I knew he was apprehensive the moment I put the microphone on him for his TV media interview. This Media training session was going to be a challenge.
I wanted to help him, but I was transitioning from coach into “reporter” at that moment, and the media training required a realistic on-camera experience for my trainee, even if that meant he was going to feel uncomfortable in front of the piercing lens of the TV camera.
But this man, a smart, articulate, passionate delegate recently hired by a big retail institution, was beginning to show signs of panic.
“I started shaking uncontrollably, I felt lightheaded, and my throat was incredibly dry. A few seconds later, my mind went completely blank and I couldn’t get my words out in a coherent manner”.
When my trainee stopped the TV interview and returned to his seat at the conference table with his colleagues, I knew his confidence was shot and he would refuse the next round of media interviews.
But this time I was wrong. What happened next actually inspired me as a media trainer and ex-reporter who thought he’d seen it all.
He returned for another shot. We began the interview, I feared his newfound confidence might be short-lived. But it wasn’t. He was brilliant; reeling off great responses delivering his messages in a confident positive manner – a complete contrast to his previous media interview
“I thought to myself what went wrong? Why was I so frightened?”
We discussed his fears before the next interview (i really didn’t think he would take part). He thought he would say something wrong, fearful of dobbing his colleagues in it and revealing company secrets. We found a way of parking those thoughts and delivering only the things he wanted to get across – everything else was off-limits or not relevant for the interview. He was treating it as a question and answer session when in reality he needed to get across vital information. With this new frame of mind, he decided he would do the next media interview.
Camera shyness – more accurately, camera or even microphone phobia – is one of people’s main concerns. Before the lights go on and the camera starts rolling people are generally articulate and fluid in their speech. Once its show-time people lose their thread and often stumble over their words.
One of the critical benefits of media training is ensuring you experience being under the media spotlight and in front of a TV camera in a safe and supportive environment – this will ensure you can manage/master that discomfort when media interviews are real. You won’t go into media training hating cameras and emerge loving them. But if you’re like my delegate, you can put it all in perspective.
He tells me there is a framed quote from Ambrose Redmoon hanging in his home office which reads, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
Sukhi Hayer runs Media Training workshop sessions for a range of businesses in a broad spectrum of industries. For more information or a free consultation please visit hayermedia.co.uk or email [email protected]