Don’t let an interviewer frame the debate by putting words in your mouth. A reporter’s phraseology, used in the premise of the question, may find its way into the finished article if you seem to accept it, even if you would never normally have made the point like that. Instead, try to use your own words if you feel they are more appropriate. So, if a negative phrase is used in the question, such as an accusation of overcharging customers, it’s too easy to respond with “Well I wouldn’t say we’re overcharging, but …” Then, the story is all about your company “denying it’s overcharging”. As we point out in our media training courses, it’s better to put things in your own words, such as “we believe the price increase is very reasonable, because…”
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Friday #mediatraining tip: If you are being interviewed on a contentious subject and the reporter gets aggressive in their questioning, don’t mirror their style. Stay cool and reasonable if you can.
Blog revisited: to avoid a possible ‘car-crash’ interview on a contentious subject, you need to be aware of the interviewer’s possible agenda, as well as your own. An example from the days of the Brexit debate: https://www.mediatrainingassociates.co.uk/simple-steps-to-avoid-a-car-crash-interview/
We can now offer on-camera and autocue skills coaching for spokespeople who have to present online video material or webinars.