Meet Eve Chegaray, a media communication expert and a communication coach for entrepreneurs who founded Eve Chegaray Communications. Eve herself is also a columnist for BFM Academy, a 12-season competition for entrepreneurs hosted by BFM Business. Do you need to get ready for a pitch? Are you preparing for an interview with the media? Read her 10 tips (deducted from years of trial and error) that rock every time!
Spend time preparing yourself
Find your answer to the most important question: How do you want to present yourself through the interview? “I want myself to appear nice, clean and professional. So what I do is to write things down, to practice, both alone and with people, and even to film myself so that I can detect the mistakes. All these have a sole purpose of being as natural as I can on the D-day!”
Review your intentions: What message do you want to deliver?
What are the goals of the interview? What do you want your audience to know? You need to have a clear message and be aware of what you are expecting from this interview. This message must act as your main thread throughout the process.
Trust your message and take the lead
During an interview, an interviewee is supposed to be the reactive party. Nevertheless, reacting doesn’t mean putting up with it. You should hold on to your message in order to adapt and therefore being agile, furtive and active!
Repeat my message over and over again
Let’s think about ads: they are short and redundant but at least, the message they deliver stays imprinted in your mind. This is exactly what needs to be done. You can rephrase, add examples to illustrate your point, yet my message has to be clear, concise and sensible. And to get this result, it must be said and said again. If necessary, you can use an evasive reply like “Before getting to this point, I would like to tell a few words about…”
Build a logical layout for your speech
With a logical speech, you get clearer and, no matter what happens, you can always fall on your feet. You know what you are about to say, what your next points are and you become more reactive. For instance, the structure of your speech could be: need/market/opportunities/offers etc.
Even for long questions, stick to a maximum-40-second answer. And it should be a simple one with only subject, verb and complement. For the record, former French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, speaks with sentences of 40 seconds, which enables him to be easily quoted by the media.
Bear in mind that the interview is not an oral exam
Stay calm so that the interview remains a discussion between willing grown-ups.
Don’t open the discussion on new topics
Don’t talk about your competitors, stay focused on my message and I avoid digressions. If you accidentally felt into that trap, just smile, stay calm and peacefully come back to my point.
Stay relax (or at least look relax)
“No one knows I am sweating. By the way, I’m not. I am cool. There is nothing to be worried about. I sit up with my hands opened and my head held high.”
Pay attention to the journalist’s background, work and interests
It is important to improve your relationship with the journalist BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the interview. The goal is to build a close and durable relationship with them.