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Sound Bites

How Can I Get on TV? 3 Steps to Getting the Spotlight and Doubling Your Business

New York TimesMany people see getting on TV as holy-grail to getting publicity. Oprah was the leader in making careers overnight. Other shows don’t necessarily have the same instant influence that Oprah had, but a four-minute segment on a major morning talk or news show can still have that magic formula effect.

While getting on TV can be a powerful way for entrepreneurs, authors, leaders, coaches and consultants to increase their sales and grow their business on the spot, it can also be something of a dud if not done correctly. Here are three ways you can get on TV and then make your appearance count.

1. Write a segment not a pitch.
When I work with my clients I write up a segment – exactly what you would see if you watched the show – that caters to the hosts strengths and personality. I’ve watched the shows so I have a sense of the subject matter they like to cover and the format they prefer. I’ve read up on as much as I can to best angle my segment to the preferences of the hosts and show.

Know the show
For you that means that you need to be familiar with the show you’ll appear on. That’s essential. Think of it as a job interview for your dream job. You would want to know the background of the person interviewing you, their personality and pet peeves and their style and pacing. You would want to understand the culture of the company. You would want to know what kind of products or services had been successful for them and the way they like those things packaged.

Dr. Sara GottfriedBe privy to the hosts’ perspective
For Dr. Sara Gottfried, Harvard trained integrative physician, yoga diva meets science nerd, and author of The New York Times best-selling book The Hormone Cure, we developed a segment called, “What does every woman have in her purse that can balance her hormones naturally?” for the 10am slot on NBC’s Today show with hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb.

This segment has automatic gal appeal to women hosts and their audience, plus addresses one of the most difficult issues women deal with – cortisol, the culprit behind stress. And since the segment hasn’t aired yet I can’t tell you what those items in her purse are. (Sorry!)

Develop your 5 points and 5 questions
From there we first found the 5 points we wanted to focus on and then reverse-engineered the questions that the hosts could ask. Next, we crafted the women-centric visuals that would drive the segment and create interaction between the hosts and Gottfried.

Give extra perks
Then we created quick teaser copy (that’s what you hear when the hosts let you in on the secret of what’s upcoming so you don’t change the channel or tune out).

Finally, we chose a special report for a website giveaway. TV producers want to drive website traffic to their website not yours. So their audience goes to their site for the “extras” and then can jump to the guests’ website from there. Extras can be anything that takes you deeper into a guest’s work and world: a book excerpt, a recipe, an infographic, an audio or video clip.

Integrate stories into the conversation that bring you in business
After that we honed each example down to a 20 second or so response that included a story or vignette of how Gottfried wanted her business to grow. Since she has an online community and courses one of our examples included a success story about women in her courses. It seems like a “duh” moment, but it’s an essential that most TV guest forget first — especially under the pressure of hot lights and a tight timeframe. By using specific success story examples you drive the kind of business, partnerships, experiences and sales you want directly to you.

Be natural and engaging
This is pretty much rule number one: You must mention the kind of business you want in an example in order to increase it. The hard part is that it needs to be integrated seamlessly into the conversation in a natural and engaging way that is totally on target to your point.

Practice your sound bites
That’s where lots of practice comes in and it’s where I spend the majority of time with my clients — role-playing the entire segment in different ways so they can speak their sound bites smoothly and don’t crumble under pressure or slip up when surprised. If you don’t have this element down pat, then you’re not getting the full value of your media appearances. In other words, you’re losing, business, sales, experiences and opportunities that you may never get again.

Time your sound bites
Once we’ve completed the segment I pulled out my timer and we set it for four minutes and raced through in real time so Gottfried could manage her own time and get a sense of the pacing. I played the part of the chatty hosts, complete with interjections and comments to make sure that Gottfried could stay on message even if the hosts aren’t asking the exact questions we prepared.

Package your program
By creating this segment ourselves and not waiting for the producers to tell us what they envision we invite them to take advantage of our ideas. We’ve done the work for the producers. We get a segment in which we’ve prepared the package we want presented, shaped the perception of our business, book, produce, service or cause, strategically outlined the presentation of our information, and done it all in a lively and entertaining way which delights the audience and the hosts and producers. The result: great segment, media trained guest, good ratings, engaged audience, happy hosts, thrilled client. Everyone ends up winning.

