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.
- 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.
Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.
If you would like further information about dealing with the media contact Corporate Media Services for more information or training.
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