Media Training bloopers: Mathias Cormann

mathiasOh how a political campaign can deliver some great media moments.  Today the Gold Medal would have to go to our Finance Minister Mathias Cormann – who somehow seemed to mix up his leader the PM Malcolm Turnbull with Labor’s Bill Shorten.

If you missed it here’s a clip.  I wonder…. what was he thinking?


How to give a great presentation

I stumbled across this Tedx presentation by Silvia Damiano from About My Brain, an Australian leadership consultancy group.
Silvia combines information, humour and storytelling to create an entertaining presentation. She keeps her audience engaged by mixing up the pace and tone and giving them some insights into her own personal story. Perhaps most compelling is her natural, authentic style. Her accent becomes part of the narrative.

Sports Confidential: Semi Radradra working with Logie winner Rachel Friend to help him deal with media attention

The Daily Telegraph

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LOGIE winner Rachel Friend has emerged as the surprise person working behind the scenes to help Eels cult hero Semi Radradra adjust to life in front of the camera.

Radradra broke Parramatta’s try-scoring record last year, and his blazing start to this season has ensured he’s been in hot demand with all media outlets.

He did three separate interviews with Channel 9 alone after he terrorised the Bulldogs last Friday night.

Semi Radradra working with Logie winner Rachel Friend to help him deal with media attention.

Radradra has become one of the game’s real stars.

While no rival player can spook Radradra, anyone holding a camera or microphone clearly can.

He isn’t alone. And that’s how Friend and her PR company, Mediafriendly, were first introduced to Radradra.

Friend, who took out the Most Popular Actress gong at the 1990 Logies, and also worked as a journalist, said Radradra had improved from the time she first met him a couple of years ago.

They worked together a few times over the summer.

“He was very shy and unsure of himself, and English wasn’t his first language, so he was a bit self conscious,’’ Friend told Sports Confidential.

“My role was to give him encouragement and a sense of what to expect when he speaks to journalists. Despite the language barrier, he’s always had some amazing stories to tell. Last year he did an interview with the Sunday Footy Show and Yvonne Sampson – I cried. It was very moving.’’

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Friend has worked with other NRL clubs in the past, including South Sydney, but stopped short of saying Radradra had converted her to cheer for the Eels.

Radradra still has plenty of work to do. He has made an effort to elaborate on his answers during a couple of recent print interviews. He’s more than happy to keep putting in the hard yards, especially given the outside interest won’t die down any time soon.



Media training: live radio

1458004497681There’s nothing like a fiery debate on talk back radio – especially when the interviewee gets hot under the collar. For the host, in this case, Neil Mitchell, its the kind of heated, sensationalist discussion that gets the phone lines jammed with passionate callers all desperate to contribute their own views.  Its talk back gold which is why this discussion runs much longer than a regular interview.

Anthony Kelly is the Executive Officer at the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre.  He agreed to be interviewed in the knowledge he had an opposing view to Mitchell. Listen as Anthony Kelly becomes more and more agitated, frustrated and angry.

In this kind of forum emotions need to be kept in check.  Be clear on your messages and above all else remain calm.  Towards the end of the interview Neil Mitchell doesn’t say much – letting Mr Kelly do all the colourful talking.

And remember – the radio host will always have final say.

Neil Mitchell talks about Melbourne riots with Anthony Kelly 

Media press conference: Maria Sharapova faces journalists over failed drug test

Sometimes when you have bad news its best to get in first.  Take action.  Get on the front foot.  Control the message. sharapovaThat’s exactly what Maria Sharapova did when she announced she had failed a drug test.  Journalists thought they were attending her retirement announcement.  What they got was a massive story no one saw coming.  Maria admitted her mistake. Explained why she had been taking the drug.  Apologised to her fans and to the tennis world.  Took full responsibility for the failed test.

There’s no doubt Maria will pay a penalty both in the form of a suspension and the likely fallout with her sponsors.  But in my view Maria Sharapova has done everything she can to protect her personal brand and reputation.  Sometimes the best thing you can do in a time of crisis is admit the mistake, apologise and be real.  Maria Sharapova did all of that in spades.


Public speaking: Stan Grant’s Speech on Racism

I don’t want to diminish the meaning of broadcaster Stan Grant’s recent speech on racism in Australia by critiquing it.
In the lead up to Australia Day his words were potent, upsetting and in my opinion truthful.
If you haven’t seen it watch it.

Media Training: Sales owns interview, not the PM

After appearing on last night’s 7:30 program, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would have been hoping for today’s headlines to signify the billion dollar innovation package he launched alongside Minister for Innovation, Christopher Pine. However, the headlines today tell a different story: I ask the questions on this program… Leigh Sales reinforced during their 15minute interview.

So how did it all go so wrong? How did the Prime Minister fail to sell the major benefits of this generous innovation package? Was the subject discussed so dry and dull that the journalist seized the opportunity to keep her viewers interested by throwing up several hard-hitting unrelated questions?

What this interview shows us is that not only do you need to be well-briefed and prepared on the details of your topic (in which Mr Turnbull was not, stumbling to answer obvious how, why, what and where questions) but having answers ready—or at least linking and bridging techniques sorted—for those hard-hitting, uncomfortable questions on current political issues floating around.

Another observation of the Prime Minister’s interview was his frequent shifts in body language, particularly when the tough questions started to fly. Not only is it distracting, it can be perceived as incriminating. If you prepare in advance for the worst questions you could face, you can help avoid that physical response.

What did you think of last night’s interview? Are today’s headlines a fair representation of how it unfolded?

A personal crusade: giving the terminally ill choice at the end of life

mum polaroid good shotThis is a very personal story about my Mum who passed away a month ago. The story was published in the Daily Telegraph on November 15. I have had an overwhelming response to the article – it has resonated with so many people. My story is certainly not unique but that’s my point.



Nat Fyfe: Brownlow Medal Winner and A Grade Communicator

1443492135945Nat Fyfe deserves a second medal for a speech that was humble, self deprecating, warm, funny and eloquent all at the same time!  A great role model for his young fans (my 12 year old son included). It’s so refreshing to see a sports man who can communicate as well as he can play!


Media training: Malcolm Turnbull unsuccessfully tries to dodge questions about Bronwyn Bishop

malcolm turnbullOur Federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull is an experienced media operator having been interviewed by journalists hundreds of times.  Listen to his interview this morning with Michael Brissenden from ABC Radio’s AM program.  Mr Turnbull attempts to take control of the interview and dodge questions about the resignation of Bronwyn Bishop – it’s a verbal tug of war to begin with but in the end Michael Brissenden wins the battle!  Note that as soon as Mr Turnbull breaks and provides commentary on Ms Bishop there are several more questions about Ms Bishop and entitlements to come.

Malcolm Turnbull vs Michael Brissenden