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November 2008 - Meeting the Media: Presenting Your Key Ideas

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.November 2008

Meeting the Media: Presenting Your Key Ideas

Leaders and managers with responsibility for their organizations may chose or be asked to tell their story to the media.  Knowing the key ideas they wish to communicate and then doing it effectively will determine their success.  If you are going to meet the media, first determine your key ideas; that is, know precisely what you want to see in print or on the air—and the effect you wish to create in the minds of the audience.  Here are seven things to consider before you meet the media.

Identify a few key points you’d like the public to understand. These are your key messages or commercials. They will help guide you and ensure you have some control of the interview.

Don’t just answer reporters’ questions — respond to them! All your answers should stand alone, needing no introduction.

Don’t wait for the right question to be asked — bridge to one of your key points, move beyond the question asked and tell the public what you want them to know.

Make your responses short and specific — one to two sentences or about 20 seconds.

Write your key points in clear, easily understood language, free from jargon or complicated, technical language. Ensure they are provable assertions or facts that can be independently verified.

Write your points on 3 x 5-inch card and refer to them before the interview starts, then put it away. If you will be citing statistics or something very technical, write those numbers on a card and use the card for emphasis during the interview.

If you don’t want to see it in print or hear it on the air — DON’T SAY IT. Engage brain before putting mouth in gear.

Next month we’ll talk more about meeting the media.
John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2006 - Motivating Others: Communicate Clearly
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