Let me draw your attention to two inspiring live TV interviews!
Both feature interviewees who shine out as a result of their big underlying positive messages which fuel everything they say.
The first is Susie Ma – a one-time contestant on BBC’s The Apprentice – who went on to secure investment from the programme’s resident business tycoon, Alan “You’re Fired!” Sugar.
Susie Ma is the founder of the fast-growing all-natural-ingredients business, Tropic Skincare.
She established her company in Britain after arriving from Shanghai – via a stint growing up in Cairns in the Australian tropics.
In an interview on Sky News, Susie Ma performs with admirable enthusiasm while being peppered with business questions from someone who is admittedly far less scary on TV than Lord Sugar – the relatively mild-mannered Ian King.
Within the interview it’s worth noting that Susie Ma refers to what she calls her company’s “Infinite Purpose” – which is creating a healthier, greener and more-empowered world.
It’s this purpose which seems to drive her profound belief in the good things her company does through its commitment to making all its own vegan, environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free beauty products.
Susie Ma comes across on screen with all the authority you might expect a successful skincare entrepreneur to exert.
She serenely makes positive points off the back of everything that’s thrown at her.
And she answers the challenging questions directly – before routinely going on to convey a positive related message… as recommended in Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work:
Throughout the interview Susie Ma responds enthusiastically while smiling graciously – as you can see here:
The second interview is a much more challenge one.
The interviewee is England cricket captain, Ben Stokes, who has been facing that toughest of interview challenges for top sportspeople: dealing with blowtorch-on-the-belly questions immediately after you’ve lost a big contest.
I remember, as an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) London Correspondent, asking tough questions of the losing Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting at a press conference at The Oval after his team went down in the nail-bitingly close 2005 Ashes series.
As a journalist with a background in the tough world of Australian politics, my instinct was to ask a question involving the dreaded “R-word” – with “R” standing for “Resignation”.
In the emotion of the moment, Ricky Ponting – a robustly magnificent batsman never known for charm or sense of humour – gave a snarlingly negative reply which brought no credit to him, his team or the game.
It did however give us at the ABC a dramatic piece of sporting theatre to put on the airwaves!
Current England Captain Ben Stokes faced a similar post-match challenge after losing the exciting see-sawing First Test in the current Ashes series at Edgbaston.
No one mentioned the “R-word”, but the questions from the BBC team were testing enough.
Heroically Ben Stokes came to the interview equipped with a supremely positive message about the great entertainment value the match had provided the Edgbaston spectators and those watching on TV around the world.
He openly admitted to the downsides of the England performance amidst their spirited so-called “Bazball” approach.
And Ben Stokes even made a touching acknowledgment of the performance of the fast-bowling Australian Captain – and unlikely last-day batting hero – Pat Cummins.
There’s one part of the interview which is particularly worth watching.
It’s where Ben Stokes breaks my rule that you should usually avoid responding to a tough question by asking a question back.
This can look pathetically defensive.
But Ben Stokes got away with it by cheekily throwing back a question to interviewer Michael Vaughan about whether – in the Ashes series of 2005 which his team famously won – the England side also lost the First Test.
By asking the question in a good-humoured manner – and forcing the Michael Vaughan acknowledgment that his side had indeed lost the First Test of the 2005 series – Ben Stokes sent a message that England could still win the Ashes in 2023.
By doing so, from the ashes of a single defeat, Ben Stokes emerged as a media winner!
You can check out the gutsy Ben Stokes interview performance if you click on the first video on the webpage at:
So whatever challenges you may face in your media interviews in future, the right powerful, positive messages can help you and your team emerge as winners.
And if you need a reminder of how severe on-screen negativity can help you look like a loser, check out this fierce rant against top Russian military leaders from a one-time hot-dog salesman in St Petersburg called Yevgeny Prigozhin.
I once had the pleasure of running media interview response training sessions in glorious St Petersburg, but alas Yevgeny Prigozhin was not invited.
The Wagner mercenary leader is now on track for exile in Belarus after making an angry video – full of Russian expletives – before leading this past week’s later-abandoned coup attempt against Moscow.
THE BENEFITS OF MEDIA INTERVIEW RESPONSE TRAINING
In media training sessions, we work with you to produce the right positive messages for your situations – now and in the future.
Check out details of booking media interview training sessions at: http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/media-master-classes/
When you and your team emerge from Michael Dodd Communications media interview response sessions with the smiley positive charm of Susie Ma, your business will be well-placed to shine out on TV too!
And when you come out of your training sessions with the gutsy openness of Ben Stokes, then your business will be well-placed to stand up to challenging media questions if something ever goes badly wrong.
Rest assured, participants in my media interview response sessions are typically so inspired that they never come across on screen with the negativity of Ricky Ponting or Yevgeny Prigozhin!
And none of my participants have ever gone on to give media performances that have caused them to be exiled to Belarus!