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Don’t Tell Reporters What You Aren’t Doing | Media Training | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

Media speaking tip of the day: when talking to the media, do not waste valuable time telling them about what you are not going to do.

Do not tell people that you are not commenting on that or that you are not focused on that today. Quite often a reporter will ask you if you are doing something. The rational, logical, and linear reaction to that is that “We are not doing X, but we are actually doing Y”.

I understand why you may be inclined to speak that way, as that is how you have spoken all your life. You are simply showing the reporter that you are listening, responding and respecting them. However, the only quote you are going to get is that you are not doing X. If that ends up happening, you can blame the reporter all you want but its not his fault. He did not put words in your mouth, you yourself did.

The solution is to tell people what you are doing rather than what you are not. Do that, and you will not end up getting negative, defensive, and off putting quotes. Tell them your plan of action in positive parameters, and they will themselves deduce what it is that is not being done by you.

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