“I don’t need media training because I’m never going to be interviewed.”
As a communications trainer with more than 25 years’ experience, I’ve heard this statement from business executives at least a hundred times. And with each passing year, the assertion becomes increasingly misguided.
The fact is, media training – or more correctly, communications training – has become an essential part of an executive’s core body of knowledge. That’s because in this age of hyper-information, at least 80 percent of an executive’s job is communication.
That’s right. If you hold the position of manager or above, roughly 80 percent of your daily job actually is communication – whether it’s with investors, boards of directors, customers, business partners, bosses, peers, or subordinates, let alone talking with journalists. The fact is, if you cannot communicate clearly and effectively, you cannot succeed in today’s business world.
Smart companies, government agencies, universities, law firms, and non-profit organizations recognize this fact. A growing number of them are mandating that before being promoted to a senior management position or partnership, candidates must participate in at least one communications training workshop.
Many PR firms, including kglobal, have broadened the media training curriculum substantially and now call the program Communications Training, where participants learn to use their words, voices and body language to deliver messages in better, more powerful and understandable ways. The sessions also teach perhaps the most important and underappreciated element of communications: how to develop concise, effective and impactful messages in any setting, from team meetings to presentations to – okay, yes – news interviews.
A key benefit of quality communications training is that it builds your confidence when speaking with anyone. You learn to address difficult and even hostile questions, convey your most important messages and ensure that the meaning of your words is understood. In short, you learn to take control of the kinds of situations professionals face every day.
Notice please that I referred to “quality” communications training. For that, your trainer must be an experienced communicator who ideally has worked as a journalist, as a professional spokesperson and as a communications strategist. I’m NOT talking about former broadcasters or former mid-level PR employees who pose as qualified instructors, who know only a narrow band of the communications process and who talk too much about how to dress for TV interviews.
I can guarantee everyone who reads this that if you invest the time in a quality communications training session, you will emerge a better, more relaxed communicator who is comfortable in nearly any interaction and whose messages are understood.
And if you are ever interviewed for a news story, you’ll be more than ready.
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