Media Training for Authors: Preparing and Avoiding Pitfalls

How Media Training Helps Authors Before Interviews

Media training means everything for authors when they need to go in front of a microphone like this one. Knowing how to handle yourself well in an interview is crucial for authors because successful book publicity campaigns are built, but you must earn beneficial media relationships. Therefore, media training takes on outsized value for many first-time (and experienced) authors.

When selected for an interview, an author must prepare well. So, whether across the table from a news reporter, under the glare of TV lights, or behind your desk with a phone in hand, be ready. Media interviews often yield the most significant opportunity for an author, expert, or business leader to promote a book — and yet they pose many challenges if not handled successfully.

Media Trainers’ Interview Preparation Shortcuts

Media trainers help authors deliver messages with poise and focus — turning the interview into an opportunity to present book marketing messages to thousands of readers, viewers, and listeners with remarkable and even profitable results.

Take the Lead

●      Start the relationship

●      State your thesis

●      Stick to the subject

Be a Teacher

●      Speak in headlines

●      Use simple language

●      Pause, leave space for questions

●      Explain acronyms

●      Use examples and stories

●      Use metaphors and visuals

Beware of Pitfalls

●      Silence is not your enemy

●      Don’t recognize absent third parties (references or rumors)

●      Don’t repeat negatives

●      You are never off-the-record

●      Watch for the paraphraser

●      Refrain from off-the-cuff remarks

Have Your 20/2/20/2 Message Prepared

Be able to tell your message in 20 seconds, 2 minutes, 20 minutes, and 2 hours.

Body Language and Tone of Voice in Author Media Training

Media training teaches you that how you say something is as important as what you say. People receive messages better from an enthusiastic tone of voice, relaxed body language, and the confidence you exude. Keep in mind that you may have perfected a great message; you might know your medium and your audience, but if you can’t pull off the act of communication, nothing else will matter. 

Research has shown that 55-percent of a message’s credibility comes from non-verbal sources. Tone and attitude account for 38-percent of believability. But only 7-percent of a message’s believability comes from verbal messages—the words you’re saying. So, don’t worry, be happy.

Handling Interviews Well Means Getting Across Key Messages

Getting across key messages is the most crucial success factor in interviews, and media training teaches you how to do it. The most common mistake is to become fixated on the questions and lose sight of your agenda points. It makes you a passive respondent. Trainers remind you not to feel obliged to answer every question specifically. Compelling interviewees listen for the more significant issue behind a question and address it as they choose. Author media training experts refer to it as the blocking and bridging technique.

Using it to stay on track with your message points and control the interview will help you find success. Typically in a non-argumentative, friendly interview environment, appropriately positioned answers will lead the questioner in the direction you’d like to go.

Don’t skip media training if you’re an author getting ready to launch your book marketing and publicity campaign. If your publicist or publisher encourages you to do it, find a media trainer you connect with and give them your complete attention. Handling the media well and succeeding in interviews will be a win-win for you in the long run. 

by Kristi Hughes