When we are communicating with colleagues, we are confident, open, and relaxed. Chances are you are on a first-name basis with management. Unless you are working in an inhospitable work environment, you likely enjoy talking with your colleagues.
Have you considered how easily the words seem to come out when discussing the nature of your work, your job role, and any recent developments in the workplace?
Then why is it so much more challenging to speak to news outlets as a media representative for your company?
The answer to this is relatively simple.
In this email, we will break down some ways that you can communicate your message more effectively when speaking as a media representative for a publicly traded company. These tips also apply to individuals and private firms.
When you are with colleagues, they are familiar with your workplace and industry jargon. They understand what you mean by the recent developments of the SEC S-1 filing. When you speak to the general public, they are not as familiar with an S-1 filing as your finance division. So how could you boil your company’s public filing down into a message that both the general public and the media would be interested in?
Let’s say you are an automobile manufacturer that specializes in exhaust pipes. What about your company going public would be interesting? Perhaps there is a new product in development, or that has recently been released that is performing well. While your company may be excited by product improvements, You cannot predict the future or claim any financial forecasts legally. Still, you can position your products in a way that demonstrates quality and commitment to your work.
If your message to the media is, “We are the leading innovators of exhaust pipe manufacturing,” then you can use a soundbite that captures your audience’s attention. You or your media representative can use a sound bite like, “We live, eat and breathe innovation in the automotive industry.”
You are not making any financial claim in this soundbite, but you are positioning yourself as a leading manufacturer. To the savvy investor, it’s clear your IPO may be a solid investment choice because of your ability to communicate your market positioning with both confidence and competence. Now you just need to make sure your public financial filings back up your future investor’s confidence.
Suppose you can sound as relaxed and enthusiastic about your work and role as you would talking to your favorite colleague. In that case, you will come across as calm, confident, and competent to the media. There are very few things in life that your ability to have fun and enjoy yourself improve your work performance ten-fold. Speaking to the media is one of the rare exceptions that you will be doing your business a massive favor when you act like you are having the time of your life.
Your company could be selling one million exhaust pipes or 100 million; your audience will still have an impression of your company based on their gut feeling. As a representative of your company speaking to the media, it is a fact that investors will be making decisions off on their impression of you. Especially as a publicly traded company.
But you don’t have to be a publicly-traded company to gain the benefits of having fun when on live television. Suppose your company creates its own media, whether directed towards your customers or for in-house purposes. In that case, your spokesperson’s enthusiasm and robustness will help viewers buy into your company’s vision. Suppose your spokesperson is having fun and excited to be on camera sharing the exciting news, training, or recent developments. In that case, they are permitting viewers to buy into your company’s views and beliefs.
But if you or your media representative seem rehearsed, stiff, uncomfortable, or defensive, that permits viewers to tune out. It’s even worse if it makes viewers question the authenticity or congruency of your company. If you are having fun and enjoying yourself, then they are much more likely able to draw attention to positive developments in your company rather than regulations, lawsuits, economics, and various other challenges that are outside of your company’s direct control. It’s important to know that as a spokesperson, it’s your job to control what comes out of your mouth and how you present yourself as a representative of your company.
If you or your spokesperson appears to be unnatural or stiff when put under the spotlight, try rehearsing with them before they have a media appearance. Most spokespersons focus so much on developing and their messages on paper that they don’t record themselves and review how their message comes across when spoken aloud.
Ask your spokesperson to go through the messages and soundbites that they have prepared, then pull out your cellphone and record them. After they are finished, review the footage you had just recorded with them and get several more takes. Each time, focus on some aspect or trait to help your spokesperson appear more natural on camera. Make sure that you focus on making no more than one improvement at a time. It’s better to make one change at a time than it is to try and tackle a half-dozen areas of improvement. An ancient proverb once said, “they who chase two rabbits at once catches none” The same can be said when improving our presentation on camera.
If you would like to improve your presentation skills, join our Selfie-Speak Bootcamp course, where you can take the 30-day challenge to gain mastery over your presentation abilities.
Until next time,
Jake Senn, Senior Trainer
TJ Walker, Founder and CEO
Media Training Worldwide
P.S. If you haven’t had an opportunity to book an appointment with us already for 2021, then give us a call at 1-212-764-4955.