It’s important to have a strategy in place to stay focused and on track during a media interview. Staying focused shows the audience you are an expert on the subject and knowledgeable about the industry as a whole. It portrays trust and sincerity that will resonate and connect with the audience. Four key strategies to stay focused during a media interview include:

• Prepare

Before you ever get in front of the camera or speak with the reporter, make sure you prepare as much as you can. Who will interview you? How much time will you have? Is the interview outdoors or indoors? Find out as much as you can about the interview experience so you can plan out your strategy more effectively. It will also help you stay focused during the interview since you can concentrate on the message and not worry about the next unexpected issue to arise.

• Know your topic

Gather as much information as you can about the situation, the event or whatever specific element you will discuss. The more you know, the more confident you will feel sharing this information. When you feel confident, it’s easy to stay focused!

• Practice

Review your notes with a trusted colleague or partner. Take the time to speak out loud your key points, sound bites and message. Hearing them as others would hear them and getting feedback will help you to understand if you sound credible or unsure, authoritative or untrustworthy. How you sound is as important as what you say.

• Bridging

Brush up on the technique of transitioning from one message to another called bridging. Often reporters will ask about information that is not relevant to the direct message that you want to share. When this happens, have a few bridge responses ready to get the interview back on track going in the direction you want. For example:

o “Let me put that in perspective…”
o “Yes, but that speaks to a bigger point…”
o “It’s important to remember that…”

Bridging helps you regain control of the interview and keeps it focused.

Keep these four strategies in mind when for your next interview and you will feel focused and ready to roll!

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