US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

Media Training Home

Who Needs Media Training

The Training

  • Working with the Media
  • 6 Media Principles
  • 10 Tips to Remember
  • Correcting Errors
  • Media Query Policy
  • Handling a Call
  • Questions You Ask
  • Interview Ground Rules
  • Using Quotes and Bites
  • Avoiding a Disaster
  • Handling Tough Questions
  • Verbal Communication
  • It's Your Attitude
  • Body Language
  • Dress and Appearance
  • Media Opportunities
  • Put the Castle Forward
  • Parting Tips

Questions?

It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

When interviewing think about communicating your point to one person in the listening audience. Imagine that you are in that person’s living room. Try to sound informal, with an intimate one-on-one quality. Talk to the reporter, but don't. You are talking to the public you can't see.

Don’t think of an impersonal “mass” audience. Communicate energy, warmth, and friendliness in verbal elements. Be personable, polite but assertive in tone. Keep sentences brief.

Avoid “uh,” “ok,” "umm," "you know" and other repetitive verbal barriers. It is better to have silence between words.

Some Tips…

Control your Speaking Pace. Speaking too quickly will frustrate the audience and convey the impression that you are rushed or uncertain. Vary the pace to keep it interesting.

Vary the Inflection. By emphasizing key words in each sentence, you will vary the up tones and down tones of your delivery. This avoids tedious, monotonous answers.

Pause Occasionally. Pausing before or after key words emphasizes their importance and communicates thoughtfulness.

Keep it Simple and Straightforward. Clear, everyday language is essential to understanding. Avoid jargon, acronyms, “bureaucratese,” $10 words, or a highly technical vocabulary. Don’t bore the audience with run-on or elaborate sentences.

Communicate Energy. Ultimately, it is the energy you project about the subject which the viewers or listeners remember. Don’t let your voice volume peter out at the end of sentences.

Articulate Clearly. Pronounce each word clearly. Don’t slur words. Resist the urge to half-shout into the microphone. Ask if you are being heard.

Don't Interrupt. Don't overlap the interviewer's question. Begin your answer when the reporter is finished asking the question.