Media Skills Training
First up on the media training menu was the ‘Elevator Speech’ the 30 -60 second opportunities we often get to attract some media attention. Picture the scene, you’re at an event and someone introduces you to a BBC (other media channels are available) news reporter who is interested in your business, project or product. Do you have your elevator speech / pitch ready to go or do you mumble and beat yourself up afterwards about the missed opportunity?
By preparing an ‘Elevator Speech’ you can be sure that after 30 seconds the listener will know exactly who you are, what you do, why you are unique and the actions you would like to secure. Initially it seemed impossible for us to condense often large projects into small chunks of information however once you’ve given it a go you wonder how you managed without it. A ‘Top Tip’ is to prepare an ‘Elevator Speech’ for each of your products or businesses, keeping it simple to deliver a professional and lasting message.
Tricky questions…. I love to listen to a good interview where the interviewer and the interviewee are engaged in a battle of wills and contradictory purposes. Despite this love, it doesn’t inspire me to voluntarily sit opposite Mr Paxman. Sheona gave us a great exercise to handle tricky questions which are often just a ploy to upset the interviewee or to make it more interesting for the listeners. We allowed our inner evil selves to pose some difficult questions to each other such as;
Do we really want loads of cyclists and tourists ruining the Eden Valley?
If blue green algae is toxic surely we need to keep this quiet from tourists?
The easiest way to deal with the above is to paraphrase ie ‘Yes we do want cyclists in the Eden Valley because they will benefit rather than ruin the area, benefits include….’ Or ‘Blue Green Algae is toxic and tourists can be part of the solution not the problem so its extremely important that we engage tourists rather than keep the issue quiet’. You can also simply ask for clarification as they will often tone the question down the second time around.
In the afternoon the group commandeered the Cumbria Tourism orange sofa and created our very own studio in the training room. We were each interviewed by Sheona and benefited from the group’s feedback specifically looking at body language, tone and pace of voice, timing and content. We all found the exercise very beneficial and discovered that whilst many were nervous on the inside outwardly they seemed relaxed and in control – a great realisation if you ordinarily presume you come across as a stumbling nervous wreck!
A big thanks to Sheona for turning us all into confident media savvy professionals who will now enthusiastically run toward (instead of firmly away from) future media opportunities!