Media training: a lesson from the front-line
I’m Monika Bogdanowicz, the newest member of the Insignia Communications team. I began my role of account executive as an intern and because of that background, I was asked to take part in Solent and Aston University’s film project aiming to encourage youngsters to enrol onto higher education courses, to seek internship opportunities and to understand the benefits of working for entrepreneurial businesses. I agreed immediately – it was too exciting an idea to miss out on.
The task sounded fairly easy; I had to talk about the job that I love and the great experiences that I had benefited from to date. Unlike in broadcast TV or radio interviews, where you have to think on your feet and the journalist may aim to catch you off guard, I had been sent a list of questions that would be asked on the day.
Nevertheless, I prepared thoroughly as planning is key in any type of an interview. Jonathan Hemus, Insignia’s director, offered to provide me with coaching and insights into the world of media. And let’s be frank, turning down help from a man who regularly runs media training workshops and has been on Sky News, BBC Newsnight or Al Jazeera would be akin to shooting yourself in the foot!
The filming went well – largely thanks to the great crew from Aston University. If I had a chance to do it again, these are the tips I’d give myself:
- Be passionate: we’re usually interviewed about topics that are important to us – our work, our areas of expertise or a topic about which we have a point of view. Rather than anxiously scramble for ideas on what to say, prepare well, visualise all the elements we’re passionate about and let it flow.
- Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good: we all want to perform flawlessly on camera, look professional, speak with flair and wit, and wow the audience. But if we want it too much, it can become an obstacle to success. Remember, being harsh on yourself can only make things worse. It’s hardly the approach that a professional coach would take is it?
- Be positive: it may sound like a cliché of mammoth proportions but our attitude and mental approach matter a lot. Never be pessimistic or assume a negative outcome. Think success – be a success: it’s the key lesson that I’ll be taking into my next media encounter.
- Monika Bogdanowicz, Insignia Communications
- Follow Monika on Twitter @Monika_Bog