I was talking to my neighbor next door who works for a famous matchmaking firm. She’s a warm and cozy person who people feel comfortable with right away. She has a knack for putting people at ease — including celebrities, princesses and the rich beyond imagination, who are her clients.
Want to listen to this as an audio with lots of extra juicy details? Here you go.
But they all have the same problem we all have. They are looking for love. Yes, sometimes in the wrong places — or with the wrong people or they are focused on the wrong things – like stating that his dates couldn’t have wrinkly, flabby arms – which was a deal breaker for one wealthy patron who was not having any luck with the ladies.
But what my neighbor noticed was that many of her clients didn’t have some skills necessary to connect with potential mates. How to make significant small talk, when to hold eye contact, what constituted appropriate touch, ways to keep a conversation going to find common interests, how to get to that “click.”
Furthermore they missed social cues, and were woefully unaware how they were perceived. (Like one man, a real snoozer, who kept saying how dynamic and engaging he was who put everyone in the office to sleep!)
Perception is reality in both media appearances and in personal relationships.
Which got me thinking about how much fun it would be to coach people who are looking for love but not having any luck — meaning that “the one” or even “the fun one of the moment” was eluding them. Which is essentially what I do everyday with people (clients and course participants) during media coaching or video training, so their audiences (hundreds, thousands, millions of people) and the media (reporters and producers) love them.
So why not extend this training the land of love?
What prompted me to share this with you?
While talking to my neighbor I got a little spark. I thought, gee, would be so delighted to coach her clients on their facial, body, verbal language (+ tone – so important!) so could let their true selves shine through the nervousness and anxiety, the sweaty palms, the fidgeting, the mean voices in their heads, so they could relax and just be themselves — while being an excellent listener who can “read” the situation and respond, creating a deep connection instantly.
In some ways it’s a thought experiment that’s not unique, but the author, Pam Grout, makes a compelling case backed by science, about how to do it. (And in a very conversational and quick read way).
So, I’m giving it a try. (Although I do this all the time in various forms this was a bit of a new challenge).
If any of you would like an hour or two of coaching on camera (via Skype) to role-play potential dating – or domestic scenarios (you’re in a relationship that you’d like to grow the love, kindness, fun, sexiness). I’m offering a limited amount of sessions – 5 max.
Because the usual minimum fee to hire me for $2000 for 4 hours there is no initial consult as these sessions are 1-2 hours only.
So you decide whether this is something you feel is right for you. (Did you get a zing? A full-body yes? Watch for it. Feel for it. Because we often ignore these inklings that guide us toward the right next step.)
You can hop on over here to purchase 1-2 hours (enter either $500 or $1000 in the appropriate field) and one of my team will get back to you ASAP to schedule a time for us to talk on camera from your home or office (via Skype).
Be sure to put “LOVE” in the comments box so I know what kind of consult you want.
Prefer to listen to the rest this as an audio with lots of extra juicy details? Here you go.
One more thing…. If you’ve been thinking that you want to be more comfortable on video – for your website, tutorials, YouTube, Instagram etc. then let’s chat about how to use your personality and the camera to your advantage, connect to your audience, and of course how to Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul™.
Videos not only engage your audience but can be the deal maker or breaker for inviting in clients, customers and sales (and love, right?).
Some things we’ll do together:
3 secrets the top TED talk speakers use to get millions of views – that you can use in all your videos.
How to use your eyes to draw in the right audience (clients, customers, sales, opportunities) for you — and discourage time-wasters.
Methods to apply incantation and intention to tap deeply into who you are to show your true essence so you and your videos stand out—even if you’re in a highly competitive field.
The right way to use your own natural gestures that inspire audiences to like and trust you (no steeples or pyramids or fake, canned movements).
Why you absolutely shouldn’t read a script (and how to get your point across gracefully and effectively).
In the near future I’ll be featuring client, course participant and Ezine subscriber’s success stories on the blog, Instagram + Facebook.
