In her latest blog, Charlotte Dimond takes a look at media training and the crucial part it has to play in preparing organisations for speaking to journalists.

The idea of being interviewed by the broadcast media fills most people with utter dread, yes you get the odd confident bod who doesn’t mind them, but generally speaking the idea of the interview gets most people feeling nervous – I know as I’ve held many a surgeon or CEO's hand through the experience.

What I love about media training is the difference it makes, the difference between that first, unsure interview of the day and the last, bursting with confidence interview before everyone goes home is huge.

The fact that people get to practice being interviewed and watch back their interview with their colleagues to see just how they’ve done is such a great learning experience and an added bonus is that it can really help teams to bond. No one is out to laugh down their colleagues or snort at their mistakes, it is about showing support and helping people to build on their skills.

The main message that is given out to participants is the only thing that you can control in an interview is what comes out of your mouth.

The last session we worked on with our friends at Television Radio Techniques (TRT) saw seven people taking part in the training and in their first interviews they saw just how easy it is to be led down a path you didn’t intend on being down, simply because they said too much and hadn’t thought about the messages they wanted to get across.

Yes some people cringed watching the recordings back the first time but after we’d shared the tips, how to stand, where to look, and run through the planning of key messages to prepare for the interview, most were raring to go for the second interview.

It’s fair to say that this kind of thing is not for everyone and for some people it is so far out of their comfort zone that they would never actually want to do it for real but for others the training can be the confidence boost that takes them from a good interviewee to a great interviewee.

I love watching the news and seeing people we’ve trained being interviewed and spotting the subtle tips come into play, if they’ve stayed true to themselves, been open and honest and talked passionately and knowledgeably about their subject, then I’m happy.