Media Training: It’s All About Preparation

This post was first published by Mike Griffin on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

I recently had the great pleasure of hearing Barry Nolan, CNBC Correspondent & Former Hard Copy Anchor give some invaluable advice on mastering the art of the TV interview. Barry discussed a wide array of aspects that, though intended for PR pros who regularly deal with interviews on television, are more than relatable to keynote address and panel sessions as well. Like so many other areas of life, what it all really boils down to is preparation.

When March works with our clients during our Media Training sessions, we help to prepare them for every possible scenario, good, bad, or ugly. I was encouraged to learn that this practice fell right in line with the message that Barry was conveying. Specifically, Barry emphasized the importance of being ready for a “black swan event” – the event that you cannot prepare for. While the black swan concept had me slightly befuddled at first, it all become quite clear when Barry put it into perspective with a brief anecdote.

Think about it like this: You have one million dollars that you must spend on insurance with a lifetime guarantee that protects you against cows, deer, and sharks. Which one would you choose? The majority of people would say sharks. However, over 140 people in America are killed by automobile accidents involving deer each year, and another 40 people are killed by severe head trauma caused by a cow kicking them in the head. Less than 10 people are killed each year by sharks.

What point was Barry making? It’s all about thinking outside of the box. How can you help your client to be ready for when technical difficulties arise, and their PowerPoint is no longer accessible? What techniques can you offer to help them remain calm throughout an interview or presentation? March equips our clients with the skills and knowledge they need for their black swan event, and it starts with the preparation offered in our Media Training. After all, like the great Bob Knight once said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

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