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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Authors, Don’t Make A Fool Of Yourself With The Media




How should one prepare for a media interview when promoting a book?

Look at the interview as an opportunity to brand yourself, sell books, share a positive massage, and empower others.  Be ready to have fun and to enjoy the moment.

But before you get a chance to shine, prepare.  The more you know about the particular media outlet and the reporter interviewing you, the more likely you can piece together soundbites that meet their tastes and needs.  But regardless of who interviews you, your goals are the same.

Most media, depending on your topic, are not looking to make you look bad or argue with you. They want things to go off smoothly and to work with you to put on a good show that pleases their faithful followers.  In fact, suggested interview questions are often provided by authors and publicists to the media.  They don’t have to stick to a script, but the media often relies on these cheat sheets to execute their interviews.

So what strategies should you employ to give a dynamic interview?

1.      Utilize vocal variety.  Inflection plus expression equals audience interest.  Change your intensity level by altering your volume, tempo, and pitch.  Pause at times.  Place an emphasis on certain words and seek to intrigue others with your speaking style.

2.      Come off in a genuine way.  Speak slowly but loudly to sound authoritative. Go fast and loud to be animated.  Fast and soft sounds anticipatory, but slow and soft gives a feeling of authenticity.

3.      Create impactful messaging by:

·         Quoting stats.
·         Commenting on trends.
·         Providing an action step (go to your site).
·         Lending insight from personal experiences.
·         Humanizing the subject with real-life examples.

4.      Outline your core message and be prepared to sum it up in 25 seconds.  Have a few ways of saying the same thing and call upon them during the interview.

5.      Be physical, even if the reporter can’t see you.  Get up, move around, smile, get energized, sound excited.  Non-verbal cues make big impressions.  Watch your body language – don’t slap, tap your foot, or look flustered.  Be engaged and employ good eye contact.  Relax your shoulders and act with swagger and confidence.

6.      Dress the part.  Avoid white or pure black.  Avoid patterns – wear solids.  Try royal blue and pastels.  Skip the jangling jewelry and anything that beeps or vibrates.

7.      Be engaging – correct misinformation.  Ask for clarification on tough questions.  Bridge a reporter’s query to your key messages.  Make your main points early and often.  Do not be antagonistic even if the reporter sounds edgy.

8.      Be prepared to provide sources for your most provocative statements.  But don’t state something you are not sure about.

9.      Take time to explain or clarify your message.  You can’t always go deep into details, especially on TV or often radio, but provide enough background to give context to your ideas or assertions.

10.  Lastly, admit you don’t know something or that the question covers an area beyond your expertise.  But where possible, answer all questions as if no one was better suited than you to do so.

For additional media coaching advice, please consult this post:

Exclusive Author Media Training Video from T J Walker


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource

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