Posted: 14 Jun 2017 12:51 PM PDT
As a writer, you must overcome many obstacles. You write a book that’s worth publishing. You find a literary agent, book publisher, or self-publishing platform. You market and promote the book. Then, opportunity knocks, and the news media wants to interview you. Finally, your moment has arrived. But with it also comes pangs of fear, feelings of insecurity and even a touch of panic.
Hold on. There’s every reason to feel nervous, that’s natural, and the adrenaline rush can even help you. But there’s no reason to have an allergic reaction to the media. It all comes down to you talking about yourself and your book – two subjects you know better than anyone. You should not fret. Have fun with it.
The reasons people freak out may consist of the following:
1. What if people reject me or my book?
2. What if I don’t say the right thing, or worse, say the wrong thing?
3. I’m insecure about my looks or my voice – can I hide?
4. I fear what they’ll ask me or that I’ll be surprised.
5. I desperately want to make a great impression but don’t know how.
6. I don’t know how to speak in sound bytes.
7. I’ve never done this before, so I have no clue what to expect.
8. What if the media wants to make me look stupid?
9. What exactly should I say that will lure interest in me?
10. I’m not a big public speaker. I would rather write than talk.
It’s quite normal to think of any and all of these things. But I can assure you these can all be addressed.
The first step is to reverse your thinking. Instead of thinking of the negatives, think of the positives. Finally, you get to have your message heard, your views voiced, and your book discovered. Simply choose to see this as a wonderful opportunity with no drawbacks or risks.
Second, to alleviate your concerns or fears, go through media training. Have a professional help you.
Third, write up 12-15 suggested interview questions and share them with media outlets. They are likely to use it as a script for the interview, which helps you anticipate what will be asked.
Fourth, start to think of the key points that you want to stress in every interview and offer a call-to-action, such as going to your website. Have something free and interesting available as a download on your site.
Fifth, break the interview down into what it is – a one on-one conversation. Never mind how many people may watch, listen or read your story -- just think of you talking to one person, one question at a time.
Sixth, boost your confidence by remembering why you started to write books – to help inspire, entertain or elevate others. Feel good about what you’re doing and believe it will go well.
Seventh, imagine for the moment that you fall on your ass in the interview. You stutter. You forget an answer. Your makeup runs. Your shirt has a coffee stain. Your voice cracks. So what!? What ends up happening? Nothing. Maybe you didn’t make the best impression or sell a lot of books but you won’t lose friends or go to jail or be fined. A bad interview is nothing and goes into the rear view mirror when you replace it with good interviews. Imagine the worse, realize nothing bad results from it, and move on. Face your fear and walk away unscathed.
Some things can be addressed or even avoided. For instance, don’t pursue media that may actually try to turn this into a circus, such as morning zoo radio or late night comedy talk shows. If your topic is controversial – race, religion, politics, sex – ready yourself to hear opposing viewpoints but never lose your cool or treat people disrespectfully. And if you’re worried about your appearance, fix it up (new clothes) or accept yourself for who you are. Don’t keep beating yourself up.
Lastly, remember there are endless reels of bloopers of famous, well-trained personalities who messed up royally in their interviews. The bar is quite high to compete with their screw-ups. Believe in yourself and others will too, and if the worst happens, move on to the next interview.
Smile, deep breath…talk.
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