2. Post a demo interview on your website.
National TV show producers need to make sure that you’re mediagenic. They want to see that you know how to dress, handle yourself in a tight-time frame, entertain, enlighten and inform in 10-20 second sound bites-all while being completely natural and engaging. You want to have an example of you interacting in a TV interview or a mock one so you can pass the pre-audition and then move on to the actual audition. It’s OK to create a mock one if you haven’t yet done any media appearances. If a producer sees that you’re capable and lively then they’ll most likely move forward to the next step – the audition.

Create a sizzle reel
Later, when you have a series of interviews you can cut them together into a sizzle reel so producers can see clips of the best of the best and get the total picture of your capabilities.

Help shape the show
Typically the process works like this: a producer and publicist discuss some topics and story angles and then the producer gets on the phone with the client so they can hear the kind of responses the “potential media guest” (you) will give and to bat around ideas and shape the show. You have to be fluid with your topic and think like a producer in helping to lay out a visually dramatic, fast-paced, enthralling show.

3. Be a great guest.
Now you’re on the show. Waiting in the green room. Sitting in the chairs across from the hosts. Hot lights. Count down. You’re on camera…


Review your notes
Even though we had practiced for hours, and this wasn’t his first media tour, one of my clients, a New York Times best-selling author said, “Susan, everything you taught me went to hell in a hand-basket as soon as the interview began.” I told him that he could keep his notes handy and glance down at them when needed. Especially when quoting breaking news statistics. You’ll often see experts bringing their notes onto panel discussions on news shows or when they are commenting on current events.

It’s quite common for your brain to fritz out. A combination of anxiety, nerves, jitters and being in an unfamiliar and foreign setting can upset your internal applecart in the blink of an eye.

Calm your nerves
When I media trained my author-client on-camera I taught him some relaxation exercises to practice that involved both movement and breathing. The key word here is practice. A lot of it. Before you contact the media. Before you get the call.

Practice on video
I highly recommend that you turn on that video camera, pull out a kitchen timer and have a friend or media trainer run you through the questions you’ve created so you can answer them in your sleep. That way you’ll get used to the sensation of being video taped and it won’t seem as foreign once you’re in a studio. Of course the TV studio cameras are much bigger than your compact camera and the very setting itself can be intimidating. Really intimidating.

Relax and settle
Once you’re on camera you don’t want to be thinking about what you’re going to say next. You want to relax, be in the moment, create connection, and tell your audience what you want them feel and to remember.

Not easy, I know.

Feel my support and guidance
The next big interview my “hell in a hand basket” client told me, “I had you in my head the entire time.” So he could keep his cool and stay true to his message. Did he do it perfectly? No. Did he tell stories that had emotion and dignity that brought tears to my eyes? Yes. Did he remember everything he was supposed to cover? No.

Self assess
But every interview is a process. And I suggest that after every media appearance you ask yourself two questions.

  1. What did I do well that I want to keep?
  2. What would I have done differently?

Then on the very next interview you incorporate both of those things. Knowing that someone believes in you gives you a solid foundation and confidence you didn’t know you had.

Discuss your success
The way you double or triple your business during an interview is by doing three things.

  1. Talking about successes you’ve had through your clients. This is how you avoid bragging. It’s about them, not you.
  2. Addressing the needs of your audience by telling a story that relates directly to a deep longing or something practical they want.
  3. Being human and authentic while sharing a personal story or accomplishment that is meaningful to you that creates emotion, connection or curiosity.

Process is progress
Process is everything. It’s in the doing that things shift. More to the point it’s the doing and doing and doing that creates change. After you’ve sent in that segment and when you get called for that golden opportunity to be on national TV know that preparation is key. Now is the time to map out exactly what you’re going to say, time it to the second, and practice until you can do it in your sleep under any circumstance being your natural, inviting, engaging self. Then when you’re on TV your four minutes of fame will be the beginning of many more media appearances that will sustain you for a lifetime.

Do you want to get on TV and make your appearance count? Join us for the FREE webinar: 5 Surefire Ways to Become a Media Darling.

A timeless truth that will boost any media appearance


By Ian Brodie

Here’s the second insight I got from Susan as we were preparing for this week’s “Speak In Sound Bites” webinar (click here for free registration).

Yesterday I mentioned how you could apply the lessons of media appearances to more everyday communications.

Here’s the surprising corollary: you can apply the lessons of everyday communications to media appearances.

Before I explain what I mean, here’s a story from magician John Lenahan I heard from him at a conference a few years ago.

John was describing being at FISM (the “world championship of magic”) where a whole room of magicians were being entertained by the legendary Juan Tamariz. John watched as everyone had a great time. They laughed, they gasped, they clapped.

