5 Tips for Speaking to the Media With Authority
Media interviews can be a bit nerve-wracking. When the nerves get to you, it becomes difficult to exude confidence and a sense of credibility. Speaking to the media doesn’t have to be so scary! With a little preparation, you can set yourself up for success and boost your district’s image in the eyes of the public.
Here are five quick tips to help you speak with authority:
1. Maintain eye contact
Eye contact is a simple way to establish both authority and a positive relationship with the reporter. Consistent eye contact shows you’re engaged, you’re listening and you’re confident in what you have to say. Even if it’s a phone or radio interview, that confidence and authority will shine through your words.
2. Speak slow and steady
When people are nervous, they tend to talk faster. It’s okay to be nervous—what’s important is making the reporter think you’re not nervous. Take a deep breath, and take your time. Make a conscious effort to slow down your speech. This will allow you to enunciate better and communicate your message more effectively.
3. Relax your posture
People tense up without even realizing it. They cross their arms, hunch their shoulders and look down at the ground. Body language speaks volumes, especially during television interviews. Relaxing the body relaxes the mind, which allows you to focus and speak more clearly. Plus, putting yourself at ease can make the public feel more at ease, too.
4. Know the value of a pause
During media interviews, district leaders feel the need to fill space. This is especially true for radio interviews since broadcasters try to avoid dead air as much as possible. Not only is it okay to pause, but it’s also important that you do. Pausing allows you to collect your thoughts before you speak. It gives you a chance to figure out what you’re going to say before you say it.
5. Prepare talking points
Talking points can help you go into an interview with confidence. You might not know what questions the reporter is going to ask, but you’ll at least know which key messages the public needs to hear. Talking points help you speak with authority by controlling the conversation as well as your district’s story.
It’s perfectly normal to feel apprehensive about speaking to the media. Despite whatever you’re feeling, the important thing is to put your best foot forward. Practicing these quick tips can go a long way toward establishing your authority. The interview will likely go better than you expected!