So if anything you’ve read in the Ezine or on the blog or that we did together one-on-one or in a course, that helped you directly and you would like to do a quick video about it, or send in a pic with a description — I’d be delighted to feature you — and of course link back to your website and social media channels. (Instant publicity!). Make sure to include your website URL all your social handles.
Just send me an email with a link to your video, written testimonial and attach your pic. Thank you!!
Lots of people call me who want to get on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The View, MSNBC and more. Most don’t know that if they create the entire segment they have a better chance of becoming a guest on a national TV show.
If they can envision the show, map out the theme, plan the guests, create the questions, suggest the props, plan the B-roll (background footage) and then bring their knowledge and expertise to the table, speaking in 10-20 second sound bites, then they’ll have the chance of a winner show.
I know it sounds obvious, but many people aren’t familiar with the show format or the hosts’ style because they haven’t bothered to watch the shows or study the host’s style so their pitches are off-base. These are high-level shows and the producers want you to be intimate with the content, pacing, length of each segment, and host’s manner.
Being unaware of these things shows disrespect and could give you and your business a bad name.
Also, if you don’t perform well on the show you’ve pretty much squelched your chances of being on other top TV talk shows as the producers know each other and talk about the flops. To be one of the successes follow these tips.
1. Start with a Headline that Spells Out the Story.
Supernanny Teams With An Acclaimed Autism Expert To Help A Child Who Is An Outsider In His Own Home On Supernanny on ABC.
While it’s a show from the past, it’s an excellent example of how to create a TV pitch letter.
This is the headline from an well-done press release. It tells you what the problem is and who is going to solve it—but not how. Enticing. “Outsider in his own home” is immediately appealing as you can already feel the emotion that the show promises.
2. State the Graphic Details of the Problem and Your Credentials to Solve it.
Supernanny Jo Frost teams with world-renowned autism expert Dr. Lynn Koegel to tackle the parenting issues faced by a family whose three-year-old son is an outsider in his own home. This episode of Supernanny aired on the ABC Television Network.
Deirdre and Trae Facente don’t know how to integrate their autistic son Tristin into their daily life with their twins, Kayla and Marlana (4). Tristin is completely non-verbal, caught up in his own world of spinning, jumping, swinging and, often, taking off his clothes. The only time he spends with his family is sitting at the dinner table. The twins, who demand much of their stay-at-home mom’s attention, can’t figure out how to play with their little brother.
The parents are at a loss as to how to help Tristin come out of his zone and join the family.
“World-renowned autism expert” lets you know that the guest has weight. You get a clear idea of what family life looks like in the Facente household and can immediately see how divided the family is. It’s a dramatic situation that has pathos and promises to be good TV.
The specific details of “Tristin is completely non-verbal, caught up in his own world of spinning, jumping, swinging and, often, taking off his clothes,” gives you an immediate sense of what the show will look like. And it even has humor. I mean, what mom wouldn’t be mortified if a neighbor dropped in and one of her kids was swinging and spinning about in the nude?
3. Tell How You’re Going to Provide a Solution.
Enter Dr. Koegel and Supernanny. Together they refine the classic Supernanny methods and teach all the Facentes Dr. Koegel’s inclusion and communication techniques to help engage Tristin. For example, when they introduce the new daily schedule to everyone, Dr. Koegel uses a picture board with Tristin to help him understand in a concrete way.
Notice that you’re given just a little detail about “communication techniques,” but not what they are or how they’ll be used. One example is given (picture board) and it is again very visual, conforming with what works on TV.
While this show has already taped and the end of the story is known, in your pitch you’ll imagine what will take place on the show as if it has already taped. You’ll define your role and the actions that you and others will take and map it out visually for the producers.
4. Show Dramatic Visible Results.
In just a week, silent Tristin goes from zero words to speaking hundreds of times using over 20 new words. He is bursting with requests to play a favorite game, be tickled or eat a treat. Step-by-step, Jo and Dr. Koegel help the parents keep Tristin from his disruptive behaviors by including him in family chores and activities.
These efforts culminate in the boy helping his dad set the table, a seemingly mundane task that is so miraculous for Tristin, it brings tears to Trae’s eyes.
