How to Shine in a Media Interview - NBC Chicago
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How to Shine in a Media Interview



    Huzzah! A journalist wants to talk to you about your business! Congratulations!

    But now you have to talk! How do you avoid sweating and stumbling your way through a painfully forgettable interview?

    For most people, as soon as a camera or microphone is pointed at their face, they lose 40 IQ points and forget everything they know, becoming the proverbial deer in the headlights.

    Sometimes nerves aren't even the issue, but rather a difficulty conveying one's passion for the subject matter. I’ve seen brilliant, truly hilarious people come across as the most boring dead fish imaginable. Don't let this be you!

    Here are a few simple tips for making your media interview memorable and fun, so you can achieve maximum impact for your business.

    Give yourself a game plan

    Think beforehand of a few key points you want to communicate. You can’t count on the interviewer to read your mind and know to ask the “right” questions. If you go in with a blank slate, you may just ramble and not get to say what you thought was most important. Don’t be afraid to write these lil’ nuggets down on a note card or the palm of your hand so you can glance at them later.

    Take a moment for yourself beforehand

    Even if you feel a little silly doing it, find a private spot where you can do some stretching, take some slow, deep breaths, or whatever you like to do to get yourself calm and focused. You want to be as loose and comfortable as possible, so it will serve you well to warm yourself up.

    Get a little personal

    Steer the conversation to the “heart” of what you do, or why you started doing it in the first place. Share that magic moment where your company puts a smile on your customer’s face, or your own. Why exactly do you love this work? Your passion will be contagious.

    Don’t take yourself too seriously

    Smile. Have fun with this. Remember, your interviewer wants an engaging piece for their audience, so they’re in it with you. Don’t worry about forcing any witty banter if it’s not your strong suit, but simply let your excitement for your work animate your conversation.

    With a little prep and the right attitude, you’ll be on your way to presenting your business with charm and gusto!

    Guy F. Wicke is the founder of Wicke International, a media relations firm dedicated to the performing arts, which has promoted events and organizations across Chicagoland and beyond. A Chicago native and a performer himself, he is passionate about bridging the gap between artists and journalists to spread the word about unique theater and help it to thrive. He makes no claims to be some kind of PR guru, just a very talented and handsome man.