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


During Aikido tests you’re not supposed to talk. That alone is torture for me because I feel like I can talk my way out of anything. So my safety valve is gone. You’re supposed to do the technique that is called out in Japanese by the Sensei. Standing at his desk in the dojo a few days before my test Sensei mentioned that sometimes, in the extreme tension of the moment during a test, you suddenly don’t understand the technique that is called.

That’s what happened to me.

At one point during the test it was like my Sensei was speaking Swahili and I could make no sense of his words….

So I said as such. Sensei then described what I was to do and I remembered the technique and did it.

Much the same thing can happen in the bright lights of a TV studio. Suddenly it seems like the host is speaking a language you’ve never heard and your brain goes dead. In a TV interview if you go blank the experienced host or interviewer will typically ask you a leading question that will help trigger the answer. They want to help make it a great interview as much as you do. You reach deep into your mind and pull out something that you hope approximates an answer.

If you can use humor and create a moment of breathing room then things can easily get back on track. The important thing is to keep going without calling a good deal of attention to your gaffe.

In this video what you’ll see is how, in several instances, I did the incorrect technique, noticed and then made the correction without getting too flustered. Keeping your equanimity and continuing on is as much a part of the test as knowing and carrying out the proper techniques.

You’re judged on how you handle yourself overall, not by the minutia of the conversation.

For more media coaching and publicity tips, and some outrageous, shocking and provocative stuff that may tick you off or tickle you I invite you to subscribe to my new YouTube Channel here:

For those of you interested in Aikido and how it applies to work, play, and mastery of self go here:

Finally, question for you:

Have you ever gone blank in a media interview? How did you recover?