In a sense this show is a “make-over” program. It touches on mundane chores, the fabric of a family and creates poignancy. Success is unmistakable and quantified succinctly by explaining that Tristin is transformed from a mute to a chatterer (zero words to speaking hundreds of time using over 20 new words).
how to pitch the media
5. Give Your Credentials.
Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D is one of the world’s foremost experts on the treatment of autism. She and her husband, Robert L. Koegel, Ph.D., founded the renowned Koegel Autism Center at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
She co-wrote the bestselling book on autism, Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope that can Transform a Child’s Life, which was released in paperback, and also co-authored, with Robert Koegel, the more recent book, “Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism.”
While you don’t have to have written a book, it helps. Books published by established and respected publishing houses carry clout. This husband and wife team even have their own center at a respected university. What’s critical here is your experience and your results. Especially for TV you must be able to show that you’ve achieved results and have influence in your field.
Client Success Story: Mary Sheehan for Giant Eagle Pharmacy
A few years ago (I can hardly believe how much time has passed!) I worked with an extremely talented pharmacist and spokesperson named Mary Sheehan. Mary wanted to build an online presence and train pharmacists on how to help customers more effectively.
She consistently had repeat clients who found her advice and the way she handled their prescriptions helped them get better faster. (Great going Mary!)
Mary and I worked on developing her essential talking points/ sound bites that she could easily incorporate into her work in order to grow her business.
Together we created a webinar, a course, and downloadable documents (booklets) to help other pharmacists.
By using these booklets and carefully paying attention to not only what she said to her patients and colleagues, but how she said it to her patients and colleagues, Mary was able to create a name for herself. It wasn’t long until the entire staff was using her material, and positive calls were coming in from corporate.
Mary’s shining star took off even more when one day, she received an opportunity to be a spokesperson for her company on a national commercial!
See below for details from Mary on how the shoot went, what she learned, and the result.
“From your media training, I was prepared for the long hours, the criticism and the tedium of the shoot. For instance, my hair wouldn’t stay in place because I moved my head too much, my skirt was riding up and I received feedback that I was too robotic. Normally those comments would cause me to become anxious, but I just reminded myself that it wasn’t personal and to maintain a calm, ‘willingness to please’ demeanor.
My marketing department was on scene, so I was sure to speak to them in a way that let them know they had made the right decision in choosing me. I thought about talking from my heart to one person I care about and who needed to hear what I had to say. That was something I really took away from our training.
Media Coaching for CEOs, Executives, Entrepreneurs, Authors, Pitch Deck Presentations
I did calming mental exercises between takes as well as grounding exercises and breathing. For example, when I was scared, I would close my eyes and feel my feet on the ground. That helped me feel gratitude and reminded me that I was prepared for this.
You’d helped through other TV appearances so I remembered that if I could survive that, I could easily nail these lines and relax and be my confident self. Even though I was facing health battles I had a system in place that I fell back on—knowing what to say and how to say it. All totally in line with who I am and who I wanted to be.
The most nerve-wracking part of the day was that they had another actress on set just in case I left the company or totally bombed. It was very intimidating. She did a take. I did a take. I watched her takes and was complimentary to my marketing team, mentioning how good she was and listening when they told me how they’d like me to do what she did.
I truly was prepared for the entire experience, and I cannot thank you enough.
The effect of the commercial on business?
Last year our pharmacy gave 346 shots
This year our pharmacy has already given 446
Technically the “flu season” is not over and this already represents a 23 percent increase.
In our entire district last year the pharmacies gave 9,470 and this year we have already done 12,594 shots for a 25% increase and the season is not over yet.
Oh, and I got a promotion.”
SIDE NOTE: Mary and I discussed taking out the fact that she got a promotion. I thought it was important to leave it in because when you truly embody your message it affects every area of your life – family, friends, business, social situations — not just media appearances. That’s the beauty of one of my favorite sayings from Gandhi, “My life is my message.”
