A key factor, and always the payoff, in Media Training is when we conduct the mock interview. Putting all that knowledge about who the media is, what they want from you, how they go about getting it and how to avoid the traps is just the appetizer. That main course is getting in front of the camera, knowing what to do verbally and in body language.
Being in control at all times.
But even if you will never be the subject of a media interview of any kind, that interview part of the training is paramount for those who could find themselves under pressure dealing “1 on 1” with someone seeking to gain an advantage. Public speaking roles. Even for a manager taking questions from the staff.
It’s all about keeping your cool under pressure. “Never let ’em see you sweat” as the tag line from a 1960’s commercial stated. Because the moment you buckle, it can cost you your brand. Your status.
And if there does happen to be a camera rolling somewhere, and these days one has to treat any appearance or any situation as if someone has that cell camera recording, it means your moment of infamy will be instantly uploaded for the world to view. Often it means millions of clicks as people mock you for the rest of recorded time.
Which brings us to Jurgen Klopp, manager for Liverpool F.C. in the English Premier League. One of the highest levels of play in soccer, and certainly loaded with some of the highest expectations from a rabid fan base and a media corps that has been known to grill people like a well done steak.
In this case, Klopp’s team didn’t even lose. They were forced to settle for a draw due in part to a controversial penalty.
Klopp didn’t just torch this interview. He bathed it in anything and everything verbally and body language combustible for a video that will be played and replayed for the enjoyment of haters, angry fans and anyone looking for a good laugh.
Of course, it was avoidable. All Klopp had to do was keep his cool and not take the reporter bait.
“Media Strategy 101”: Be prepared. Don’t wait to get bagged by an interviewer or make a major mistake when in front of your peers at the corporate meeting. Get the media training. Treat every instance as if there’s a camera rolling.
Be in charge of the situation every single time.