuine and understandable.

A really good way to learn a skill is to study others doing it well. Watch the clips included in the links above, and any other Obama speeches you can find.

Speakers like Barack Obama don’t come along every day – he’s brilliant.

Further Resources

Barack Obama: A Master Class in Public Speaking

Obama speaking

Tan Suit Gets In Way Of What Obama Has To Say

By Corporate Media Services

Obama’s ‘suitgate’ scandal rocked the world! Well, it got a good run in the media anyway.obama tan suit

In a shocking back flip on his policy of only wearing navy, grey and black suits, President Obama had the nerve to wear a tan suit…the cheek of him.

Some people were horrified, a social media storm erupted and his media messages paled beyond a shade of beige as they were lost in the controversy over his outfit.

Reasons for the outrage over Obama’s tan suit varied.

Timing was a key factor as its casualness was considered inappropriate for delivering serious, hard hitting foreign policy messages.

Some thought it was too informal and disrespectful to victims of recent serious incidents and terror related atrocities.

It generated a gender equality debate about the fashion criticism of women  compared with men in the media.

Obama’s famous election rally cry “Yes We Can” morphed into “Yes We Tan”.

Then comedians got in on the act.

Bad day for tan suit

obama seinfeld suit

In all of the noise about the tan suit Obama’s important messages were overshadowed.

Huffpost tan suit tweet

Obama is a top class media performer. He delivers his messages like a pro and whether in a suit or an open neck shirt, he usually looks sharp.

You wouldn’t think a change of suit colour would be a big deal. It’s just a different colour.

When you’re high profile the reaction to what you wear can be a very big deal. Just ask Former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who copped endless criticism for her outfit choices.

You’re entitled to wear what you want during media interviews but if you present in a different or unusual way there may be a major reaction that eclipses your message.

Media audiences have expectations and get used to you looking a certain way. It becomes part of your personal brand.

Think carefully before you make major changes, especially prior to making major announcements.

You don’t want attention taken away from your messages because of a new look.

As superficial as it seems, it needs to be taken into account.

It says a lot about how ridiculous we’ve become about presentation but it’s something you need to be conscious of if you want your media messages to hit the mark.

Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you want to know more about engaging with the media, contact Corporate Media Services for more information about our media training programs and services. Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 913

Queen and Prime Minister

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Purr-fect Media Blunder

Queen and Prime Minister
By Corporate Media Services

If you’ve signed up to be recorded and filmed 24/7 in the ‘Big Brother’ house, you’d expect anything you say could be broadcast.

That’s the ‘reality’ of reality T.V.

But what about the news media? Surely you can  have a private chat without the world knowing what you’ve said.

Well, here’s the reality check.

When you’re dealing with the media everything you say may be recorded.  If it’s interesting, it’s news.

You should always assume that media microphones are recording because they are often live even when an interview has finished, or you’re having a casual walkabout.

The list of notable people being sprung saying something they shouldn’t have when they thought the mic was off is long.

Prince Charles was famously caught out at a press call saying under his breath how much he disliked one of the journalists interviewing him.

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who is generally very media savvy had a major memory lapse about live microphones that ended with him apologising to Her Majesty, The Queen.

As he chatted to former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, after the Scottish independence referendum he made a gross error of judgement.

Walking along a corridor with Bloomberg, Mr Cameron could not have missed the fact that there were media cameras and microphones everywhere.

Despite this, Mr Cameron breached protocol and gave Bloomberg his assessment of the Queen’s reaction to the referendum result saying, “She purred down the line. I’ve never heard someone so happy.”

He had obviously assumed his conversation was not being recorded. This was a mistake which somebody in his position should never have made.

Prime Minister Cameron was embarrassed, filled with regret and very apologetic. One can only assume he’s damaged his relationship with the Queen who no doubt was not amused.

T.V. and radio mics are now extremely powerful. They can pick up a conversation even when it’s being whispered and in some cases even with background noise.

When it comes to media, all mics are live. Forget this at your peril!

