Controlling Media Interviews

“Will he never shut up!” I shouted at the screen. The host of the interview show was talking more than his guest; he told story after story. Truly, the host should know better. His job is to facilitate conversations, NOT dominate them. Fifteen minutes in—I simply couldn’t take anymore. I turned off the TV. And it’s a shame because the executive he was interviewing seemed really interesting. Too bad he could barely get a word in edgewise. Missed Opportunity That said, the guest missed an opportunity. Had he received executive media training, he could have taken control of the interview. Just as any good interviewer has to cut off guests when they’re rambling—sometimes guests need to interrupt their interviewer. Controlling an Interview So how do you go about controlling media interviews? Here are some options for handling the situation I described above. 1. Delivered in a nice way—think: butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth: “Excuse me, Jim but I thought this show was about interviewing me and hearing my stories.” Follow that up with a sweet smile. 2. Another option: Again—super nice and calm delivery—“Jim, do you even need me here? I think you can fill this time by yourself.” (Self-deprecating smile) 3. Last option: “May I interrupt you? Forgive me. But you’ve been going on for so long. Perhaps your viewers would like to hear what I have to say on the subject?” (Nice, but slightly pushy) Remember—you should never be afraid to take control of the situation. And with more and more online shows cropping up with hosts, who have no experience in television or interviewing people, it’s more important than ever that you do. More Blogs If you would like to read more of our tips, check out our other media training blogs. Coaching If you would like to learn more about controlling media interviews, please contact us. We would be delighted to customize a program that fits your exact needs. Chicago-Based, National, Online We are based in Chicago, but routinely work with clients on both coasts and everywhere in between. We also offer online coaching for those that prefer to work with us remotely.

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