We say it at the start of our Media Training courses, but it’s worth repeating here as well. The lessons, tips, and techniques we teach during these media coaching workshops are beneficial beyond media interviews – people on our courses tell us that they find what we’ve taught them helpful for their day-to-day business communication. So how can Media Training help to improve your day-to-day communication skills with colleagues, clients, suppliers, and others?
Here are 5 ways in which media training can help with your communications in the office:
1.Thinking about your audience.
One of the points we emphasise during our Media Training and Business Writing courses is that it’s all about the audience. Communication often goes wrong because the communicator doesn’t think about who they’re talking to. They focus on their own needs and interests rather than those of the audience. As journalists – and all of our media trainers and business writing tutors are working journalists operating under strict nondisclosure agreements – we’re entirely focused on our readers, listeners and viewers. Whether it’s business, consumer or specialist sector, as professional communicators, we hone in on the interests of the people we’re talking to and aim to answer that essential question – what’s in it for me?
In your communication with colleagues, clients, suppliers, local communities, and regulators, we can help you focus on your audiences and connect more effectively.
2. Telling better stories
As we stress in our Media Training courses, giving examples, telling stories and providing case studies is essential to delivering a good media interview. We offer specialist Media Training courses for lawyers, for instance, and we know how challenging it can be for them to provide case studies. However, we have a range of techniques to allow the lawyers on our Media Training courses for law firms to do this effectively without compromising client confidentiality. The same is true for our Media Training courses for architects. We enable those working in architecture practices to tell great stories about their work without embarrassing themselves or their clients.
During our courses, we analyse what makes a good story – the ingredients of a compelling case study that illustrates a point, for example. Having done our Media Training courses or presentation courses, you can use these stories in your general business communication to sell effectively or engage your teams with the kind of natural, human storytelling that is the basis of all good communication. We also look at the personal story. By including this in your communication, you can introduce the kind of authenticity which engages and convinces audiences.
3. Decide beforehand what you want to talk about during the course.
One of the aspects of media interviews that we explore with our Journalism Training workshop participants is how to structure an effective media interview. We look at how reports are put together, how journalists pitch stories to their editors and what they want to hear from interviewees to help our course participants to get their message upfront, grab the attention of the person they’re speaking to and put across the most critical points in the most effective way.
Of course, there are situations in which you might want to provide some background and context to an issue, but very often, your audience will want to know the upshot of what you need to tell them and how it will affect them as recipients of the information.
4. You’ll be in a better position to answer difficult questions.
We’ve all sat in meetings or had conversations with colleagues, clients, suppliers, and others when a problematic issue has suddenly arisen or a question is put to us that throws us.
This is one of the major concerns of participants in our Media Training courses. So we spend some time helping them explore the issues they are being interviewed about and to look at ways in which they can handle difficult questions to regain control of the interview. The same techniques we teach can work in day-to-day communication in the office. This means that even if you don’t have an immediate answer to a question, you can manage the conversation to satisfy the concerns of the people you’re talking to and maintain control of the meeting or conversation.
5. Your style of delivery will improve.
Of course, what you say is important, but how you say it can be equally impactful. No normal human being likes to see themselves on camera. When we show our media training course participants their TV interviews or those on our presentation courses their presentations, they quite often cringe. However, as we point out – it’s only the person who’s being filmed who finds it embarrassing. Everyone else is only interested in what they have to say.
6. Be prepared to make mistakes.
Although our role-play press, radio/podcast and TV/YouTube interviews are realistic, and our media trainers will ask you exactly the same questions in precisely the same way as they would in their day job as journalists, this is an entirely safe space. As we explain to people in our courses, it’s an excellent opportunity to try out some messages, words, and phrases to see how they work. As experienced journalists working alongside in-house comms teams and PR agencies, we can give constructive feedback so that you’ll know what will work and what is better left unsaid when you come to do an interview in the real world.
As part of our courses, we teach our participants vocal skills and how to improve their body language to come across as warm, authoritative, engaging, and confident interviewees or presenters. These same skills work for meetings in the office.
We work with a wide variety of organisations who choose us because we’re a niche, agile Media Training, Presentation training and Business Writing consultancy that can meet their exact needs and budgets. It’s great to hear that at the end of our Media Training courses, people say that even if they don’t end up doing a media interview for the next few weeks or months, they’ll put some of the techniques that we’ve taught them into practice in the office the next day.