Here are some of the helpful hints shared in training sessions.
Q. What is the first word you should always use when you deliver a message point or soundbite?
A. The name of your company or product.
Q. How many messages can the average person absorb from your presentation.
A. Three. And don’t be afraid to repeat/reinforce. A popular rule of presentations is “Tell them, tell them again, and tell them you told them.”
Q. We can talk off the record—true or false?
A. False. Whatever you tell a reporter or blogger, be prepared to see on Twitter within the hour.
Q. I’m just there to answer the questions.
A. No. You’re there to tell your story and promote your company and products.
Q. No comment is an appropriate answer to a difficult question.
A. No comment is an answer, but not the BEST answer. “No comment” closes off communication and increases suspicion. Try to give them SOMETHING. Example: “While we don’t break down revenue by country, what I can tell is that our revenue increased 3% in the Asia Pacific region this year.”
Q. People interested in my industry understand our jargon and acronyms.
A. No, they often do not. Try to use acronyms sparingly, spell out the acronyms you do use and avoid using jargon whenever possible.
Q. In a TV interview should I speak directly to the camera?
A. Generally not. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer; it’s the cameraman’s job to make you look beautiful.
MSG Communications founder Michael Goldstein is an award-winning journalist. Some of his credits: