I am a staunch believer in media training for artists, politicians and others who spend a majority of their time in the public eye.
As a journalist, I can honestly say that there's nothing worse than having to conduct an interview where you feel like you have to pull teeth to get any kind of pertinent information. I'm talking about the kind of interview where the person you are talking to has no clue who they are, what they're about or even what it is that they're supposed to be promoting.
So I have to give 50 Cent props for his interview skills.
I got an opportunity to watch him on Fuse TV a few nights ago and even though I find him to be very arrogant at times, I had to admit that he was very well-spoken and well-versed on who he is as a person and as an artist.
He skillfully maintained control of the interview and the direction it was allowed to go in, and when he was asked about controversial issues he looked the interviewer in the eye and addressed each question with finesse.
I always get excited when I see Black artists interview well because media is always so quick to try to make them look bad. That is why I stress to the up and coming artists I encounter that they get media training and take it seriously, because as an artist your image is all you have. It is up to you to make sure that you put the best "you" forward at all times, but especially when there is a microphone or camera in front of your face. Because like I always say, once you put it out there you can't take it back.
So in celebration of the New Year here are some free tips to remember for your next interview:
1) Always be on time (Black people really seem to have a problem with that one)
2) Greet your interviewer with a positive attitude and a firm handshake
3) Do NOT chew gum!!!!!!!!!!
4) Do NOT wear sunglasses!!!!!!!!!!!(It's hard to have a serious conversation with someone if you can not see their eyes. It makes it seems as if you have something to hide or that you feel the person you are talking to is beneath you.)
5) During the interview be charismatic and try not to give 1 word answers- nobody likes a boring/dry interview
Whether you are an artist, politician, or a person looking for a job these are just few tips that are applicable to any interview scenario: Job, television, radio, or print.
Here are some examples of bad interviews:
Know your yourself and know your craft! No matter what the scenario, you'd be surprised how far a good interview will get you.
If you happen to be an artist in need of media training please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Media Training" in the subject line. Don't be afraid...I'll be gentle. Just don't be late to my class.
Happy New Year!