8 tips for an outstanding media interview

Follow this advice so a reporter or editor doesn’t delete your statements before a story is published.

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But what if your quotes end up on the (metaphorical) cutting room floor? Here’s how to stay in the picture.

1. Be first. Or at least, not last. Journalists and bloggers work in a dynamic environment, so being included in a story can come down to returning a reporter’s call promptly. Being early sometimes beats being brilliant.

2. Speak slowly. Sometimes a reporter will cut you from a story because he or she simply couldn’t write or type fast enough to keep up with you. If the reporter isn’t recording the interview, talk slowly enough so he or she can jot down what you’re saying, digest the statement, and then ask another question. Just avoid speaking too slowly—you don’t want the interviewer to think you’ve been drinking.

3. Be clear. Don’t speak in buzzwords or acronyms, and don’t use technical jargon unless you explain it succinctly. If you’re being recorded for radio or TV, speak in brief sound bites and “headline” your responses by leading with the important information first, then adding details or supporting points.

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