Media training isn’t a “blood sport” and pre-training instructions to “go as hard as you can”
should, in my opinion, be re-considered.
An excess in confidence isn’t unusual among accomplished executives, but in a discipline of
fine margins like media interviews, over-confidence can be damaging to an organisation’s
messaging – and is a constant concern for communications advisors looking for just the right
“pitch” or “tone” from the spokesperson they are preparing.
I am sometimes asked by clients to doorstop people on their way in to a media training
session with unrealistically hostile questions, or to “go as hard as you can” on a
spokesperson in an interview – the theory being that this will “bring them down a peg or
two,” and translate into improved media performance.
In some circumstances this might work to a point – but there genuinely are far more
effective ways of demonstrating how a person’s confidence exceeds their ability and
reigning in their current delivery style.
Often, successful executives have managed the majority of their communications through
high intellect, superior subject-matter knowledge and even a smattering of charisma. But
there comes a time, where these commodities need to be accompanied by a proven
methodology for managing an interview. It is generally the case that once this interview
technique is adopted, the need for the excessive “confidence” evaporates and we are left
with a highly competent media performer.
It can also come down to the buffer an external consultant provides and the extent to
which they are able to offer frank and fearless (albeit polite and professional) observations
and alternative strategies. Either way – there is usually no legitimate need for overt hostility
– process and strategy are far more effective.
If you would like to discuss this or any other matter relating to a media training
requirement, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
Luke Waters 0418 147 157