The old adage, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” may have more resonance than you ever thought. We recently attended a professional development seminar on media training and according to Keenan PR, only fifteen percent of what people hear in a telephone interview is based on what is said, with a full eighty-five percent based on how a spokesperson sounds.
While this may seem a superficial response, based on the physical attributes of one’s voice – those with a deep tenor unfairly advantaged – it actually points to a larger theme. Those who are confident and prepared for anything, sound better. So, even if you are not blessed with the vocal qualities of a Bob Edwards or Cokie Roberts, fear not. You will automatically sound better by knowing that you’re the go-to person on your subject matter. How do you get to be that confident?
In addition to providing a spokesperson with talking points, it’s important for him or her to have some experience with the format of a radio interview – the back and forth interplay, and how to get an interviewer back on track should they stray into an area that your spokesperson may not want to address. To help prepare a spokesperson for radio interviews, we often suggest that our clients conduct at least one “mock interview” with both softball and more contentious interview questions included to fully prepare a spokesperson.