But John could also feel that he had a special connection with Tamariz. Like he was his favourite audience member. It was subtle. Just a smile, a look, a laugh every now and then. But John knew he was the favourite.

After the performance John spoke to some of his buddies in the bar. Surprise surprise, they all said the exact same thing. They’d seen everyone else enjoying the show, but they knew that secretly, they were Tamariz’s favourite audience member.

After arguing for a while over just who was the special favourite, John realised that he’d come across the secret of a truly great performer. They make everyone feel like they’re performing just for them. That they’re the special one.

Turns out it’s the same with media appearances. You’re not speaking to an “audience”. You’re speaking to everyone individually. You and them. One to one.

The way to make a media appearance successful is to use the same skills you would in everyday communication. Be authentic. Talk person to person. Share your truth. One to one.

We often get overwhelmed when we think about speaking to a big audience – especially if it’s on video or radio. I know I certainly did and still do. But if you just focus on speaking as if you’re talking to one person…

…making that individual connection. Then that’s how people will hear you.

They’ll hear you talking to them personally. And you’ll have impact.

Join Susan and me on the webinar next Wednesday 24th to learn more techniques for making your communication effective (and profitable).

You can sign up here: Speak in Sound Bites Webinar >>

Ian Brodie is a marketing specialist and author of Pain Free Marketing the step-by-step guide to attracting and winning more clients without the pain and expense of traditional marketing.

When he’s not working with clients to help them grow their sales, he’s relaxing with his family or dreaming about Newcastle United winning the Premier League.

9 Steps to Be a Thought Leader — and Become a Media Darling

By Susan Harrow, media coach

So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.

Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world to become the very definition of thought leadership.

1. Cultivate an opinion.

Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”

To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.

2. Make a prediction.

Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over twenty years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.

KentYoungstrom thought leader training

9 was you can be a thought leader

Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.

Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.

3. Shape thinking.

Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.

What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership definition is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.

Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.

Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.

How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?

4. Have a philosophy.

Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.

Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.

I love TED favorite Brene Brown’s The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto, her leadership manifesto and my friend, photographer/writer Andrea Scher’s Superhero Manifesto. They are heartfelt, revere beauty and are holy without pretention.

Brene Brown thought leader

Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action

During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.

One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.

In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”

Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.

5. Spearhead a movement.

My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, (which later was turned into a movie) and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.

On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.

David Sheff thought leader, movement maker

Thought leaders start movements

Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.

When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.

I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.

We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.

The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.

6. Be controversial.

Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone CureThe Hormone Rest Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet, peaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”

Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”

Dr. Sara Gottfried thought leader

Thought leaders invite controversy

Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.

If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.

7. Play both sides.

While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.

Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”

Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.

In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.

thought leadership training

Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue

On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”

By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.

8. Coin a term.

During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”

9. Declare your vision.

Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.


9 steps to become a thought leader is about self-mastery

The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”

I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.

My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.

Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.

The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.

So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.

If you’d like to schedule a free 15 minute time to talk about you becoming a thought leader go here.


3 Ways a Media Appearance is Like a Vince Flynn Thriller


Baby shoes for sale. Never been worn.  ~ Ernest HemmingwayI have four Vince Flynn thrillers piled on the floor by my bed right now. I stay up way too late reading them, glancing at the clock saying to myself, “I should stop now.” But I don’t. They are more than page turners, they are enthralling. They put you in the world of politics, danger, revenge and love. These are elements of the greats like Shakespeare. And though not written with the same eloquence or insight, Vince Flynn’s books still pull you through a world of intrigue and assassinations. Your media interview should have that same thrilling quality – like you’re taking people on a tour of your life and work, inviting them into your a place where you know things that they don’t. Maybe there is melodrama and machinations. Maybe there is high intensity and ideas that inflame. Whether there are or not, here are 5 qualities to make your media appearance as engaging as a Vince Flynn thriller.

1. It’s economical.
Vince Flynn sets up each character clearly detailing what they look like and a few telling personality characteristics. Then he sets up a dynamic of another character who opposes whatever agenda the first character has. By creating tension he has our attention. Create your answers to interview questions with economy by choosing only the essential details that will set up your story or point. Eliminate the rest. These might be a quick visual description so we “see” what you’re talking about. One of the most famous sound bites in history comes from an ad that Earnest Hemingway wrote:

Baby shoes for sale. Never been worn.

