Connecting your business, and yourself, with the media is extremely important for exposure. In fact, anytime you are in front of a camera, how you communicate and present yourself is critical. So once you have a media interview lined up, or even a presentation or upcoming video, how do you successfully present yourself?
Jane Hanson gives insight as to why strong communication is key in your success as a small business owner. The Emmy award-winning TV host and coach talked to Ramon on how to go about it. How to show up, communicate and speak through your audios and videos.
An award-winning TV journalist and coach, Jane has for over 30 years been helping people communicate better so that their presence is enhanced.
Her coaching focuses on three core elements:
- What you say
- How you say it
- Your body language when you’re saying it
How important is it to be perfect?
Understandably, a lot of people will aim for perfection in their interviews and presentations. However, it’s alright to be perfectly imperfect. After the challenges we have all been through, it’s important to be kind to ourselves. This is the case even if the content you’re putting out is for business. We have to be as authentic and genuine as possible to attain good communication.
“Maybe something’s gone wrong, but instead of apologizing for it and getting all rattled and being all upset, what we need to do is say, can you believe that just happened? But I’ve got to carry on.”
It’s important to understand that a lot can happen in the course of your communication, be it audio or video. However, we need to learn how to maneuver through such situations with grace and acknowledgment.
Why is preparation important in communication?
According to Jane, one of the most important steps in giving a great presentation is preparing for it accordingly. This includes everything from thinking of:
- A great spot for filming
- The lighting
- What you’re going to say
- How you’re going to say it
- The setting you’ll say it in
- Who is your audience?
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
It’s particularly important to understand that audiences are different. Some may be more important than others and could steer you ahead in your career. This could be in terms of a promotion, perhaps landing a bigger project or even that much-needed investment.
When you’ve prepared accordingly, your confidence will be boosted too. This is because it means you’ll have thought carefully about what you’ll say.
Why being relatable is important
Today, it is highly possible to find yourself in a situation where you’ve never met the people you’re talking to. Take an example of an organization that’s hired employees within the past few months. With the coronavirus cases rising rapidly, they’ve probably never met. However, it is important to figure out what makes them tick.
“People will forget what you said or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”- Maya Angelou
While stating this famous quote, Jane emphasizes that being prepared enables you to be more relatable to whoever you’re speaking to. The more you can relate to them, the better it will be.
Having great communication skills is about:
- Being relatable
- Being connected
- Having empathy and a certain level of understanding towards your audience
Media Training vs. Solo Training
As much as you can learn and improve your communication skills by yourself, it isn’t enough. It’s important to invest in media training.
Getting media training allows you to:
- Be more understandable and simple in your communication
- Learn how to make the most of every opportunity
- Make yourself the best you can be
Professional media coaches like Jane will help you get rid of any bad vibes and insecurities you may have. They help you learn how to say what you want to say properly. Through this kind of training, you will always find a way of getting back to what your main message is. This is in case of any diversions through questions.
So, how do you promote yourself in media interviews?
As a small business owner or a thought leader, you’re always hoping to promote your business. However, in an interview sometimes the only questions you get are those regarding your expertise. How then do you get your message across?
It’s all in bridging, a part of communication that comes as a result of practice. In such situations, Jane’s advice is that you use the ATM principle acknowledge the question then transition your message.
ATM = ACKNOWLEDGE the question. TRANSITION back to your MESSAGE
For example, how would a business dealing with snow removal get to promote itself when an interviewer is only asking for your expert knowledge? Let’s use a snow removal company as an example, and the founder is asked about the snow conditions during an interview. According to Jane’s professional advice, the founder’s can be along these lines:
“Snow removal is crucial in this time of year but if you’re looking for the best snow remover possible, we have it. This is because we have this system that no one else has and you can find out more on our website…”
In an interview, always remember to start with what you would like people to take away, before the back-up story. Avoid having too many points for people to take away because they will just forget these.
Instead, Jane suggests having about three main points and saying them a few times but in different ways. Through doing this, people will find it easier to remember as they’ll pick the way that best relates to them.
As can be seen, the importance of good communication cannot be undermined. It is what you need to make yourself better. You need it to take your small business to the next level.
Other than that, Jane advises that during such difficult times, we should remember to believe in ourselves when communicating. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others.
For Ramon’s full interview with Jane Hanson, you can watch or listen below.
Sophie Atieno has been working in marketing and communications for four years. She has experience working in the advertising and health industries mostly performing digital marketing roles for the organizations she has worked for. She is also a freelance copy and content writer and has been blogging for over four years. In her free time, she enjoys filming and video editing. Her most recent position was as the digital manager at a social and digital marketing agency in Nairobi, Kenya.