The 5 Media Appearance Mistakes Men Make

The 5 Media Appearance Mistakes Men Make—and how not to

1. Being too factual

Number 1 is being too factual or too focused on being data-driven. I’d say no emotional content. How do you remedy this? You tell a story first and you marry the data afterwards in that story.

2. Being Too Defended

Number 2 is too defended. Men in this culture are used to competing with each other for one-upmanship.
It just the way that men relate to each other so they try to knock each other off their pedestal, so to speak so they can gain status above each other. So knowing that knowing that that’s part of men’s nature.

One of the things that we do in Aikido, Japanese martial arts, and I’m a black belt, is we offer the area that we want to be hit. So for example, if we wanted to be hit in the head we would slightly tilt the head offering that. So the other person thinks that there’s an opening. And would hit us in the head or the stomach—whatever area we offer.

So if you’re talking about something that’s controversial for example, give a very specific, considered opening where you would like to be attacked. And that way you control the attack.

3. Overly Obvious About Credentials

Number 3 is being overly obvious about their credentials, just blurting them out right up front. Sometimes that’s appropriate but sometimes it’s not. Your presence alone should be enough to establish your credibility. And whenever a host introduces you with your bio [or through the Chyron – the title on the screen] that’s really enough to set your credibility without you having to interject it.

Certainly don’t do it right in the beginning. So for example, I wouldn’t say I’m basing this training on the dozens of CEOs, to celebrity chefs, to executives, and founders that I’ve trained. I don’t I want to just blurt that out in the very beginning. I might weave it into the conversation. However, I would connect it to something that’s of value to the audience.

So for example, I might say what I notice when I media train CEOs. Is that the one of the things that is super important to them is to be respected. And to not make mistakes. Because they feel that can have an effect on their status or their perception in a company. So I would weave it into the conversation.

4. Not Smiling Enough

Number 4 is not smiling enough. Men don’t smile enough because they want to be taken seriously. And it’s more important to them to be respected than to be liked. But that being said, and I totally understand that, there are times when you’re delivering happy news. Or something that’s great, the way to connect with people is to smile.

I’ll tell you another reason for that. When people are giving TED Talks those people who smiled more are rated as more intelligent. The important thing to know is that smiling makes you more easy to connect with. And when people can connect more deeply with you then they’ll listen more attentively.

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5. Being Too Loud

Number 5 is that men are often too loud. They project but they’re often upping their energy with their voice maybe popping open their eyes like I just did. But they’re talking a little bit loud to be taken seriously. Instead you can vary the pacing, the pausing, the pitch, the rhythm, the tone and the volume. And in fact lowering your volume will make people lean into you.

You create authority by the way that your phraseology, the way that you phrase things, your tone, where you pause, you’re leading people into how you want them to listen to you. By saying so like that was just a little bit more staccato to you. So there are lots of voice variations that you can do to create that authority without being loud.

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I hope that’s been helpful to you. I’m Susan Harrow, media coach, marketing strategist, author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul® published by HarperCollins and CEO of And I invite you to connect with me on

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Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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