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Why get media training?

Why get media training?

If you’ve ever marvelled at the confident and calm way many experts, CEOs, politicians and sportspeople deal with media, you can almost bet your bottom dollar they’ve been trained. For top athletes, actors, musicians and nearly all performing artists, media training and coaching is a critical part of being successful in front of the camera or behind a microphone. ASX listed companies routinely spend major amounts of money to ensure every one of their top executives is media ready. AFL and NRL teams not only coach for optimum on-field performances but also make sure their players are more than ready to face the cameras and microphones when the occasion calls for it.

But why should a budding expert commentator from a non-ASX company consider media training? Well firstly, if you’re investing in a PR campaign or Media Stable profile and part of your strategy is to gain media traction, it makes little sense not to ensure you’re media fit – it would be akin to buying a new car but not having any driving lessons or a license to drive it.

Secondly, dealing with media can be an intimidating experience. There’s nothing run-of-the-mill about your average TV news set or radio studio. The lights, make-up, cameras, microphones, ear-pieces, talkback callers and electronic equipment adds to your sense of fear and trepidation. Knowing that tens of thousands of eyes will be trained upon you, whether in a live or pre-recorded format, can cause usually calm and collected people break out in a cold sweat. Fronting a media conference or being interviewed one-one with a camera trained on you, is an equally daunting experience.

Thirdly, the media can be unforgiving, there’s not too many second chances given to make a good impression. If you bomb on your first media engagement it’s possible you won’t be asked back for another crack. Not only that, your confidence will probably take a major hit as well, which can lead to performance anxiety, which can escalate to stage fright. Whether you’re representing your company or yourself, getting yourself media-ready and confident is a small investment compared to any potential damage you might do with an ill-timed remark or a fluffed response during an interview.

Half of the battle with being confident in the media is about knowing what to expect. What will the studio set-up look like? How will I be introduced to a radio audience and how should I respond? What should I do when I’m asked a question outside my area of expertise?  What happens when I’m asked to be interviewed; should I check to see what questions might be asked? And what should I do after the interview? How can I leverage the vision, audio or back-link? Being trained by high quality competent trainers will address all of these concerns from the moment you’re asked to engage with the media, until the moment you’ve finished and received the finished product.

If you’re fully confident with your ability in front of the camera, behind the mic in a radio studio or on the phone to a journalist, this piece isn’t for you. But it you still have some doubts about your media ability, or need to work on certain aspects of your media performances, take some time to explore media training options. We can advise on what training is best suited to you and recommend trainers across the country. Getting yourself media ready and media trained can propel you to a whole new level – so what are you waiting for?

By John Solvander, Director of Media Engagement, Media Stable.

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