Kudos to Mary who is doing just that.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have a success story from any of our trainings together? I’d love to shine the spotlight on YOU! Just jet me an email at mailto:email@example.com
To find out more about the sound bite course Mary took go here.
To learn more about one-on-one media coaching go here.
To set up a FREE consult to explore working together go here.
Although she’s known as an engaging speaker, trainer, author, and executive coach, Kimberly (Kim) Faith, was still terrified to be on TV.
TV appearance tips
But she did it anyway.
And to see her you wouldn’t know she was fearful or nervous. Watch her here on a major market live TV show in Seattle. Prepare to be encouraged!
One of the things that inspired Kim to go beyond her comfort zone was to tie her mission, and new book for women Your Lion Inside: Tapping Into the Power Within, with the Year of the Woman movement that was making a mark in this year’s elections.
women empowerment tips
Kim’s credentials: Kim has had the privilege to train or coach over twenty six thousand leaders from Fortune 500 companies including Amazon, American Airlines, BMW, Boeing, CVS, GE, HCA, Kimberly Clark, Lockheed Martin, Nielsen, and Target, as well as worked on licensing deals with Warner Brothers, Disney and MGM. She recently accepted an exclusive invitation to be part of Microsoft’s external faculty to train 16,000 leaders over the next two years.
If you’re thinking (like I was) “Holy Cow, that’s some resume!” How could doing a 5 minute TV interview be hard for Kim who speaks all the time to thousands of people?
Because, even with all these impressive accolades, TV was still a new and daunting experience.
By Guest Blogger Alison Luterman (Plus a poem!) – with my video commentary on how to make a movement go viral — from Erica Mandy’s Show, The News Worthy
I was walking up the street minding my own business when a superhero jumped out in front of me. He landed in a wide-legged stance, arms outstretched, head thrown back in true Olympic superhero style. He was about three feet high and was wearing sneakers that lit up with flashing lights when he moved.
“I’m magic!” he announced.
“You are magic–I can see that!” I said.
It had been two weeks since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and I was still in a funky mood. Events, both national and personal, had been clouding my ability to see the magic in life. But here it was, on a bright Tuesday afternoon when the dogwood was blooming.
“I’m also the fastest runner,” the super-hero went on. “Wanna see?”
He tore up the sidewalk, his sneakers flashing.
“Wow, you are super fast!!” His Dad was leaning up against the family SUV, chuckling.
“He’s actually the fastest runner in the world,” he clarified. “It’s not everyday you get to see something like that. I can understand if you’re overwhelmed.”
I put my hand on my heart and staggered back. “It’s going to take me awhile to recover.”
In truth I hope never to recover from the magic of children. It may be our only hope as a species.
Like so many other people, I’m still blown away by the power of the young students speaking up now for gun control, especially Emma Gonzalez, the shaven-headed, bisexual, Latinx student (president of her school’s Gay-Straight Student Alliance), who rose up out of the smoke and spilled blood of the Parkland massacre, and has been speaking truth to power like a lioness.
If you haven’t seen the video of her making an impassioned plea for gun control while wiping away tears–weeping freely, but making her points with fierce accuracy, including the amount of money the Great Pretender accepted from the NRA for his campaign–go watch it. (Spoiler alert: 30 million dollars.)
Watch the way she feels deeply, but also has facts and figures at her command, and uses them. That’s not easy. When I’m crying my voice shakes, or it knots up in my throat, my chin quivers uncontrollably, and I feel foolish and naked. I’d prefer to hide under the bed than let people see me like that.
But it’s the job in front of us right now–all of us. Find our deepest feelings and speak from that vulnerable, exposed place.
It turns out many of the young activists effectively challenging Senators and Congress are drama club kids. I was a drama club kid. It was the ultimate safe space for queer kids, outcasts, weirdos. The energy and passion, the intense bonding love that gets generated backstage can be used for so many good things. You can put on a play, you can read your poetry at an open mic, you can start a movement and take your message to Congress.
Art teaches us to be brave. And we need a lot of courage these days. And a lot of love. Hold your friends and companions, fellow-artists, fellow-activists, children and the young at heart extra tightly. And don’t stop speaking truth to power even if it makes you cry.
