Repeating the Negative

One of the most dangerous traps to fall into during a media interview is also one the easiest to avoid: repeating the negative. Reporters often use negative terminology in their questions, hoping we’ll repeat that word in our response. The moment we do so – even if we disagree with the reporter’s contention – we’ve adopted the inflammatory word and the reporter can quote us as having said it.   Continue reading

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Hitting the High C’s

If you’ve ever attended a media or presentation skills training, you were probably told that all effective communicators follow the “Three C’s.”   Any clue what those stood for?  Your answer likely depends on how many different trainings you attended and/or who trained you.   I’ve worked alongside many media trainers and witnessed many others conduct a training, and I have never seen consensus on the Three C’s. Continue reading

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No Occasion for Evasion

One of the most common mistakes spokespeople make in interviews – especially when asked questions they can’t or don’t want to answer – is to ignore the question completely and then either deliver a message, ask for another question, or end the interview.  This is a potentially credibility-killing, embarrassment-causing maneuver. Continue reading

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The Art of Transitioning

If you’ve read some of my other posts, like Get Out of Queens and Go to an ATM, or you’ve attended one of my training sessions, you’re familiar with my ATM approach to handling tough questions.  Once you’ve Addressed or Acknowledged the question, the next step is to Transition to one of your key Messages.  Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “T.” Continue reading

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Get Out of Queens and Go to an ATM!

Those familiar with New York City bridges and tunnels know that the Queensboro Bridge connects the boroughs of Queens and Manhattan. Those familiar with my training methodology know that this bridge is a crucial component to handling tough questions, whether during a media interview or after a presentation. Here’s how it works: Continue reading

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Media Twain-ing

When I’m asked to boil successful, persuasive communications down to a sentence, I often turn to the quote master Mark Twain, who famously said, “It usually takes me 3 weeks to prepare a good, impromptu speech.”  The man nailed it.  The success of a powerful interview or presentation always rests on a combination of preparedness and naturalness, never just one or the other. Continue reading

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