Remember

  • Whenever media is present, assume all microphones are live
  • Anything you say in that situation must pass the ‘front page test’ – would you be happy with your comments ‘off mic’ appearing on the front page of the newspaper? If not, don’t say it
  • Don’t relax around media mics. If you want to have a private conversation, go somewhere private

Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you want to know more about engaging with the media, contact Corporate Media Services for more information about our media training programs and services. Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 913

Ricky Muir struggles

Ricky Muir Fights Back

Ricky Muir struggles
By Doug Weller – Corporate Media Services

Call me unusual if you like but I find politics really interesting.

I started covering politics when I was a cub reporter and I’ve been following politics ever since.

So forgive me for having another chop at the Ricky Muir/Mike Willesee interview, but the debate which has followed the airing of that exchange is an interesting lesson on dealing with media interactions and interviews.

Since my last blog on the topic, Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator, Ricky Muir, has come out fighting over his interview with Mike Willesee on Channel Seven’s ‘Sunday Night’ program.

In the interview Ricky Muir had trouble answering questions and required breaks to regain his composure and consult his advisors.

Mr Muir has now reportedly described the interview and his treatment as unethical.

Muir’s political advisor, former NSW independent MP and qualified media defamation lawyer, Peter Breen, wanted to lodge a formal complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority over Mr Muir’s treatment. Muir blocked that move saying “… I can either let this get me down or use it as initiative to get better.”

Mr Breen alleged that Channel Seven’s handling of the interview was unfair and allowed Mr Muir to become the focus of ridicule and contempt – “It contained the imputation that he wasn’t up to holding public office because he wasn’t a good media performer”, said Breen.

If you haven’t seen the interview make sure you find time to view it at least 2 or 3 times.

If you’re not involved in the media you might initially think that the interview is unfair or unethical.

But to describe the interview in that way is absolutely ridiculous.

Why?

If you’re going to interact with the media and put yourself forward to do media interviews, you need to have a basic understanding of the role of the free media in a democratic society.

In a nutshell, the role of free media is to observe and report.

You may think some media outlets do that badly but that’s another discussion.

Be very clear about this, journalists who work in mainstream media are not public relations or marketing practitioners. Nor are they involved in advertising -they are journalists.

It’s crucial that you understand that point.

Journalists have access to a wide range of powerful and influential people, including politicians. The vast majority of the population will never have access to these people.

So it’s up to journalists to interview these powerful people and deliver the results of those interviews to the public.

Ricky Muir is in an incredibly powerful position. He’s been elected to the Australian Senate.

He is now voting on laws which will have an impact on every Australian citizen and in some cases, citizens of other nations.

He is accountable to the Australian public.

The questions that Mike Willesee asked Ricky Muir were totally appropriate for someone in Muir’s position.

The interview was not a brash, hard hitting, ‘shock-jock’ style interview; Willesee was not aggressive, or pushy.

Experienced journalist and Executive Producer of Channel Seven’s 7 ‘Sunday Night’ program, Mark Llewellyn, has said that Mike Willesee was actually very kind to Ricky Muir.

Llewellyn is right. The questions were asked in a respectful and even gentle way.

In an interview with Crikey Llewellyn also said that Mr Muir’s assumption that parts of the interview would not get used were unfounded and there had been no deal for Mr Muir to go ‘off the record’.

“When did that kind of cosy deal become journalism — ‘the wink, wink, nudge, nudge, I’ll look after you if it all becomes a little too hard, possum’? What, by the way, are the ethics of censoring interviews and depriving audiences of the complete story? To in effect be part of that cosy club that shields politicians and keeps everyday Australians in the dark.” Llewellyn said.

When Ricky Muir had trouble answering the questions and took a break, this was broadcast as it should have been.

For Mike Willesee or anyone else involved in that interview to edit out any of that material in order to make Ricky Muir look better than he actually was would have been a disservice to the Australian people.

