Knock, Knock ... Who's There? Communications Expert Ricky Nowak Tells What to Do When the Media Comes Huffing and Puffing at Your Front Door. (Communication)

Article excerpt

Although it might not be the big bad wolf, a knock at the door by an uninvited media person can still induce cold sweat, nausea and a dry mouth. Another common symptom is the reluctant interviewee simply panics and says the wrong things.

The problems stem from either a lack of the skills needed to present your side of the story, or else lack of preparation on how to deliver the content. As with riding a bike, all of these skills can be learned.

To avoid being dazzled by lights, cameras and microphones consider the following simple presentation and communication techniques which can turn a possibly traumatic occasion into a positive PR exercise. And let's face it, which bank couldn't do without a bit more of that?

Remember the old saying that you have only one chance to make a first impression? It definitely applies when dealing with the media, where viewer or reader perceptions play a powerful part.

An audience's perception of a situation or person will be largely influenced by physical appearance, body language, tonality and choice of words. At a subconscious level, we can label someone as guilty or innocent on the basis of what we've just seen and heard in only a matter of seconds.

While you may take smart risks with the running of your business, why run the risk of damaging your reputation or your business by not considering these factors?

Up to 55 per cent of a presentation or interview is communicated through our body language or physiology. Every movement such as a shrug or nervous tic will influence the audience.

Try turning the volume of your TV down and watch how much we rely on the person's body and eyes to convince us about the worth or veracity of their message.

Words are not always needed. In fact, as words comprise only 7 per cent of what is remembered by our audiences we should remember to stop talking long before others have stopped listening. A shorter presentation is often more valuable and memorable. …