Watching the Giraffes
The baby giraffe stands
in the shadow of the tall
both of their astonishing
with a perfect mosaic pattern
like kitchen linoleum.
How close the gods come to
Then the tallest one
who has been gazing off into
his small head atop that
like a long lonesome train
high above everything,
lets loose a Niagara of
and another giraffe ducks
a swanlike neck down,
to catch a deep, hot
mouthful of urine,then undulates back up,
gulping and swallowing.So that too is part of it.
How they take
what they are thirsty for
as I am drinking in the gentle
of the child’s small trusting
leaning against my arm
on the bench at the zoo,
both of us watching the
without saying anything.
Alison Luterman’s three books of poetry are The Largest Possible Life; See How We Almost Fly; and Desire Zoo. Her poems and stories have appeared in The Sun, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, The Atlanta Review, Tattoo Highway, and elsewhere.. She has also written an e-book of personal essays, Feral City, and more than half a dozen plays, including Oasis, Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Glitter and Spew, Touched, and two musicals, The Chain and Nasty Women. She performs with the Oakland-based improvisation troupe Wing It! and has given writing workshops all over the country, including at Omega and Esalen Institutes.
She teaches memoir at The Writing Salon in Berkeley, and is available for private coaching in writing or creativity, both in-person or on-line. She also loves to teach easy accessible theater games and writing prompts to groups. For more information, please visit her website at www.alisonluterman.net.
For a year. I’d put pen to paper in a beautiful journal and out would pour — drivel.
Sometimes I’d write to get all the minutae out of my head. Other times I’d write a list. But the end “result” was nothing of consequence.
I mentioned the writing process we go through in Wild Writing to Sherry Richert Belul and Alison Luterman the other night as we crunched skinny french fries and sipped bubbly water at the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco with before her poetry reading at Martuni’s.
Alison said that as she was writing she was always looking to have a finished product – be it a play, a poem or a story. So to write without a “goal” wasn’t easy.
I’m was the Alison camp. Until I wasn’t. I’m not sure what happened exactly, other than I let go a little and just allowed the drivel to flow. And there was plenty of it.
And then something shifted. In my business writing too. I’m writing up a storm and creating new videos and products and stuff at such a speed I wish that there were more hours in the day!
Like this video about how to be kinder to yourself after a media appearance (or any new venture for that matter).
I’m not yet in the place where I can love my drivel.
Then today I read this in Sunil Bali’s ezine which put me on the path (another shift!)…
“The ceramics teacher announced on the first day of class, that he was dividing the class into two groups.
One half of the class would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, and the other half would be graded solely on the quality of their work.
On the final day of class the teacher would bring his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the quantity group: fifty pounds in weight of pots rated a Grade “A”, forty pounds a Grade “B”, and so on.
Those being graded on quality, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get a Grade “A”.
Come grading time a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the quantity group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the quality group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a not very good pot.
Whether its business, art or sport, it’s not the quest to achieve one perfect goal that makes you better, it’s the skills you develop from doing a volume of work.
Professional models get a lot of criticism and for lazing around and looking gorgeous for a photo shoot.
“Oh, gosh, lying around in expensive furs all day long while people drizzle champagne into your mouth and snap your photo! Gimme a break! How is THAT a job?”
But… you know what? YOU try it.
Holding a difficult pose for long, muscle-aching minutes… keeping your eyes wide open when the sun is beaming down… remembering not to scowl or blink… hitting all the right angles to flatter your figure… looking “sexy” and “inviting” without going overboard and looking like a street-walker…during a photo shoot for a magazine or online portal.
It’s NOT easy.
And if YOU have ever attempted to do a professional photo shoot for your website, your blog, your book jacket cover, or for a media appearance, you know EXACTLY how difficult it can be!