You see and feel the whole story in just two lines. Practice telling a story in two or three lines. In this one you have life and death, the two most powerful opposing forces juxtaposed side by side in just two sentences. See how economical you can be and still create engagement.

2. It’s fast-paced.
By speaking in shorter sentences your media interview will give your audience impression of moving along swiftly – like a thriller. Vince Flynn’s chapters are short. Each one is a complete story in itself. Once you finish reading a chapter you can’t wait to read the next one. Within each chapter his sentences are short which compresses time so you have the same sense of urgency that the characters have.

By making your sound bites each a complete and fulfilling story you’ll have your audience wanting more. When my private clients first engage me to media train them most most tend to speak in long, drawn out sentences and their stories meander in many different directions. We practice creating a cohesive stories in twenty to thirty seconds that have a clear beginning, middle and end. Each sentence moves the story forward in a decisive linear way. Each sound bite story has a definitive ending.

When I media coach my clients to do this it gives them two great advantages in a media appearance. First they lead the audience confidently through their story so the audience trusts them to be knowledgeable and stay on track. We trust people who give us clear direction. We don’t trust people who ramble. They are often perceived as not having a sharp mind and to be inconsiderate time-wasters. Second, people who speak concisely signal the interviewer when they are done with their definitive ending. I recommend that my clients pause after completing a story which creates breathing space and then allows the interviewer the time to ask his next question. This creates a relaxed flow of conversation. Many beginner media guests bemoan sound bites as the dumbing down of ideas – but they can be quite the opposite. You can still create deep resonance with economy of language. Study the famous Japanese Haiku poets who make you feel sadness, longing, and desire in four lines. Here’s one of my favorites. Notice how concrete and visual it is. This haiku is fast paced, beautiful and deep. Your sound bites can be the same.

The temple bell stops
But the sound
keeps coming
out of the flowers
~ Basho

3. It has clashes.
Vince Flynn has lots of heated arguments in his New York Times best-selling thrillers. His characters each have their own agendas – and have to prove to each other that their agenda is the one to follow. They voice their opinions strongly and back them up with concrete experience and hard facts. One of the best ways to get media attention is to be controversial. Combine that with informed opinion and you’ll have a great advantage over your competitors to be a chosen media guest.

Strong emotion equals good ratings. To create strong emotions you can tell a moving story and back it up with facts and statistics. Here’s a little know fact: You can get the same effect as having a person with the opposite point of view debate with you on TV by being your own debater. So if you set up your point of view and also the opposing point of view to an issue and cover both points of view you have an instant element of intrigue. We love to hear about how others try to knock you or your ideas down. We love to see how you triumph over hard-headed opinion or false facts. Create your own clashes and you could be an in-demand media guest in a hurry.

3 Superstar Secrets to Getting Results From Your Media Appearances


By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Most people who are in a rush to get publicity dash off a press release and then expect instant fame. But what typically happens IF the media calls is they don’t have their sound bites ready. What follows is…disappointment.

They don’t get quoted, or if they do it does little or nothing for their business. Then they blame the media, saying that publicity doesn’t work. In order for publicity to work – you have to do the work first.

So BEFORE you ever contact the media watch this video to find out the three things you should do that set the foundation of your talking points or sound bites. Then craft your stories, statistics, facts, vignettes, one liners, aphorisms, anecdotes, analogies and acronyms that are the mainstay of your messages.

Did I Just See You on Video?


By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Did I Just See You on Video?

If not, I should have.

Video this, video that. Video, video everywhere. Do you really need to have videos?

The answer may dismay you….


I’ve kind of avoided it as I thought it was just too much work. But you’ll see more from me on my new YouTube channel (more about another time).

After I talked to Steve Washer I got my rear in gear. Here’s why:

  • Video will more than double your conversion rates.
  • Video need not be expensive or terribly time-consuming.
  • Video works equally well for the tech savvy and technophobe.
  • Video can make you irresistible, as long as you know the ropes.
  • Video is the least expensive way to transform your message into a full-fledged brand.

I have to tell you, I’m jazzed. I know I can do this now, and so can you. And to get us started I’m inviting you to a wonderful new webinar by a video expert who makes it simple and doable:

"How to Use The Magic of Video to Attract Loyal Paying Clients Who NEED You"In this dynamic 75 minutes you’re going to learn:

  • The 10 step never-lose formula for marketing videos that will bring hundreds of excited clients to your door.
  • Two subtle techniques that make you irresistible on camera…or off!
  • The 6 factors that bring any marketing video to life.
  • How to be your best self on camera without learning lines or reading from a script.
  • How to easily create your videos by yourself – even if you’re a technophobe.
  • When you should be the face of your business and when you should not.

