Sunday, October 26, 2014

MEDIA TRAINING: Why Your First Answer Is SO Critical

Only as Good as Your FIRST Response
How many time have you watched a political debate or a newsworthy interview and been quickly impressed with someone based on how they handled the first question that came their way? 
    Or, can you think of a time when the first words out of someone’s mouth immediately turned you off?

    In my line of work, we spend a lot of time preparing for media interviews, or appearances on panels in front of audiences.  It’s not about being scripted, but it IS about being prepared.

     "Anticipation" is the most important word I could share when thinking about your next opportunity in front of an audience. Imagine you’re on a five -person “expert” panel at a conference where you’re asked to share your ideas and experiences in your field of expertise.

You Are Always Measured Against Your Peers

·         > What would the audience think if your first comments were bland, uninteresting?

·         > What would the audience think if your first answer didn’t sound or feel authoritative?

·         > What would the audience think if you simply seemed unprepared?

   Nobody wants to come across as unprepared.  That’s the worst thing that could come from an opportunity like this.

   But here’s what’s critical. 

   Your first response shapes the audience’s image of you for the rest of the interview or speaking opportunity.  Come out of the gate with an unimpressive answer delivered with low energy and passion and it drastically affects your credibility with the audience for the remainder of your appearance.  And the rest of the panel just became FAR MORE credible because of your ill-prepared or ill-advised response.

How YOU Use the Mic Changes How Others Must Deliver

   Conversely, if you open any interview or discussion with a bang and deliver a first answer that’s well thought out, well-prepared … and delivered with passion and conviction…. you’ve immediately stated your case as deserving of the stage and the spotlight.  Think of the most important thing you want to say and deliver it early and with authority!

  So, it doesn’t matter if it’s an interview, or a moderated panel, or a Q&A format.  Make sure you remember the importance of a first impression and deliver something that sticks!

   Thanks as always for reading this blog and sharing with others.  I always welcome your comments … here or directly on Twitter @KraigKann  and @KannAdvisory

Don't Get Caught Unprepared

Thought for the Day:   When your next speaking opportunity is over with, you’ll always second-guess something.  Just don’t let preparedness be one of those things.

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