The A-Z of Media Training

A is for Ambition

It can be easier to talk about your work when you’ve got outcomes,  fully formed analysis and results. It’s true that starting points – though vital to you – can leave the audience underwhelmed. Similarily aspirations may be a bit woolly. But an ambition -matched with the follow through of what your work could achieve – can really hit home.  Exploration can be exciting. And it’s not about over-promising, instead it’s opening up a sense of the potential. 

B is for Briskness

We’re talking a trot here; a canter in a conversation is just too fast …and a gallop? Nothing will sink in. But a sense of purpose, the drive to shortcut to the important stuff and an urgency in tone can all make the audience sit up and take notice. Remember variety is engaging, so walk through unfamiliar concepts and be careful not to speed over what’s  familiar to you but is likely to be new to the viewer or listener.

C is for Collateral Damage

A term to drop in the file marked “sanitising language” and then leave it there. People use bland language to cover up the messy, the nasty and the worrying. The audience immediately are sceptical of any spokesperson who peppers their sentences with such phrases and the interviewer feels entitled to dig deeper and challenge the guest on what they really mean. “Efficiency savings” should be filed too.

D is for Deadpan
An over-mobile face can lead you into trouble. What you think is simply an animated expression can morph into revealing too much of what you’re thinking or feeling.The grimace that signals “ that went badly” the smile at something contentious: “ oh here we go – I was nervous that might pop up”  are just two unnecessary and unhelpful give aways. Instead focus on energy and animation coming through your voice. Aim for stillness in how you look.
E is for Edge
A word that’s close to our hearts of course, and an ingredient  that every good on air conversation contains. It’s the things that sharpen a guest’s contribution, that cuts through all the stuff  people might  be doing to reach the audience. It can be in the way you talk – that concern you bring to a troubling subject for example. In terms of content – that specific and telling example or a stonking stat are both ways to sharpen the conversational flow.

So that’s 21 more to go. We’ll update this each week until we get to Z…