Being an Expert Doesn’t Make You Media Savvy

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Have you ever been to a conference or meeting where the expert speaking either made you yawn (more than once) or used words you would have to use a dictionary to look up?

Truth be told, many experts in their fields don’t really have what it takes to command an audience.  They know their field very well but, often times, they fail to communicate effectively.  According to Kathy Caprino of Ella Communications, “Experts simply fail to engage us on an emotional, heartfelt level – they don’t connect in a personal way, or give the sense that they truly care a whit about the audience and its ability to productively use the vast information they know and share. In the end, their lack of a human connection makes their presentations feel overwhelming and unsettling– they push us away with all data, facts and statistics, and no heart and soul.”

And if you can’t hold a “live” audience, chances are you would really bomb out during a radio or TV interview.

You might be the queen or king of the social media circles but the written word is dramatically different than the spoken word.

Here are some tips for conducting a good media interview:

1)  Speak with passion about your subject.  No hype–but let the audience know how much you truly enjoy what you do.

2) SMILE—even if you’re doing a radio interview, the listener can “hear” it in your voice.

3) Don’t use $10 words.  No one is going to be impressed with all the big words you know.  But if you do use them, make sure you can explain them in layman’s terms.

4) It’s okay to gesture—yes, even if you’re doing radio.  People who sit stiff as a board will appear more robotic than human.

5) Join a Toastmasters Group in your area.  You will find people at various skill levels all trying to accomplish the same goal of being a better speaker.

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3 thoughts on “Being an Expert Doesn’t Make You Media Savvy

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I say it all the time “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Think it’s a lame quote? Take a survey! (We’re definitely in a “shift”, … I get it. Thanks Beverly.

  2. Regina,
    I left off one, which speaks to your statement: Be human. It’s OK to show emotion. That shows your “passion” for who you are and what you do. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Bev, strange as it seems, the reason I loved watching NFL Monday Night Football in the 70’s is because I knew I was going to learn at least one new word from Howard Cosell every week. lol

    As to the other, I once shared time on a podcast with another guy. I finished in exactly 26 minutes, which was requested, but he wasn’t even halfway through his presentation after 30 minutes and they had to cut him off. Tried to share everything in the world instead of what he’d been asked to do; smart guy left looking bad.

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