Learning Balance From Media Training

Any lover of the kind of entertainment provided by the peerless Paxo, will have an interest in what media trainers get paid for.

Many years ago I worked for a body that sent a few of my colleagues off for a day’s training given as extra-curricular cash grabs by BBC newsreaders.  It seemed the main thing their day composed of was getting used to cameras and microphones.

I then dated a telly weathergirl for a while, who afterwards appeared on tv herself in a corporate PR capacity.  Her message was that you should stay focused on what you need to get across, and not be distracted by the interviewer.

And from listening to Radio 4’s Media Show via iplayer the other night, it seems her advice remains true to this day.

A media trainer himself was chatting about how you “can’t make black white – you mustn’t lie” and that such training was “not about not answering the question”.  Then he made a comment that struck me as being incredibly relevant to buyer-seller discussions.  His thesis was that there must be a balance between what the interviewer wants to say and what you want to get across.

The key to help with this, is to know what to expect.  If you’ve no sense of what the content is about or why the meeting is happening, then you’re doomed.  Once you’re aware of this, then you must work out how to be clear about what you say.

I remember shuddering at all the hours of car journeys I’d suffer en route to meetings with my bosses way back in the day, where they’d be happy prattling on about all sorts of rubbish, when all I wanted to do was get straight what we we’re going to do in the meeting upon arrival.  There’s nothing more frustrating to a rep than rolling into a carpark with your boss, and they finally pause for breath and mutter, “what’s this all about then?”

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