It was up to Ricky Muir and his advisors to ensure that he was adequately prepared before the interview.

As I said in my last blog on this issue, Ricky Muir should never have started his media exposure in a high profile television interview of this type.

He wasn’t ready for the questions and he wasn’t ready for the lights and cameras of a broadcast interview environment.

What Mike Willesee did was ask the questions and show the responses.

Remember:

  •  Make sure that you’re prepared for any questions that may be asked of you in an interview, especially the obvious questions.
  •  If you’re not ready for a daunting media environment such as an intimidating studio style TV interview, don’t do it.
  •  If you ever stuff up in a media interview don’t kid yourself that the interviewer was unethical. Look at your performance and learn from any mistakes. Interesting to note that’s what Ricky Muir said he will do, so good on him for that.

Further Information

Mike Willesee Interview Was Unethical: Ricky Muir

Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you would like further information about dealing with the media contact Corporate Media Services for more information or training.

Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 9131300 737 913

Ricy Muir Interview enlarged

Ricky Muir – A Deer in the Headlights

Ricy Muir Interview enlarged
By Doug Weller – Corporate Media Services

Some people like doing media interviews. They are confident, love the limelight and are naturally good at it – but most are not.

The majority of people struggle with nerves and anxiety at the thought of being on TV, with cameras in their face, answering questions.

The problem is fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of stuffing up. Fear of looking like an idiot in front of thousands, or potentially millions of people.

Most people can easily give you an opinion on anything. However, shove a microphone under their nose and even the most competent and accomplished speaker can go to water.

Many media spokespeople loathe conducting a media interview. I’ve met some who become physically ill at the thought of doing one.

Like anything, the more you practise, the better you get. So when it comes to improving your public speaking and media confidence, start small and gradually build up.

The Ricky Muir and Mike Willesee Interview

The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir had managed to avoid media contact for months after being elected to the senate.

Mr Muir remained elusive as requests for media interviews were referred to others.

Unfortunately when media shy Ricky Muir finally fronted, he leapt straight into a national TV interview with Australian journalist, Mike Willesee. Click here to view interview

Watching that interview, it’s fair to say he is not an accomplished public speaker.

He stumbled over his words, struggled to answer questions, asked to take breaks and was clearly rattled by the entire process.

There were at least 2 cameras, one facing him and one behind him, TV lights all around and members of the TV crew to contend with.

This is a hot, uncomfortable and distracting environment. For some it can be claustrophobic. Wearing a suit jacket in that environment, as he was, can make it worse.

It looked like Ricky Muir was having what I have seen thousands of times in media training sessions, mind blanks.

He seemed so uncomfortable and nervous, the words just wouldn’t come out.

Why on earth Ricky Muir or his advisors would choose his media interview debut to be on TV with Mike Willisee, one of Australia’s most experienced journalist’s and commentators, is absolutely bewildering.

Mike Willesee has been critiscised for the way he conducted the interview but this is rubbish. He asked totally acceptable questions in a non aggressive way.

Building Media Experience

The way to deal with inexperienced media performers is to ease them into the media interview process.

Perhaps start with some low level newspaper interviews and then move to radio interviews over the phone. The more interviews you conduct, the more comfortable you feel.

Television interviews like the one Ricky Muir was subjected to are tough for even the most experienced media spokesperson.

The last thing you should do without any media experience is sit in front of a TV camera and answer difficult questions.

I would never suggest anybody with limited media skills front up to something like that.

You work your way up to TV interviews, you certainly don’t start with them.

Remember:

  • Some people are natural media performers, most are not.
  • Never go into a media interview unless you are feeling confident and empowered.
  • Don’t do media interviews until you’re completely prepared and know what you want to gain from the process.

Further Information

Mike Willesee responds to criticism over Ricky Muir Interview

Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you would like further information about dealing with the media contact Corporate Media Services for more information or training.

Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 913

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

What is Corporate Media Services’ training philosophy?

Corporate Media Services aims to empower participants with the necessary skills and confidence to effectively manage their own real-life media situations.

