How to Keep Answers Short and Effective
Did you know that not only can long-winded answers be hard for the audience to follow, but they can actually cause your interview to go off track? Concise answers can keep you in control, and THAT’S where you want to be!
Brevity is the key word here. Think of the quotes and sound bites you would like to have associated with your image and try to incorporate them as your answers when appropriate.
A doctor who created his own line of skin care was preparing for a media blitz. The most important thing for him to learn was to stay away from the “doctor speak” and really emphasize the results of the products. As you can imagine, this was new to him.
We incorporated stories and real-life scenarios like looking in the rear view mirror and seeing new crows feet! (What?!) We took those moments that the target market could understand and created his sound bites and quick descriptions of the products.
The results were very effective… heck, even his PR girl and I wanted to get the skin care!
How can you keep it brief? Well, if you are not working with a media coach, then try these:
1. Recognize the “process” or “expert language”: You may need to speak in a simpler fashion about your field of expertise unless your audience is comprised of your peers in business. Use common words and save the details of your work, process, or methods until you have them hooked on the results!
2. Time yourself. Seriously, grab a stopwatch and have someone interview you with the questions you most expect. You might be surprised at how quickly time goes by! Aim for 30 seconds or less per answer!
3. “Cliff Note” your tales: If you have stories—your own or clients’ successes–clip them to the most condensed version. Think of how you have to edit for Twitter, and you’ll be sure to keep only the good stuff!
Don’t forget! Include what makes you different: Do you have a signature quote? Or special philosophy? Your short answers still need to include that special flavor that only you can bring. Rehearse your philosophy description until is it short, sweet, and rolls off your tongue with ease.