Most people when arriving for media training are humble. They are not naturally comfortable talking with the media. The media make them nervous. They do not even like seeing themselves on camera. The very presence of one in the same room makes them uneasy.
Then there are those who walk in arrogant. They are leaders in their industry. They’re wildly successful. They believe this leads to an ability of easily handling any punch the media might throw at them.
But those media training participants forget that their employees and managers often do not dare ask them tough questions or raise uncomfortable scenarios. That’s our job. And when we ask about problems with their company, services or products, those participants sometimes wobble like a fighter in the boxing ring. They sometimes provide rambling, complex answers full of lingo that few people outside their world would fully understand. And when we ask our tough questions with the swiftness of a powerful right hook, I wonder if they’re thinking who are these schmoes who dare challenge me? Don’t they know who I am?
Media training should represent a worst-case scenario of interacting with reporters. It’s invaluable practice. But you must walk in with a willingness to learn and listen and not because a marketing manager twisted your arm and re-arranged your schedule. Some reporters love an opportunity to take down an industry champion. Be humble and willing to take a few punches from a sparring partner, which will position you to stand tall during a prize fight.