Trump does it with a comb over. The Weinstein brothers do it on the red carpet. And Steve Jobs manages it wearing an ipod. What is it? Staying poised and professional in front of the camera. And it’s harder than it looks.
There’s an art form to succeeding in front of the media, and I’m not talking about generating some sort of Academy Award performance. Here’s the thing – you don’t want to be that exec who contracts a verbal stomach flu every time a microphone is placed in front of your face. Fair or not, if during an interview an incoherent rush of nonsense jettisons out of your mouth, people will question your intelligence, know-how, professionalism, and more.
It’s true – in day-to-day business encounters, skill, confidence, and a commanding vocabulary will take you a long way, but unless you can translate that poise, unless you can present it on camera, it means nothing to the masses of people who never interact with you except through their television sets.
So it doesn’t hurt to practice, often, before an upcoming interview. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to practice for interviews yet to take place. Because they’ll happen eventually, typically in moments of crisis when rehearsal isn’t an option – you’ve simply got to produce. The future of your company depends on it.
That’s why more and more companies are investing in people like me – message trainers. We “talk coaches” will guide you through the interviewing process and help you formulate your message. We’ll conduct mock interviews on camera, helping you work out any presentation kinks. We’ll teach you what to do with your hands, where to look, how to deflect sensitive questions without sounding vague or suspicious, how to pause to provide time for thought, how to detect a reporter’s bias, and how to remain in control at all times.
If nothing else, it beats wasting hours in front of your bathroom mirror.
Amy Jones, Media Director
The Russo Group