Tuesday Tip-Off: Don’t Climb that Ladder!

When I was TV reporter, nothing was worse than conducting interviews with people who didn’t get to the point. I’d be rolling tape for what seemed like forever, hoping I might eventually get a usable soundbite.

Too often, businesspeople make reporters climb a tall ladder, with their key point finally delivered once they get to the top. It happens in presentations, too. Unfortunately, the reporter or audience may fall off before they finish the climb.

Attention spans are growing shorter and shorter, thanks to X and TikTok. To be an effective communicator you need to get to the point fast.

In my media training and presentation skills workshops, I teach attendees to start with their conclusion, rather than build up to it. Let’s say you are launching a new app. The reporter says, “tell me about this new app.” The logical place to start would be at the bottom of the ladder, explaining how and why the app was developed, finally getting to it’s benefits at the top.

Wrong. Nobody really cares about that. Start with your conclusion, such as, “This new app is the first to…” Then, you can add some background – just don’t carried away with too many details. When conducting successful media interviews, less information is more effective. And you sure don’t want reporters falling off your ladder!

I’ve got lots of other tips and tricks to improve your organizations’ media interviews and presentations. Contact me to book a 2024 virtual or in-person coaching program.