Three IS the Magic Number

3 IS the Magic Number

Aim for all three messages in every single answer. let me say that again. I want you to aim for all three message points in every one of your answers. Yes! Some of you are going wait a minute i did not hear that right. I think what tj said was, i should aim for one message in each answer. over the course of the interview hit all three message points, a couple of times that must have been what tj said right?

No that is not what i am saying. what i am saying is the best practice to increase the odds of you getting the messages, you want into the final story. the best practice is to answer every single question and bridge to one to all three message points in every single answer. so how do you do that without sounding insane? The key is you are not doing it in a memorized way. it is not word for word the same, it is not the same order. you are going to use different words, different examples, different levels of abstraction. you are going to mix it up. thematically you are going to hit the same three points but the examples may be completely different. the wording will be different, the order will be different.

So it is going to still sound conversational. this is why your goal, when you are in an interview is not to give concise answers. people come to me all the time and say, “tj teach me to be concise with the media. I want to give concise answers.” my question is always, “why do you want to be concise?” Your goal should never be to be concise with the media. your goal is to get the messages you want in to the final story. I do not have any evidence and neither do you that being concise helps you do that. a lot of evidence that if you hit your message points and you have good messages and you say them in different interesting ways. especially as we will talk about in the next section.

You package them with soundbytes. I have a lot of evidence that that creates dramatic results of you getting exactly what you want. this is hard to do. it feels awkward. again relative it is not hard to do like all of a sudden becoming a world-class violinist or dunking a basketball. those are hard things to do but answering a question and bridging back to all three message points every time, feels awkward. you want to think “oh my gosh how can i do this? This is.. they are going to laugh at me.” it feels weird but it is not if you do it well. again for you it seems obvious. you know what you are doing to the reporter who’s trying to figure out quickly in them mix of perhaps doing ten other stories.

How can i get the information that is most interesting to my readers, viewers, listeners on this story? It can be very helpful if you came up with good messages and you are fleshing it out indifferent ways. quite often they will want to ask follow-up questions about one of your message points. even though it is the fourth time you said it it is the first time that you really resonated with the reporter and made them think about it. So the are now going deeper into one of your message points. let me stress, this is not public speaking class. today i teach people public speaking in fact some of you have been in my public speaking master class 550 lectures. Just like this one longest one on this platform. this lesson does not apply there if you do this when you are giving a speech presentation, talking to family friends, colleagues of the office. They will think you are crazy. they will think you have lost your mind. this is specific to the world of media interviews, especially edited media interviews where you could be talking to some about 5, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes. if you only get a couple of sound bites pulled out well then you are not repeating yourself because the people who really matter the audience are not seeing the other times you said it. Here is they even to a reporter who is hearing the whole conversation. remember when reporters talking to you, let me have a phone like this they are typing that editor, their boss is yelling at them, other text messages are coming, they have distractions. so when you hit certain themes again and again, it is not necessarily, annoying or obnoxious to them.

Now this does not work if you have bad messages. this does not work if you are refusing to answer other obvious basic messages and questions, the reporter has asked it only works if you have answered questions and you are satisfying the reporter at some level, for all the issues brought up but if you do that going back again and again, hitting all three messages, every time. It increases the odds that you get what you want because if you have 20 questions in the interview and you have said all three messages 20 times at the end of the interview the reporter looks around a stack of messages and notes and they are all your messages. There is only a total of about three or four messages there but if every single question you answer it and you just try to educate the reporter as thoroughly as possible even if you hit all three message points at the beginning or the end you have hit thirty or forty other message points. so you now have a three and forty chance of getting what you want. in the final story are you happy with those odds. I did not think so that is why i stress hit all three message points in single answer.

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