Confidence building and empowerment are at the core of our training philosophy.

We believe in providing a challenging but non-threatening learning experience so that trainees gain the maximum benefit from our courses.

Does Corporate Media Services provide training nationally?

Yes. We conduct our training courses throughout Australia and the South Pacific. Most of our courses are conducted in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth Hobart and Darwin. We also conduct many courses in regional centres.

Are the courses conducted in a studio?

In reality, the vast majority of media interviews are conducted over the phone, face to face in an office environment or outdoors. Corporate Media Services replicates these conditions so our participants undergo a realistic media interview experience.

Some TV networks will conduct TV news and current affairs interviews at your premises. Corporate Media Services replicates these conditions by creating an onsite realistic interview environment with a TV news industry standard camera, TV lights and production unit at your premises.

If purpose built studios are required Corporate Media Services will provide
state-of-the-art radio and TV studios.

We pride ourselves in training our participants to be ready for real life media situations.

What is the cost of the media training programs?

As course costs can vary due to the different options and inclusions available, pricing will be discussed in detail based on your requirements prior to issuing a proposal.

Contact us to discuss your requirements and receive a proposal.

Do participants receive a manual?

Yes. Our media training manuals are constantly updated to keep abreast of the changing media trends.

Can observers sit in on the course?

Yes, we also allow an unlimited number of observers to view the media training course at no extra charge. Observers do not undergo practical interview sessions but are free to view them.

What are the maximum participant numbers?

We recommend a limit of 3 participants for a half-day course and 5 participants for a full-day course (participant numbers for multi-day media training courses vary depending on your brief.)

These recommended limits allow participants maximum exposure to the practical interview components of the course, ensuring optimum benefit from the training.

Although these limits are recommended and preferred, we do allow flexibility of numbers and can discuss this with you in greater detail before issuing a proposal.

Do participants receive a DVD of their interviews?

Yes. Each participant gets the ONLY copy of their interviews to ensure confidentiality.

Are participants’ interviews recorded and/or filmed?

Yes. All participants are interviewed by the trainer (a qualified and experienced journalist) about relevant topics. Each interview is recorded and/or filmed by a certified TV camera and operator, enabling participants to review their progress and receive feedback.

What are the media trainers’ credentials?

Our highly professional media training team is comprised of experienced news and current affairs journalists and camera-people who are committed to giving participants the skills to deal with real-life media situations.

Our training team brings a wealth of knowledge to our media training courses, providing an engaging, entertaining and relevant learning experience. Their proven success working in news media makes them experts in their field. Read more about our trainers here.

Do you offer Crisis Media Training courses?

Yes. An outline of our crisis media training course is available here. We are also happy to send you a proposal.

Are your media training courses updated?

Yes. Our media training courses are constantly updated to keep abreast of the changing media trends.

Do you cover all mediums?

Yes. We cover print, radio, television, new and online media. We can focus on all or some of these mediums, depending on your brief.

What is Corporate Media Services’ training philosophy?

Corporate Media Services aims to give participants with the necessary skills and confidence to effectively manage their own real-life media situations.

Confidence building and empowerment are at the core of our media training philosophy.

We believe in providing a challenging but non-threatening learning experience so the participants gain the maximum benefit from our media courses.

Are your media training courses customised to suit all levels of experience?

Yes. All of our media training courses are fully customised to meet the needs of beginners, through to advanced levels. We DO NOT believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

We recognise that each client has individual issues and unique requirements.

We offer the highest levels of personalised service to ensure the media training we provide is specifically tailored to meet your issues and needs. After thorough discussion with you, we provide a media training course that is customised precisely to suit your requirements.

What is the duration of a media training course?

Corporate Media Services conducts half-day, full-day and multi-day media training courses.

A half-day course can be scheduled as either a morning or an afternoon session. Full-day and multi-day media training courses are run within normal business hours.

Make an enquiry now or call us on 1300 737 913