Don't Bury The Lead

1361963006DontBuryTheLead By Susan Tomai 

I never cease to be amazed by how often a spokesperson misses an important opportunity at the beginning of a TV interview. It often goes like this:

JOURNALIST: "We're joined on the program tonight by Jane W, spokesperson for the XYZ Corporation."

SPOKESPERSON: "Thank you for having me."

Not good enough. The well-prepared spokesperson graciously but firmly takes control of the interview from the get-go. Like this:

JOURNALIST: "We're joined on the program tonight by Jane W, spokesperson for the XYZ Corporation."

SPOKESPERSON: "Thank you for having me. You know Jim, it's important for the audience to know about XYZ's service to the community. At XYZ, we strive to..."

And so on. The spokesperson doesn't wait for the first question - she hits the ground running with a pre-determined opening message that successfully sets the stage for the rest of the interview, and she holds on to the ball rather than handing it over to the interviewer.

Remember that in a live interview, you don't have much time to make your points, and you want to make them as frequently as credibly possible. That's why it's important to start doing so right from the beginning.