While getting ultra-comfortable in front of the camera DOES take practice, you can ensure that you’ll wind up with dramatically better photos during your website photo shoot or press kit photo shoot, just by keeping a few pointers in mind:
1. Gaze like you mean it.
Karen Kingston, a Feng Shui and style expert, has the following advice for a photo shoot:
Visualize someone in your audience. One client. One customer. One reader or fan. Imagine that you’re looking directly into their eyes. Imagine gazing at them. Decide how you want them to feel when they meet you. Gaze at the camera… like that.
THIS WORKS! I used this gazing technique when I got a set of headshots several years ago for my photo shoot.
I had multiple people say to me, “I honestly didn’t even think I needed to work with a media trainer. But there was just something about your eyes, your face… after seeing your photo, I knew I could trust you. I needed to meet you.”
how to look professional in a photo shoot
Practice your gaze before your photo shoot, so that it’s easier to shift into that mode when it’s time to get in front of the camera.
During the photo shoot, look directly into the lens of the camera, as if you’re gazing into the eyes of your dream customer. Be inviting. Be encouraging. Show the love.
2. Decide how your photos will be used — in advance.
Do you need a vertical, full-body shot for the homepage of your website?
A set of headshots or full or half-body shots for your media kit?
Lifestyle photos and vignettes of you in your workspace, with your products?
Photos for your speaker’s (meeting planners) packet?
Photos that will appeal to TV producers? (Think: you, onstage, with a sharp blazer and a tailored appearance).
Or photos that will appeal to yoga studio owners? (Think: you, seated in a lotus position, with crystals and an organic cotton tunic top).
All / some / none of the above?
Think carefully about where your photos are going to be used — your website, your blog, your social media profiles, other people’s websites, books, magazines — and plan out your photos accordingly BEFORE the photo shoot.
Communicate with your photographer so that they understand exactly where and how the finished photos are going to be used.
This will ensure that both of you are walking into the photo shoot with a clear plan — not just snapping willy-nilly and then “seeing what you get.”
3. Get glam — but keep it real.
You want to look gorgeous (or handsome) in your photos, of course.
You want to present the best possible image of yourself.
But don’t use your photo shoot as an opportunity to get dolled up in a way that’s completely unrealistic.
If you’re a down to earth, granola-baking mama who wears yoga pants six days out of seven — and you want to promote your organic skincare line — don’t get trussed up in a skimpy black mini dress with six-inch stiletto heels.
You might look smoking hot… but you won’t look like “you.”
photo shoot for media
Be a gorgeous version of you, not a gorgeous version of somebody else.
If a client or customer meets you in “real life,” you want them to say… “WOW. You look EXACTLY like your photo, online… except, you’re even more stunning in real life!”
Reduce pre-photo shoot stress with this handy checklist:
Make sure to get / pack / have…
[ ] A good bra. (Don’t skip it! It will dramatically alter your silhouette.)
[ ] At least three outfits that make you feel like the most beautiful version of you. Avoid busy patterns and small prints for media, unless that’s your signature “look.”
[ ] A small bag of different jewelry pieces and accessories to play with. Unless you’re a zero-accessory kinda gal. Stay true to you.
[ ] A bag full of your products / books / any other items that convey what your work is all about.
[ ] Professional hair. Hint: to save some money at the salon — and still get totally pampered — head to a blow-out bar where the stylists don’t do cuts and coloring. Just styling.
[ ] Professional makeup. Tell your stylist: “I’m doing a photo shoot, and I want to look like me — not somebody else.” Make sure they use matte, zero-shine products that are especially designed for photography. This is not the time for glimmery, shimmery products. They can make your skin look unpleasantly shiny on camera!
[ ] A make-up bag for touch ups, mid-shoot.
[ ] Water and snacks. Most photo shoots last two to four hours or more. Pack healthy snacks so you don’t start to droop!
[ ] A pre-photo shoot pep talk. Get a good friend to call you a few minutes before it starts for a BIG burst of encouragement.
how to look hot in a photo shoot
[ ] At least three outfits that make you feel totally handsome.
[ ] A small bag of different accessories to play with. Think: ties in different colors, watches, eye glasses.
