How to Control a Media Interview - Writer's Digest

How to Control a Media Interview

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By Rob Eagar

A good way to gauge your interview prowess is by mastering the ability to steer a conversation to only the topics that you want to discuss. Just because a radio or TV host asks you a question does NOT mean that you must answer it. Sure, it's polite to respond to someone's question. But, if the host starts down a verbal rabbit trail, you're not obligated to follow and waste time from talking about your main points.

Occasionally, you may interact with a host who acts condescending or openly disagrees with your opinion. But, don't let him or her bully you. Instead, sidestep the argument and redirect the question to a subject that you want to discuss. Think of an interview like steering a car. The host may ask the questions, but you're the one driving the direction of the conversation. For example, here are three responses you can use when a host asks you something antagonistic or irrelevant:

  • "Yes, that's an interesting issue. But, I've found that an even bigger issue is..."
  • "I'll be glad to answer that question. But, first, let me say something about..."
  • "You bring up a good question. But, before I leave, I really want to emphasize this point to today's listeners..."

Remember, you're the expert, the host is not. Therefore, it makes sense for you to control the flow of information to the audience, rather than a host who probably isn't nearly as familiar with your topic.


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About the author:

Rob Eagar is the founder of WildFire Marketing, a consulting practice that helps authors and publishers sell more books and spread their message like wildfire. He has assisted numerous New York Times bestselling authors and is author of the new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Find out more about Rob’s advice, products, and coaching services for authors at: