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Practice Makes Permanent

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Have you wondered how celebrities being interviewed on television can look so calm when millions of people are watching them? And have you ever wondered if you could do that?You can appear on national television and radio, and you can look calm and collected, just like the actors you see every day. But like actors, you can not just show up for performances. Actors learn their lines and rehearse them until they create a believable, entertaining performance. You can be successful too, if you approach your media events the same way.The key to any good performance is preparation. Just as actors do, media guests need to know what they are going to say during all their performances and so they practice their delivery of each word beforehand. Adequate preparation will make you more confident in your ability to perform and help you relax while you are on the air.

Take Two Classes and Call Me in the Morning

You have heard it said that practice makes perfect, however that is not necessarily true. Practice makes permanent, so you have to make sure you are rehearsing the right things. Before you appear on any media event, engage the services of a professional media trainer so the techniques you make permanent are the right ones.Hiring a media trainer to coach you in performing successfully may be the best single investment you can make to conduct an effective appearance. Therefore, search carefully and retain the services of a seasoned media trainer. It is best to employ one early to discover where you need the most assistance and where you must make corrections. Without the benefit of an experienced instructor, you can not be sure you are practicing the correct techniques.Professional media trainers can provide one-on-one or group sessions. Some will even serve as your publicist once your training is completed, helping you negotiate appearances on national television shows. A good media trainer will instruct you on conducting preshow preparation, applying makeup, wearing the right clothes, creating your presentation, using your voice well, gesturing convincingly, and answering questions in a poised manner. Ask your coach to videotape your session for a complete record of what was said.Practice on a regular basis and you will conduct professional and successful interviews. Your practice sessions can be as formal or informal as you want them to be. They run the gamut from talking into a cassette recorder to hiring a professional media trainer as a coach. One technique is to have someone who knows nothing about your subject ask you questions. This simulates most interviews, and it will help you practice responding to unexpected questions. The important point is to do something every day to improve your media skills.

Good, Better, Guest

Practice can be as easy and fun as listening to or watching talk shows. On television, watch how successful guests interact with the host and audience. Try watching the show on which you are scheduled to appear, with the sound off to focus your attention on the guests. How do they sit? What do they wear? What are the seating arrangements and backgrounds? What are the predominant camera angles? Incorporate what you see into your own performance.Turn the sound back on and listen to the host. How are the questions asked? How does he or she stimulate audience participation? What is the pace of the show? On radio, listen to the interaction between guests and host and between guests and callers. What makes one show better than others? How are stories woven into the author’s answers? Does the guest answer the host’s questions directly or follow his or her own agenda?

Where to Find a Media Coach

Consult the Yellow Pages to locate a local media trainer. Or you could reach a talk-show host or news anchorperson at a nearby station and contract for his or her services. Seek the local chapters of Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association, or take a Dale Carnegie course.

Learn what to do and then practice regularly. Then you will feel confident when you are on the air.

Brian Jud is a book-marketing consultant, author of seventeen titles (including the video “You’re On The Air” and its two companion guides “Perpetual Promotion” and “It’s Show Time”) and host of the weekly television show “The Book Authority.” Contact Jud at PO Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; 800/562-4357; fax 860/676-0759; or e-mail: BJud@tiac.net. His Web site address is http://www.marketingdirections.com.



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