The Insider Secrets of Media Training
Our Director Nick, spent the day being media trained by business presenter and media coach Nadine Dereza, we interviewed them both to hear about their key takeaways from the session.
Can you explain to us a bit about how media training works?
Nadine: Media training contains a lot of practise interview sessions, it coaches you on how to understand the audience’s perspective, as well as the viewpoints of the media and what they’re looking for. The session covers the art of delivering an effective interview and how to steer an interview, so you can control it but not in a demagogue way. I teach people how to not sound like a politician but to ensure you’re still getting your agenda across.
We cover who your target audience might be, how others have conducted live interviews – their successes and pitfalls, how to do live interviews and how to manage pre-recorded ones. Once you have those basics covered, then you’re ready to do your own ones. We start with radio interviews, then we progress with longer TV interviews and practise soundbites too – how to deliver your message in 30 seconds down to 10 seconds.
The 'soundbite' interview training helps you to fine tune your message to the real essence of what you are trying to convey and helps you understand the value of time. The crucial point here is that you’ll never know how long a TV interview could last, so it is good practice to deliver your message succinctly but be prepared to expand your message if need be.
Who are your usual clients?
Nadine: Everything from FTSE 100 clients down to individuals who are looking to raise their profile in the media. When training businesses, it is important that they allocate 4-6 media spokespeople as you always need a good roster of people on hand who can answer difficult questions. Each crisis situation will dictate to a different person, so when we train teams we look who will be best suited to represent the company.
Nick in the midst of training
What can we hope to have learnt from the media training?
Nadine: You can expect to deliver clear, compelling and crisp media interviews, but of course, this will only get better with practise. Above all, you will feel more confident. Audiences are looking to hear the real you, so I teach people to be themselves, but to bring out the best version of themselves under the constraints of an interview. We make sure you leave the day feeling like you’ve mastered the ability to control the interview and bring across all your salient points.
Sounds great, any funny stories from your time doing this job?
Nadine: On Radio 4’s Women’s Hour when I first launched my book Insider Secrets of Public Speaking, I managed to trip over a carpet tile, went flying through the air and landed on the radio desk. The first question of the interview was have you ever had any public speaking mishaps and I was thinking yes – this one now! The key here is to expect the unexpected, go with the flow and to not take things too seriously.
I would say, however, that media training is essential particularly in our world of 24-7 news and social media, because any mistakes are amplified as you only get one go at it, so you need to understand what you’re up against.
What are you hoping to achieve from the media training?
Nick: I hope to understand more about myself and the persona that I’m putting across to the public. I also want to gain clarity in my speech and an appreciation that I can draw breath before speaking. Also, I want to feel confident in myself!
What has been the most enjoyable part of the training, so far?
Nick: I enjoyed learning how to go from explaining the five key trends in the speaker industry to minimising this to three key trends and then putting this important information into soundbite form. It has been really tough, but also interesting to work out how to distill my messages.
And what has the most challenging aspect been?
Nick: Nadine repeatedly asking me who my favourite speaker is and me not saying her at first! No, I’m joking of course, the hardest part is answering what appears to be the basic questions, such as explaining the things you do and inherently know without oversimplifying what you do or slipping into industry jargon.
So, after you become fully media trained, what will your dream TV/radio/film gig be?
Nick: I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Joking! I’d love to be featured on the Today Programme, I’d talk about the power of the spoken word and how it can change lives. That or chatting about Arsenal anywhere that will have me.
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