What is media training? Is media training for you?
What is media training?
Want to sound witty and charming the next time you face a journalist, blogger, or panel? Interviews and panels are great ways to get your message out. To shine during these question and answer situations, preparation and practice are vital. Media training provides exactly that.
What is media training?
Media training is training to handle questions from the media, the public, and important internal audiences. Today, the media is everywhere — TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, video bloggers, and social media. Even internal speeches may be recorded on a phone and broadcast through an employee’s social media. Media training helps you send your key messages and avoid missteps.
Good media training includes tools to build your messages, gain confidence, and enhance your charisma. Courses may cover how to control your nerves, where to look, and what to say. Trainers help you build your responses to even tough questions. Then, you will practice and receive personal tips. Private, Corporate group media training and public group media training (for individuals wishing to train with a group) are available.
Who needs media training?
Media training is for those who represent the company. This includes company and non-profit leaders, public speakers, and panellist. Media training attendees include –
- Company or non-profit leaders, who tell the company story or address problems
- Plant managers, who may face a safety incident, lawsuit, or labour union issues
- Spokesperson or product managers, who promote new products
- Technical experts, who answer questions after a presentation
- Panellists, and
- Politicians (of course)
- Communication professions, who help the above
Media training is often part of leadership development.
Receptionist and others who answer external calls will also benefit from media guidance. In most situations, they don’t need full training.
How do I choose a media trainer?
Before becoming a trainer, I had corporate roles as a company spokeswoman. My company hired a large advertising firm to provide me with training. One trainer fired hostile questions at me while a second trainer filmed the event. There was no strategy, tips, or training. This is NOT good media training!
To avoid this, look for an expert with the tools and experience. Media trainers are often public speaking trainers or public relations consultants, each with slightly different expertise. Look for someone with a communication degree and whose background and experience are aligned with your business needs.
Expect the trainer to ask about your experience, the Q&A or media situation, and your business goals. Your trainer will recommend a structure to fit your needs. Because your performance requires practice and individual feedback, private training or small groups are suggested.
With good media training and a little practice, you will be able to face those scary interview situations with confidence and charm.
Kimberly VanLandingham is the CEO of European Market Link Sàrl, the owner of Presentation Training Switzerland.com. She has a 20 years of corporate experience, including TV and radio as a product spokesperson and business leader. In 2011, she left DuPont de Nemours to offer training in public speaking, media, and cross-cultural communication to international business leaders and techies. She has a Masters in cross-cultural communication and a BS in engineering.