Learn From Your Mistakes

I had been on the air in Abilene, Texas for about three months when I went live from a Friday Night football rally. A band was playing and they marched right behind me during my liveshot.

Rookie that I was, I started talking louder and louder as the band got closer and closer. As they bore down on me, I was shouting into the microphone—thinking this was the only way viewers would be able to hear me. I was wrong.

Later that evening, when I walked into the newsroom, my news director said, “McGrath—that’s a one directional microphone. It’s mostly picking up your audio. Yes, the band is behind you. But there’s no need to shout.”

Dejected, I said, “I should have just moved the mic closer to my mouth, right?”


I felt even worse when I watched the tape back. I was shouting like a fisher wife. I wanted to go crawl in a corner and lick my wounds. But I didn’t. I gave myself a swift kick in the behind and said, “Tomorrow’s another day.”

Learn From Your Mistakes

I often tell that story to new clients. For one thing– it’s pretty funny! (Although I didn’t think so at the time.) Two– it reminds people to set realistic goals for themselves.

When you’re new to doing media interviews or public speaking, you’re going to make mistakes. Everyone does. No one masters any skill the first few times they try it. It takes lots of practice.

The key is to pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes and vow to do better next time.

More Tips

If you would like to read more of our tips, check out our other media training blogs.

If you think that you would benefit from some media training, please contact us about our executive media training offerings. We would be delighted to customize a program that fits your exact needs.

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photo credit: Editor B via photopin cc

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