[ ] Rice paper tissues. These little squares of paper can be used to blot your face if you have a tendency to get sweaty and shiny.
[ ] A professional shave and hair styling. Go to the barbershop and indulge yourself. Why not?
[ ] Professional makeup. Wait. Breathe. Don’t freak out. You can tell your stylist: “I’m doing a photo shoot and I want to keep the make up EXTREMELY minimal and masculine.” But don’t automatically exclude mascara or beard dye (test this before the shoot for any allergic reaction)….
Your stylist can apply a tiny bit of concealer under your eyes to diminish dark circles. That might be all you need! Or, possibly a BB cream — which is basically a moisturizer with SPF and a tiny hint of coloration. It won’t look like “make up.” It will just even out your skin tone.
Every professional male model, TV personality and film actor wears a bit of makeup. It’s doesn’t have to be “feminine,” if that’s not your thing.
Just think of it as adding a healthy “tint” to your skin so that you don’t look pale, washed out or blotchy in your photos.
And if you’re really dubious about make up… just do it. Have your photographer snap a few photos. Then wash it off. Take a few more. See which ones you wind up liking better! It can’t hurt to give it a try.
[ ] Water and snacks. Definitely. Photo shoot often drag on for longer than you’d expect! Some of my favs are NuGO Slim bars, RX bars, Elyte (electrolytes) and coconut water so you can keep your energy even throughout the day.
[ ] A pre-photo shoot pep talk. Get a good friend to call you a few minutes before your photo shoot. Have them remind you, “You’re drop-dead handsome, smart and awesome. Have fun!”
Here’s to looking fantastic… attracting the best possible clients… and doing great work in the world.
During media coaching I leer, I snipe, I antagonize, I attack. The first time played the aggressive interviewer to a volunteer in a seminar, she shrank back in her chair in fear. She grabbed her gut. She said, “I’m afraid of you now.”
I asked her to hang in there while I let loose my aggressive questions over and over again. Her job was just to remain calm, she didn’t need to say anything. After the fifth time she said, “That wasn’t so bad.”
Often times people hire me to media coach them after a similar experience with the media – except it’s a real interview and they do need to respond. Of course most of the time no one will be shrieking at you. But it’s often not about the words, but the tone, the energy the force that scary.
I just heard an interview with New York Times reporter Bruce Weber discussing “The little-known world of “foul balls and face masks” on the NPR radio show Fresh Air with Terry Gross. For three years, Weber trained to be a baseball umpire at umpire school. He said he was terrified that he’d be hit in the face with a high speed ball, even though he was wearing a face mask.
To help him get over his fear his instructor threw the ball at his head. After five times the fear started to lessen, by the fifteenth time it had dissipated and he had gotten over his fear. It’s the same with media coaching. Going through the visceral experience will help dispel any fears. Often my clients want to start with what they fear most – because either they’ve experienced their worst fear, or because it’s looming.
Everyone fears something. Even the most experienced interviewer. So practice the questions you DON’T want to be asked to get them off the table to you can focus on your true purpose….
1. Set your intention. Ask yourself two key questions: What do I want my audience to know? And how can I help them? No one cares about your product service or cause…until they see how it relates to something they need.
2. Tell a good story. I had one client who spoke like a professor teaching a class based entirely on theory with no practical tips, stories, or anything that might engage a person at an emotional or visceral level. We worked on finding personal anecdotes that her audiences could relate to.
When I asked a recent client who sought me out to prep him for a job interview at an exclusive restaurant to tell me how he handled a disastrous or potentially disastrous situation he said to me, “Have you ever broken a cork on a $3000 bottle of wine? I have.” Then he told me how he calmly dealt with the situation without anyone at the table being any wiser. Every story starts out with a headline that makes you snap to attention. What follows should be equally riveting.
3. Don’t be overly promotional. While one of the essential things I teach is how to seamlessly integrate the information you want your audience to know about your product, service or cause into the conversation, don’t overdo it. I was recently on a radio show with a panel of people who were all famous in their own right. One person was obviously a very experienced media guest, but every single time she shared information she interjected something about herself, her credentials, her business and her services. Enough already. Although the what she had to say was valuable I found myself recoiling from what felt like being drilled without respite.
