- Record formal interviews for self-protection. This
is a safety mechanism to fight back against unfair journalism and inaccurate reporting. In
addition, listen to the recording afterwards to improve your interviewing skills.
Know the reporter's story needs. Make
sure that you have obtained in advance the parameters of the interview.
Prepare three or four points you want
to make, including effective company "tie-ins" to the interview topic. State
them at the beginning of the interview.
Practice short, catchy sentences involving
your main points that the writer could pick up easily as quotes for the story.
Anticipate difficult questions. Make
your answer a positive statement, rather than a response to what might be a negative tone
of the question.
Speak to the target audience of the
- Use Sound Bites. Make your point
immediately and concisely. You probably won't have time to build a lengthy argument that
concludes with your point.
- Don't be a Slave to a Question. Think
about the question and analyze its significance. Then build a bridge to your agenda by
using such phrases as "Let me put that into perspective" or "Let me put
that into a different context."
- Listen Carefully. Don't be afraid to
ask the interviewer for clarification, if you don't understand the question. Ask your own
question, such as "Do you mean... or
- Silence is OK. Give your answer and
then stop talking. Don't be intimidated by silence into saying more than you should. Use
silence to collect your thoughts and compose yourself.
- Be assertive.
- Support your statement.
- Be colorful.
- Avoid being stiff.