How to be a trusted Subject Matter Expert 2.0

With a 24-hour news cycle and myriad pathways for your audience to consume news and content, video dominates the market with on-camera interviews, live, on-the-scene images, and packaged segments.

As a result, comprehensive media training is an essential component to your business model. Whether your brand is being featured in print, on social media or in an on-camera or Zoom interview, a media-savvy executive team or Subject Matter Expert (SME) who is equipped to deliver your message with authority and impact is critical for good news opportunities and in a crisis situation.

Let’s review the following tips for your next on-camera opportunity:

Know Your Story

  • Review your talking points, yet don’t over-script your message. Have a conversation with the reporter about your experience/topic, keeping it simple for viewers to follow along.
  • Support each key message with statistics and relatable examples.
  • Speak with a personal, storytelling tone – have fun (as appropriate) and be informative.
  • Be confident – you are the subject matter expert.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms; if you must use technical terms, explain them.
  • Display a high energy level with natural gestures, expressions, and voice.
  • Prepare what you will be talking about ahead of time, then smile and communicate your message.

Dress to Impress

  • Business attire is recommended with solid, darker colors for the best on-camera presentation.
  • Avoid white jackets or shirts, as well as, stripes or busy patterns.
  • Microphones are very sensitive – avoid loose jewelry around the neck or wrist that might make noise when you move naturally.
  • Items with your company or organization brand, such as a lapel pin or branded shirt may be worn.
  • Remember that your footwear might also be seen on camera.

Remote Interviews (Updated April 2020)

In today’s new COVID-19 environment, more media interviews are occurring via Zoom, Skype or other video chat programs. Media outlets have adapted quickly and continue to need SMEs to complement current news coverage.  In addition to the previous tips, you now need to also prepare for a live and/or taped video interview.

  • Practice in advance.
  • Check your audio and lighting quality and consider investing in a LED ring light, tripod and microphone.
  • Check your surroundings and use a brand/topic background if possible.

Are you ready to fine-tune your talking points, sharpen your on-camera appearance or freshen your brand message? Contact the Richeson Communications team for a media-ready consultation.

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