1. Don’t wait for the question that prompts the answer you want to give.
Instead, incorporate signposting—for instance, “What’s really important is…” or “The main point to bear in mind is…”—to move on to the areas you want to talk about.
2. Don’t assume too much knowledge on the part of the audience.
Keep it simple. Your audience only has one chance to understand you.
3. Don’t rely on cold, corporate-sounding messaging.
Personalize the interview and look for the human angle.
4. Don’t begin with background information.
Get to the heart of the issue first—start with the headline, then go on to the relevant details.
5. Don’t go into unnecessary detail.
When you have said what you need to say, stop.
6. Don’t promote your organization too obviously or turn the interview into a sales pitch.
Keep your answers relevant and authentic.
7. Don’t let your eye line wander from the interviewer—you will look nervous and unsettled.
Look directly at the interviewer to show that you are confident about what you are saying.
8. Don’t ignore questions or say “no comment.”
The audience will wonder what you have to hide. If you can’t give an answer, explain why.
9. Don’t try to bluff your way out when you make a mistake.
Correct yourself as soon as possible.
10. Don’t recycle negative language used by the interviewer in a question.
11. Don’t let inaccuracies go unchallenged—the audience will assume that you have accepted them.
Use strong, assertive language to put them down and leave the audience in no doubt.
12. Don’t let the interviewer take you into areas you don’t want to visit.
Decide on the point beyond which you do not wish to go and take control when necessary.
13. Don’t attempt to dodge difficult questions.
When your organization has a problem, acknowledge it and explain what you are doing to deal with it.
14. Don’t lose your temper.
Find the balance between being calm and composed and showing energy and passion.
Dan Harvey is marketing and client relations director at HarveyLeach Media Training.