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Why Do You Need Media Training?

Media training exists to prepare you for interviews by members of the media. The goal of working with a media training coach is to understand how to excel at this process, and to feel confident and prepared before the mic is in your face (or being clipped to your lapel). If you are someone who could be interviewed by the media because of your expertise or occupation, you need to have media training. Media training is important for any company/corporate spokespeople, professional actors and actresses, musical artists, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, experts, and other public figures, as you could be called on for an interview for an upcoming event, launch, or opening, or even in a crisis management capacity (in the event something happens within your sphere that you need to explain, defend, or spin).

Comprehensive media training should consist of teaching you:

  1. on-camera interview technique

  2. how to develop a clear and compelling brand message

  3. how to create succinct talking points for your brand and expertise

  4. key sound bites for your brand, as well as how to speak in sound bites when being interviewed on a variety of topics

  5. how to prepare for each appearance so your message is compelling, on topic, and engaging

  6. how to set yourself up for success in your media appearances by learning proper etiquette, protocol, and procedure from arrival at the location, to being on-air, to say your good-byes and thank-yous when all is completed

We approach the process of being interviewed as a practice of being present in the moment. This allows you to read verbal and physical cues, know your own money zone for energy and intonation, and be comfortable playing with all the above when the ON AIR sign is flashing. It is a physical, kinesthetic practice. Being a great conversationalist, an extrovert, or an excellent public speaker does not automatically make you a good interviewee.

People often try to reduce on-camera training to being all about hand gestures, where to look, and how to sit. But really, it’s about executing content. If you know what you are going to say, your hands will know where to be during the interview. You never can anticipate how much notice you’ll have before you are called to be on camera, which means you always want to make sure you’re ready, and so is your content.

Media interviews are unlike any other conversation you will ever have. You must “get in the gym” and learn with your body and mind how to work this new muscle and build your muscle memory. So when the time comes for your next media appearance, your body and mind will work together and know what to do.

Remember, media appearances are about brand positioning and setting the stage for you to be the go-to person in your field on a national platform. Each one is very important and should be treated as such. You need to be clear about your overall objective with your appearance and make sure that each on-camera opportunity is working toward your overall goal.

Media training will not only serve you, your reputation, your career objectives, and your brand ... it will also make you appear credible and professional to media outlets. This will put you in a stronger position to secure appearances in the future, as members of the media vastly prefer to interview experts who are prepared, have proper on-camera technique, and have a clear brand message with succinct sound bites and talking points.

Media training is intended to prepare you for interviews with members of the media. The point of the training is to provide you with an understanding of the media interview process, refine your messaging, and polish your delivery.

This is an excerpt from her book. For more on the main areas of media training for a media appearance, check out the "The Ultimate On-Camera Guidebook" by Jacquie Jordan and Shannon O'Dowd.

Shannon O’Dowd is an on-camera host, commercial spokesperson, & media training/on-camera instructor. Shannon has been working on both sides of the camera for well over a decade. 

She eats, sleeps, and breathes on-camera training and coaching. Shannon literally wrote the book on how to prepare and embellish your on-camera performance. She even aids in finding talent managers, agents with focusing on building out your resume, headshots, and sizzle reel. Having on-camera training can get you ready for any appearance. 

She goes above and beyond for her clients and teaches up and coming professionals and established talent all over the Los Angeles area. Reach out! She want‘s to continue to build a thriving community of entertainers.


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