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Don't Get Upstaged by a Dog and other Distractions

  October 23, 2017

There's a lot to remember when you're interviewed on TV.  The most important thing, of course, is your messaging.  You've crafted it, practiced and you are ready.  So don't let anything distract from your message.  No one is immune from a distraction.  Take French President Macron for example. His dog answered the call of nature during a TV interview.  Who could possibly stay on message with that going on?  If you are being interviewed in the comfort of your home (either in-person or via Skype or FaceTime) be sure to pooch-proof the interview area.  

A ringing mobile phone, or even a vibrating one, is a distraction as well.  Separate yourself from your phone for five minutes to ensure you won't be distracted during your interview.

 Women Media Pros' Senior Media Consultant Bella Shaw lovingly shares a story about a colleague who  created a whopper of a distraction on air.

A rushed and out of breath sportscaster, Bob Barry, Sr., was set to highlight a University of Oklahoma football game during the six o'clock news, when anchor Bella Shaw noticed a trickle of blood dripping down from his upper lip.  Turns out, Barry, in a huge hurry to get on set, nicked himself shaving.  As he spoke, the blood drip got thicker.  The switchboard soon lit up with viewers concerned about the sportscasters' well being.  Shaw chided him, "Bob couldn't you feel it?"  He responded, "Bella, I could taste it."  Although now deceased, the story of Bob Barry's brush with blood remains one of Bella's favorite bloopers.

If you think this is a unique story it is not.  I was watching an interview on a local Las Vegas TV station recently and noticed the male guest from bleeding from his upper lip.  The anchor couldn't ignore this obvious distraction.  As a viewer I was so distracted I couldn't possibly listen to his messaging.   The media training tip for men: do not shave within an hour of air time, and always have a styptic pencil handy to stop the blood if you do cut yourself.

Other message killers include:  clothing with an overly busy pattern,  jangling jewelry that makes noise,  and even bad posture during your interview.  

Your media messaging is too important to muddy with distractions.

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