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Media: Giving A Successful Interview





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The opportunity to deliver a crucial safety message, invite people to join your group or to promote an event is on you can't afford to miss because of a bad hair day.   Here are some simple guidelines that will help you look good on TV, be the person quoted in the next day's newspaper and, most importantly, get your message across successfully.

  1. Have a single message.  The number one piece of advice is make one point strong.   Give this message with repetition. Phase it differently, additional detail, frame the answer differently, but keep focused on your message.
  2. Know your stuff.  Make sure you have the latest facts and figures.  Review your information prior to the interview.
  3. Don't be afraid to provide a list of suggested questions.  The trick is to know what is "news" and have a local angle.
  4. Speak clearly.  Drop the "ums," "ya know" and "wells."  Don't talk too fast or for too long.  Take a few seconds to think before you speak.  Take a few deep breaths to relax a few moments before the camera is on.
  5. Give anecdotes if possible.  Everybody likes a story -- they are excellent ways to make a point -- but don't ramble.
  6. Keep eye contact with the interviewer or fellow guests. Strong eye contact relays the message of confidence and knowledge.
  7. Watch your body language. Try not to yawn, look bored or show anger.  Nod slightly one in a while to demonstrate you are listening. Don't be afraid to use hand and arm motions, just don't point in the interviewer's face.  Stay relaxed and don't fuss and fidget.
  8. Practice, practice, practice.  Have family and friends through practice questions at you so you can learn to respond conherently, concisely and quickly.  Don't forget to practice tough questions.  For example: "We don't bicyclists obey the law?" and "Is bicycling really a serious option for people?"
  9. Project a good image. This is especially important for TV.  Keep clothes, hair, make-up and accessories should be simple and professional. Consider how you will look from the side.
  10. Plug your organization.  Be sure to refer to your group or agency by its full name, not an acronym.  Know the address and phone number of your organization by heart.
  11. Smile.



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The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of  four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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