If you’ve ever been through media training, you understand how a seemingly easy task becomes nerve-wracking when the camera and lights turn on and you’re being asked unrehearsed questions.
Suddenly, the value of practicing an interview in front of a camera becomes very clear. It’s infinitely smarter to learn the skill of interviewing in a controlled (and friendly) environment than cutting your teeth during a live interview with a reporter.
Even if you may never speak to a reporter, media coaching can teach you how to think on the fly, respond so you get your message across, and project the right demeanor. There’s nothing quite like seeing yourself on video to realize the importance of this kind of training.
We’ve used media training to help prepare executives for all kinds of scenarios. Some of the most popular include:
Crisis communications—A crisis can impact a business at any time, so executives who may not normally talk to the press need to be prepared with interviewing skills. This often includes leaders in HR, security, fleet, product development and IT, to name a few. Media training helps these leaders feel confident knowing they are prepared if they are ever called on to help during a crisis.
Speaking opportunities—Not every executive is a natural presenter. Media training prepares leaders to deliver engaging presentations in front of audiences both large and small. Body language and presentation cadence often suffer when an executive is nervous, and training can make leaders feel more comfortable and confident. Since many speaking opportunities include an impromptu Q&A session, training also helps executives deliver thoughtful answers in that situation.
Investor presentations—When raising funds for your business, how you pitch your idea to investors and think on your feet can be the difference between getting funding or not. Media training can help executives develop rapport with investors and be prepared to answer the toughest of questions.
Depositions—Depositions are among the most unusual scenarios for which we’ve provided media training. Instead of training these witnesses to talk with reporters, we work with them on being likable, understandable and believable by a judge or jury. This includes working on demeanor and language so answers are to the point and the witness exudes confidence.
The essence of media training is developing the skill to confidently tell your story in clear, compelling language in a stressful situation, and that’s a skill that can be used in many scenarios.