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Tips to Avoid Embarrassing Media Interview Gaffes

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Editorial Staff
Tips to Avoid Embarrassing Media Interview Gaffes

Your appearance on television or in print can be an opportunity to get your business or organization’s name out there, but it can also be an opportunity to make yourself look bad. Avoid embarrassment by avoiding these common media interview gaffes.

1) Know Who Is Going to Ask Questions

The first thing you need to do is find out who will be asking you questions. If you’re unfamiliar with your interviewer, it’s a good idea to at least Google them and read some of their work. If they tend to write about a certain topic or industry more often than others, learn as much as you can about those subjects ahead of time. This way, if those topics come up in your interview, you’ll be able to provide thoughtful answers.

2) Prepare a Few Answers

The best way to avoid making a mistake in a media interview is by preparing your answers beforehand. This doesn’t mean practicing them word-for-word; it means having an understanding of what you want to say and having thought about potential questions that might come up in your interview. Preparation ensures that you won’t be at a loss for words when someone asks you about mistakes you made or something difficult in your background. It also makes sure that when people bring up their opinions, they don’t catch you off guard and make something awkward out of what could have been a normal question and answer session.

3) Don't Use Jargon

Once you’re comfortable with a term, it can be hard to shake. But using unfamiliar jargon is one of those pitfalls that can quickly derail an interview, as well as make you seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on technical terms and if needed, use basic language with media outlets. This will help ensure your message is received and understood by everyone—even those who don’t have a background in your industry. 

4) Be Yourself

The more relaxed you are, and speak in your own voice, during an interview, the more natural and engaging your responses will be. Don’t get so nervous that you feel compelled to sound like some kind of media training expert who is stilted and formal. Practice, practice, practice, is all you need. Don’t just wing it - be prepared with a few key talking points that have been well-rehearsed. You can also use a practice session as an opportunity to try out a bunch of different questions so that nothing catches you off guard when there’s a mic in front of your face.

Here is to growing your name and brand for years to come.

- Your friends at Rolli

www.rolliapp.com


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