Now, more than ever, business experts are being asked to appear as guests on podcasts or videos. A media discussion is different than a presentation. Check out these 3 suggestions that will make you more engaging.
Tell a Story.
Asked about yourself? Make it a 3 act play.
- What makes you an expert?
- What did you discover that moved you to your current space?
- How does what you are doing today combine your expertise and your discovery.
Here is an example from an executive in a specialty pharmaceutical company. 1. Over the last 25 years, I have worked in academia and as an executive at 3 of the Fortune 500 drug companies. 2. In my last position as head of research and business development for XYZ company, I realized that there are hundreds of drugs that were being deprioritized due to lack of resources. 3. I recently joined ABC company as VP of development. Today, I want to talk about how we are licensing IP from the big pharma companies and bringing solutions to the market to save lives.
This short drama needs to play out in less than two minutes. Remember, you don’t have to convince me of your expertise. (You would not be a guest if you were not an expert). You need to make me interested in what you have to say.
When asked about your company, look at your elevator pitch.
- What problem do you solve?
- How do you solve it?
- What makes you different?
For my company, e-Conversation Solutions; 1. We help companies to better utilize their internet content to grow sales. 2. We work with marketing and sales to integrate the content into the selling process. 3. Rather than asking “what do you want say? the first question we ask is “how are you going to use it?”. Think about how many discussion questions can come out of these three statements.
Ask how long the interview will last. Understand if you are going to be alone or featured with other presenters. Other presenters? Ask who they will be and consider how you can complement them. If there are show notes to be posted, send them the appropriate material. Provide a picture and bio consistent with the content that will be discussed. If you don’t have a professional picture, get one. First impressions are lasting.
Obtain a list of questions that you may be asked and prepare some answers. Don’t plan to read your answers. It is important to be responsive and authentic. However, if you write the answers that you will be asked, you will already know what you want to say. Before the interview, spend some time practicing your responses. Request that your practice partner ask you questions that are not on the list.
Put together a list of questions that you would like to be asked. You would be surprised how often your show host will pick them up. If a topic is key, you will want to find a way to weave some of your key content into the discussion.
Create some Word Pictures
You goal is to be intriguing. A word picture can help. What might be a few examples? I was working with a business incubator group in the life sciences. The head of the group said that his goal was “to create an environment for spontaneous collaboration”. What is “spontaneous collaboration”? By elaborating, he was able to lead the discussion.
A home improvement company noted that their goal was “flawless design”. Think about where that might lead over the course of the interview. Your word picture exists not to explain, but to encourage discussion. Have a couple of prepared real life examples. Make sure you practice because a good word picture leads to a great discussion.
What might be a word picture you could use in your business? What examples do you have to best illustrate it?