Save your seat now:

If you struggle with what to say in a video, if attracting clients online seems like an endless uphill chore, this is for you.

What Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin Says About How to Set Yourself Up for Success


By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Here’s the question people often wrestle with when promoting themselves or embarking on a publicity campaign. How do I gracefully move from private person public persona. This is as much about temperament as it is about the desire for a more “exposed” life. Hear what W.S. Merwin says and what author and speaker Sam Horn discovered when she met him.


What Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin Says

3 Crucial Mind-Set Strategies to Become a Media Darling & Whatever Else You Want


I've been training for my 3rd Kyu Aikido (Japanese Martial Arts)By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

I was a nervous wreck.

I’ve been training for my 3rd Kyu Aikido (Japanese Martial Arts) test for about 9 months now. I have to memorize all the Japanese names of techniques. I have to know how to perform them when they are called out on the mat in front of all the students. And, worst of all – there is no talking. Just movement. And that scares the bejesus out of me.

I’m a verbal person and I figure I can get out of anything with the right words. I’ve done this many time in speeches, on the street to fend off an attacker, and during media appearances on TV, radio and print. But in Aikido, no go. The body does the talking. And mine is an awkward introvert.

I needed a way to cope.

So I’ve set my mind to do three strategies to blaze through my test. You can use these strategies when you have an upcoming media appearance, meeting, speech, or any encounter that gives you the shakes.

By the way I’m now a black belt.

1. Meditate.
Meditation helps clear the mind and make space for, well, nothingness. It doesn’t matter what kind of meditation you do. Whether it’s just breathing in white light and out black smoke, or following your breath or, as Thich Nhat Hanh recommends, (one of my favorites) to sit quietly and smile. For people with super busy minds (hello) you can do walking meditation, just feeling your feet on the ground, the sun on your face, the air in your lungs. Even doing this for five minutes a day can produce a kind of lasting peace inside in the moment, and also, a profound sense of calm over time. Any practice done consistently will change you, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in large. There’s often a big loud tipping point, but frequently just a subtle shift. That’s the beauty and surprise of practice.

2. Imitate great examples.
For my aikido test I’m watching Hans Goto, my sensei or teacher, do every single technique that’s on my test on a video. I play it in slow motion. I stop and start it. Then I get on the kitchen floor rug and imitate him as best as I can. I klutz my way through, over and over again. I go to practice several times a week so I’m in constant training mode.

Then I ask different black belts in my dojo to do one technique with me, taking me through the details. I train every Sunday for two hours with Maria, a black belt who is always ready with a laugh – and who is brutally honest with me. She does a technique on me to show me the correct way to do it and then I try it. I watch other videos that show the technique from different angles so I can understand the mechanics better. Aikido is about angles and leverage – kind of like almost everything, right?

For media appearances find excellent examples and then get a sound bite buddy, or anyone for that matter, and practice different scenarios with your buddy. Try your excellent example’s voice tone on. Try the rhythms of their sentences. Try the format they use to frame their information. Try on their body language to see what it feels like. Sit like them. Hold your head like they do. Mimic their hand gestures and facial expressions. You can learn a lot by exact imitation. Embody their best qualities. You’ll begin to discover how it makes you think differently. Experiment. It’s only through the doing of it that it gets ingrained. And remember it takes 3000 repetitions to ingrain a habit and 10,000 repetitions to master it. So be patient with yourself.

3. Visualize what you want with feeling.
Writer Mary Carr said something like, My mind is like a street in a bad neighborhood. You don’t want to go down it. Mine too. It’s full of worst case scenarios, mishaps, and things gone horribly awry. When you visualize, just don’t “see” what you want. Include the emotions and body sense. And don’t worry about getting it perfect.

In Aikido, for Koshinage, a technique where you have to flip your opponent off your back while making sure that they can do a high fall and land properly, I envisioned throwing Maria, my uke (attacker) on her head, breaking her neck. Yikes.

But that’s OK. That’s part of practice and training. So I just noticed that, and tried it again. If I visualize the negative again, I just let it go and try again. Or I move on to another technique that I know and can see me doing it well with elegance and grace. Then, perhaps a few minutes later I attempt to see Koshinage throwing Maria safely.

