Sounding Natural Is No Small Feat
- On November 15, 2017
To market my writing workshops, I’ve produced a video. I was taped giving a one-hour lunch-and-learn session—new in my lineup of offerings—and then interviewed by my producer. How did you get started? she asked. What can companies expect when they hire you? And why should they choose you? Be yourself, she counseled when we talked about how the interview would go. Think of it as a conversation.
Obviously, this was not an invitation to wing it and hope for the best—quite the opposite.
I’ve written countless messages for spokespeople and watched many clients be media-trained for on-camera interviews, so I know the ropes. But being in the hot seat myself, pitching my wares, was a new experience, and it wasn’t exactly what I’d call comfortable.
Here’s some of what I learned by being interviewed on camera:
Project energy. People ultimately hire people they want to work with, so you want to show some personality, radiate warmth, and throw in a bit of humor. (And when you see and hear yourself, get over the shock as quickly as possible and move on.)
Prepare. You don’t have to script yourself word for word, but you need to know the main points you want to get across and how you’re going to get to them—quickly.
Keep it simple; keep it tight. Don’t include more than a couple of points in a single answer (one is best). If you try to cram in too much, you’ll meander, get tangled up, and your message will be lost. And, as my producer advised repeatedly, in the case of a marketing video, you don’t have to include every last point. Save some things for when you talk to your prospects one-on-one.
Video in hand, I needed a place for it on my website, which led to an overhaul. The new site has a tighter focus, which, this whole process taught me, is essential. Check out the writing challenges I hear most often and what you can expect if you attend one of my workshops.