question, interview

Media training: is there an obvious question?

If you’re going in front of the media you should know what you’re going to say. But have you thought about what the interviewer is going to ask? Elsewhere on this blog and in my media training sessions I highlight the need to get back on topic and take control of an interview. The journalist will be quite capable of pushing back if he or she needs to.

Ideally there need be no surprise about the questioning, though. It’s worth preparing by making a list of obvious subjects, not just the ones that will work for you. The ones that don’t are equally important, if not more so.

And it’s here that we introduce our old buddy Theresa May.  Here she is in an excruciating exchange with Ian Dale of LBC radio:


The trouble with this latest car crash is that it should have been an easily-predicted question.  The prime minister has made speeches about how no deal is better than a good deal, she was full of the “Brexit means Brexit” sound bite when she first got the job and her tone in her February speech in Lancaster House was strident. The text is here and towards the end she’s all but telling the EU off.

So she’s taken a strong position in the past. Holding her to account by asking “Would you vote for this again” is not a question that took a lot of imagination. It’s a justifiable and obvious line to pursue. It looks as though it caught her completely on the hop in spite of having all the resources of 10 Downing Street at her disposal.

Never mind which side of the debate you’re on. There are places to debate that (come to Facebook and I’ll shout at you anytime). As a piece of communication this was shoddy in the extreme. The prime minister really, seriously, ought to have been ready for something so basic – if you’re going into an interview to promote your business, have some answers ready for the obvious stuff.

Do you need help with your interview technique? I now offer a masterclass with a professional, tooled-up cameraman. Drop me a line to find out more.

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