So practice getting the felt sense of what you want to happen. Put yourself in the scene. If it’s a TV show get a clear picture of the set, the lights hot on your face, the glass of water on the table, sitting knee to knee with the host, answering questions smoothly with the sound bites you’ve prepared that tune into what you audience most needs to know.

See it, experience the emotion of it, and then see the result of your efforts. For media appearances it might be your phone ringing off the hook or your email box filling up with shopping cart orders. You might imagine another TV producer calling you to be an expert on their show. You might see yourself having coffee with someone who you admire who called you up after they saw you on that program.

I’ve set myself up on a little program that I know that I can do. I’m doing all three of the practices I’ve outlined daily for three weeks before my test. But guess what? Have I done all three daily? No. But I make sure to do at least one of them. Some days are better than others. Still I hold my deepest intention in my mind of the ideal day and I keep in mind the big picture of what I want to accomplish for my Aikido test – to have  fun, own the room, to do the techniques to the best of my ability, to keep moving and do something even if it’s not the right technique, and to stay steady and present in the moment no matter what. Oh, and to infuse my spirit with joy.

I’d love to hear about a practice you’re doing….

Nora Ephron Remembered: The Weekly Bite™


Nora Ephron

By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Nora Ephron had an uncanny way of answering super serious questions with her trademark humor. People often looked to her to be deep. And sometimes humor  can be discounted as surface or superficial. But it wasn’t in her hands. Like the time she was asked for the best advice to keep love alive and she said, “Separate bathrooms.” I wonder how many marriages have been saved by that wisdom?

I recently heard a 2010 interview with her discussing her work and she said, “We all love to play that game, ‘What is your last meal’, but the truth is, my oldest friend who died, whom I’ve written about, got tongue cancer, and said to me, I’m not even going to be able to have my last meal.’ And the truth is none of us are going to be able to have our last meal because either we’ll be too sick to eat it, or we won’t know it’s our last meal. And we will make the mistake of having had a tuna melt.”

The interviewer asked her, “So is the lesson from that never have a tuna melt?”

“No”, Ephron said. “The lesson is have your last meal this weekend and have it all the time, because you know….” The audience applauded.

She took the banalities that we’ve all heard a thousand times, “Live in the moment” or “Live like today is your last day” and created a story of originality with specific details – her friend with tongue cancer. The tuna melt. This makes her stories come alive and make us think differently.

The next time you’re asked for your advice and are tempted to say, “Don’t give up.” Or, “Do something different.” Or, “Show your vulnerability.” Chuck that. Follow the footsteps of Nora Ephron and think about turning an old truth into a new phrase that will make us laugh and remember. Thanks for the Tuna Melt Nora.

Exchanging Knives and Guns for Handshakes and Deals: Job Interview Skills are Not for the Timid


By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

I’m trying to do something big and I’d like your help.

Here’s the short version of it:

AikidoI have a dream of helping inner city kids get jobs straight out of high school by learning how to spotlight their skills during a job interview. But bigger than that is to give them the means to speak their mind, hold their ground, keep their originality, and get their way — in a peaceful manner. To do that I want to bring sound bite training and Aikido into the schools as part of the curriculum. (Aikido is a Japanese Martial art with the philosophy: The Art of Peace of Harmony, a path to polish the spirit. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”) The practice of these two skills together will enable them to EMBODY their words and deeds.

I want to accomplish 4 things that will help our economy out of the recession and improve the status and well-being of America in the global marketplace.

  1. Prepare college students for job interviews after graduation.
  2. Prepare inner city kids (not collegebound) to land a job w/a career path that suits their strengths.
  3. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs what it takes to get start-up funding from venture capitalists by media training them to say exactly what their audience needs to know.
  4. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs how to get and keep media attention to be profitable companies, thought leaders in their industry, and recognized, respected and sustainable brands.

To do this I need funds. So I’ve applied for a grant for $250,000 with Chase Bank and LivingSocial. To qualify for the grant I need 250 votes for my idea.

That’s where you come in.

  1. Go here:
  2. Click the button: Log in and Support
  3. Log in using your Facebook account
  4. Enter the following information: 
    Business name: Harrow Communications
  5. Click on Search
  6. Click on Vote

REQUEST: After you vote would you do a kindness and pass this on via your social networks to your friends, colleagues, and followers who you think would benefit? There is a “Share” button on the site that says, “Share vote.”

Here is what you can put:

Susan Harrow wants 2 help inner-city kids & college grads get jobs. Vote 4 her biz: Harrow Communications. I did!

I’d be enormously grateful! Thank you!

Six Most Common Interview Blunders