Sitting in the bleachers at a recent high school basketball game and all the parents started to get to know each other with the typical questions including, “what do you do?” For me, this question and answer always requires a little explanation. That’s because along with owning and operating a video production company (which is easy to explain) I also provide consulting in the form of a media trainer and coach. Which of course, leads to the next question, “what is a media coach?”
The definition of a media trainer and coach has evolved over the years. In simple terms, my job is to train and coach people of many backgrounds to communicate more effectively. Of course, a big chunk of this involves the media and I work on prepping people as to what to expect, what to wear, what to say (and what not to say), and how to handle tough questions. I also train people how to deliver messages with more energy and animation, and how to use messaging tools like hooking, bridging, and flagging. In simple terms, I help people effectively message to the media, whether through television, radio, newspaper, or on-line.
But the applications of a media trainer and coach has certainly evolved. At least 1/3 of my consulting business now involves training executives on how to deliver more effective presentations, how to improve their public speaking, and how to communicate more effectively with their peers. The ability to tell a good story and tell it well is a huge skill for anyone in today’s ultra-competitive private and government sectors.
You may be surprised to learn that the tactics, whether for media or executive applications, really don’t vary much. We practice through mock sessions, which we also record on video. We playback and review the sessions, and offer feedback on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most importantly, we equip our participants with the skills and tools they need to improve.
So, in a nutshell, that’s what I do.