Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

There are two easy ways to influence the editing when you are being interviewed by a journalist.

Make it clear what your key point is

Add a flag when you are about to make your key point. Flag? 'Here's the main point', 'There's one thing I want to emphasise...', 'The real issue is...' and 'Let's put this in perspective...' Reporters will know what you're doing - which is no problem because they might well agree and will at least record it for a later decision.

But we prefer a more subtle method...

Match the interviewer's intensity

If the interviewer says in an indignant tone: 'Come on, admit it! You've handled Mrs Smith's case disgracefully!', you raise your intensity to match his. (What's intensity? Think energy level, or keenness to explain - but not aggression.) 'Certainly not,' you might reply 'The law doesn't allow us to do it any other way'.

Never try to match aggression with aggression or sarcasm or a put down - or that's all your audience will remember about you.

Can I influence the editing after the interview?

For a soft feature story, yes.  For a hard news story, no. You're wasting your time. That's the reporter's job and you'll be rebuffed if you try to take it over.

Michael

About Michael Brown

michael semiformal 460x300

Michael is a senior trainer with Skillset, based in Christchurch.

He is a leading authority on training in presentation and news media skills in New Zealand. He has special expertise in how to present emotionally charged topics to challenging audiences. Michael has trained thousands of New Zealanders and worked with people who speak on behalf of some of the country's largest organisations.

Michael is a prolific author and his books on speaking and working with the media are in their fourth editions.

Speaking Easy: how to speak to your audiences with confidence and authority

Media Easy: how to handle the news media with confidence and authority

One of Michael's books is about his family's adventures sailing in the Pacific.

Interested in training in presentation skills?

We can help your presenters engage their audiences – whether they are speaking at major conferences, presenting to the community or colleagues, or speaking up at a meeting.

Learn more

Interested in training in media skills?

Our experienced media trainers can show your spokespeople how to work with the media so that everyone benefits.

Learn more