Before you sit down to give an interview, take some time to gather your thoughts and work out the most important things you want to get across in the limited time you will have.
We have provided a message planning worksheet to help you prepare for a media interview, available for download as a PDF.
TIP: Test drive your explanations ahead of time on a volunteer or two, and use their feedback to refine and improve what you say.
“Why should we care?”
It’s important to adjust your frame of mind so you can consider things from your audience’s perspective. What relevance will your research have for the average listener, reader or viewer? Can you find a way to hook their interest and attention by drawing a connection to their daily lives or things they care about?
Focus your message
Write down no more than three main points or ideas you want to try to communicate. Sometimes, there will only be time for you to cover off one, so decide which will take priority.
Fill in the gaps
Work out exactly how much background information you will need to be able to convey to support your message and how you will do this succinctly. You’ll want to provide the right amount of context so that people with no prior knowledge of your topic area can easily follow along, but not so much that you get lost in the details.
Consider the context
Take some time to think about the angle the journalist is likely to pursue. Is this a hotly-debated issue right now? How will you come across in the context of what other groups are saying? Who else will be interviewed? What is the headline likely to be?
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