I recently worked “one on one” with a high profile media training client who I would describe as highly educated, well-spoken and with an impressive resume. I took him through my normal paces- some classroom content followed by mock interview training. His pacing and energy both good. His body language and animation also very good. It was clear his work experiences had taught him a lot about how to effectively present, whether to a live audience or to the media. But something was missing.
We had various messages, strategies as to how to answer tough questions, and we provided tips on how to bridge and pivot. But our missing element was more personal. We lacked a personal connection to this individual and at the heart of it was “a story”. While he could skillfully articulate his resume and skill sets he did not have any personal anecdotes to share. At the heart of any good interview is the use of an effective anecdote. Used correctly, anecdotes draw attention and “wake up” an audience often overwhelmed by statistics and repeated and rehearsed messages. But more importantly, effective anecdotes draw an emotional connection between people and humanize an interviewee who can often come across as robotic.
Maybe it’s a childhood story which helped shape your career. Maybe it’s a story of a random act of kindness you witnessed at the grocery store. Maybe it’s a life lesson learned from one of your kids. Sharing any stories like these may be your missing link. But remember, effective anecdotes need to be practiced and condensed. Do it right and you are on your way to nailing your next media interview or presentation.
For media and presentation workshop information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org