After teaching interview skills for the past three decades, I’ve seen a lot. And believe me when I say it isn’t all pretty. I’m continually amazed at how many folks think “winging it” is a strategy. I understand being confident, but no matter how great you are at what you do, the odds of hitting one out of the ballpark without taking time to consider a few basic things are extremely thin.
So, what do you need to do to rock that interview?
Often, if you’re asked to speak or grant an interview, it’s because you’re viewed as a subject matter expert. Others are interested in what we have to say on a particular topic, so be ready to deliver something of value. Start with the end in mind. Ask yourself, “What do I want to have happen as a result of this interview?” Is your message memorable? Is it simple and can it be explained in a single sentence? Think about the most important information to share and then shape that information into snackable, bite-sized messages. Sound bites that sizzle don‘t just happen. They’re created. Make yours memorable.
You can’t deliver something of value if you don’t know who your audience is. Is it senior citizens? Is it school teachers? Perhaps your audience is your entire community. Large or small, every audience has interests. Be sure to shape your message in such a way that they can understand and consume it. And remember the audience today has changed. They don’t want a talking head, Mr. Know It All. They want information fast and perspectives that are fresh. They want to think deeply and connect with what a speaker is sharing.
What’s your story? Know it – and know it well. The story is where you help the audience feel your message. It’s the emotion. It’s the color. It’s the point in the presentation where you become real – where you connect. Remember, you’re not selling used cars. Your story requires the emotional depth your audience yearns for. So deliver.
Register for our upcoming free webinar on media interviews here.
Learn how to control the interview by using techniques such as bridging and flagging, and managing the zinger questions the reporter tosses your way… these are all additional things that definitely require more than a “wing it” strategy.