Ever had that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing where to look when making a point, delivering a message or asking a question?
Nervous furtive glances looking sideways, upwards or downwards? Anywhere but the gaze of the person you're trying to persuade and influence.
Effective communication is about making an emtional connection with another human being.
Media relations strategy is about using the media and dealing with one person to get your message across to many.
The question most often asked by people wanting media training advice is where to look during a TV interview.
Well, here are some key dos and don'ts.
1. Don't Look At The Camera
It is just a hunk of metal and glass and won't smile back at you!
2. Don't Look At Your Feet
Feet are good for walking on and never provide the positive feedback you're looking for when under pressure.
3. Don't Bury Your Chin in Your Chest
You will mumble, stumble and be hard to hear.
4. Don't Look Up
The ceiling of a room or sky rarely delivers the inspiration, word or phrase you're seeking. You will just come across as uncertain.
5. Don't Look to the Side
Eye movement to the side makes you appear shifty and untrustworthy.
6. Do Take Your Sunglasses Off
Sunglasses on TV is not a cool look. Even for rock stars.
7. Do Look at the Reporter
Direct and firm eye contact establishes authority.
8. Do Address Each Question at a Press Conference
Answer each question individually rather trying to engage everyone.
9. Do Remove Your Glasses 10 Minutes Prior
Avoid unsightly red marks on the bridge of your nose by removing your glasses prior to an interview. Better still wear contacts.
10. Do Memorise, Practice and Rehearse Your Quotable Quote
You can't read notes on camera. Plan, prepare and practice saying your seven-second sound bite before the camera rolls.
Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.
You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com.