The most important thing in an interview is to be natural while you’re interesting. Letting go of your fears is a process that allows you to relax while you’re giving good information that people can use and enjoy.
More info: To learn more about how to develop sound bites that sing here.
The late ABC Anchor Peter Jennings noted, “I find writing the evening news sometimes very challenging because I realize that what we’re trying to give folks in the evening is black and white when so often I want to give them gray.” That same frustration is only exacerbated these days for media and communicators alike. Bottom line: There is a place for nuance. It’s just a small place.
Attention spans have shrunk to the size of a Nike Swoosh. But one reason why the conservative right is so successful is that they give audiences one side and one side only. It’s simplistic, but it’s clear.
While I’m not advocating simplifying issues devoid of nuance, what I am suggesting is that to help your CEO or spokesperson learn the game that gets ink, you must help him or her develop a million-dollar tongue.
A large part of that involves delivering concise sound bites the media will use.
I love poetry and nuance and subtlety. It saddens me that the place for it in the media is almost as extinct as the White Rhino. I’ve frequently said to my clients that the art of sound bites is like taking War and Peace and turning it into a haiku.
Learning to speak “sound bite” is like learning a new language. Here are some ways to do that without selling your soul (or losing your message):
Speak so you can’t be edited. I media coached a former Jesuit priest for CBS’ “60 Minutes” who was protesting the sexual harassment he had endured that led him to leave the priesthood. The show was called “Is the Catholic Church above the Law?” I played Mike Wallace. He got Morley Safer. He said the interview was easy after what I put him through. He was positioned positively. It could easily have gone the other way—except for one thing: When I taught him to only speak phrases that couldn’t be truncated and spliced to change his meaning, the six hours of taping that was edited down to five minutes turned in his favor.
Does this take lots of practice? Yes. But it can be done. The harder you are on your CEO or spokesperson, the better it is for him. Better you making him sweat and swear than Mike Wallace. By the way, the case went all the way to the Supreme Court and he won.
Create modular sound bites. I was media coaching a CEO of an up-and-coming company positioning itself to go public. The company was targeting business shows on MSN, CBS, CNN and wanted to attract investors. We created sound bites to include facts about the company’s financial well being, about the internal health of the company and employee happiness, and the ways that they were innovators in their field. Plus the company was growing fast, adding new stores nationwide at record speed, while staying in the black.
We took those same stories and angled them for the company’s other two audiences: consumers and trade. And we worked the CEO’s passion for fly-fishing into the mix, which brought out his sweetness.
Pro tip: Work with your CEO or spokesperson not to memorize talking points, but to make them modular—to flex his ideas into different shapes and sizes for different audiences. Make him human and lovable by establishing some key stories about his personal life, which exemplify how well he leads her people—which is what we really want to see. We need more leaders and fewer protectors of the bottom line.
Move people with your good spirit. Words are less important than you think, likability more. In the Gallup poll taken during each presidential election since 1960, the candidate who scored highest in the likeability category has won every election.
Making your CEO likable is crucial to his success in the media.
I was working with a CEO of a popular magazine who had a brilliant mind, was a talented athlete, but wooden.
As soon as I encouraged him to speak of his youngest daughter, his whole demeanor softened. His VP of PR cooed, “Oh, you just got soooo handsome.” It was true.
Once I coached him to speak from that place of the pride and love he had in his daughter he could talk about the difficult situation in his industry that directly impacted his magazine—formerly a stumbling block—with ease and grace.
The more open your CEO or spokesperson is, the more powerful he is. Practice having him remain open and loving when you grill him with tough questions.
That may sound ridiculous, but when we speak as if we were addressing a beloved child it’s pretty hard for the media to retaliate with the same vehemence than toward a man holding a sword ready to strike.
Spending time with your CEO or spokesperson to hone his sound bites, body and facial language to suit any situation will help make rich poetry in troubled times.