Open course: Media skills

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to engage with journalists and tell media-friendly stories.

For some delegates, that could mean preparing to do something completely new.

For others, it will mean finessing existing media interview skills.

Whatever your experience level, this training course helps ensure delegates get their message across in media opportunities and communicate with clarity and confidence.

Delivered by experienced journalists who have worked in the UK’s top newsrooms, this high-quality course puts you in the best possible hands to navigate the daunting media environment.

What will you learn?

Our media training is practical, fast-paced and perfect for both media novices and experienced spokespeople.

Our brilliant journalists will guide you through all the latest techniques and skills needed to master print, radio and TV interviews. And improve your understanding of what reporters want from a story.

Your course will cover:

  • Understanding how the media can help you speak directly to your audience
  • Using the power of storytelling to connect with your audience
  • The dos and don'ts of interviews, and the pitfalls, traps and opportunities
  • How to prepare quickly and effectively for an interview
  • Identifying, developing and landing key messages with speed and accuracy
  • Anticipating and preparing for the negatives
  • How to handle difficult questions
  • How to simplify ideas and messages without ‘dumbing down’ to reach a wider audience
  • Body language and voice techniques

And because we believe people apply their knowledge best when they take an active role in their learning, receive immediate constructive feedback and have fun, you’ll get plenty of chances to test your new skills and abilities in our broadcast studios.

The result? You will have the confidence and skills to engage with the media and compel your audience with your story.

Here’s what your time with us might look like.

Understanding the changing media landscape

  • What makes a news story – good and bad (T.R.U.T.H)
  • What a journalist wants from you in an interview
  • How to create more media opportunities
  • On and off the record – is there such a thing?
  • The use of quotes
  • The ‘rules of engagement’ – your rights as an interviewee
  • 24-hour and online news, traditional v social media
  • National, regional, local, trade and broadcast news - a look at your target media

Planning your interview

  • A preparation technique (A.M.E.N)
  • Who are your audiences and what do they want to hear?
  • Sounding human – the importance of examples and your personal input
  • Anticipating opposition and the negative angle

Staying in control

  • Controlling interviews using the Bridging Technique (A.B.C)
  • Staying on message and ‘on brand’
  • Adding personality without going ‘off message’

Interview practice, review and coaching (print & telephone)

Delegates give a face-to-face print style interview with their journalist trainer.
Trainer and peer review, feedback and coaching will follow.

Delegates will be invited to give an interview over the phone to an off-site journalist.
After their interview the journalist will write up the headline and the first few paragraphs of the story for review at the end of the course.

Preparing for broadcast interview

  • Signposting to steer the agenda
  • Case studies, facts and figures – how to bring them to life
  • The different types of TV and radio interviews – what’s relevant to you?
  • Down the line, studio, ENG, live and pre-recorded, videoconference
  • What to wear and where to look
  • Using your voice for radio

Interview practice, review and coaching (TV & radio)

From our realistic, fully equipped, TV and radio studios, delegates give a face-to-face TV and radio style interview with their journalist trainer.

Playback, review, feedback and coaching will follow.

Developing a quote for a recorded broadcast interview

Being able to pull a soundbite out of the bag at short notice is vital when you know that your time on air is tight

  • How and why journalists use soundbites for recorded news and feature packages
  • How to quickly develop and deliver relatable soundbites

Delivering a soundbite

The group will be asked to deliver a short 15-second TV or radio soundbite to camera or mic that resonate with the audience and support the company’s messages.

Final debrief

Review of the day and lessons learnt

The Media First difference

On our open courses, you can expect:

Our full attention
We offer a ratio of one trainer to four delegates, so you can be assured a high level of focus on your individual needs with the best opportunity to learn.

Passionate tutors
Our training team are working journalists and broadcasters with expert knowledge of all the latest trends and techniques

Hands on learning
We believe people learn best when they put their new skills and knowledge to the test.

Recording and playback
Our dedicated camera operators can film and record your presentation practice for playback and review, as well as providing you with secure access to all your own recordings after the course.

Access to classroom and studios
Our brand new, fully equipped TV, radio, podcasting studios and classrooms provide the perfect setting for your presentation practice.

Post course support
Your booking comes with a full year of post course support through our online Continuous Professional Development program, including access to blogs, templates, ebooks, live masterclasses and a range of associated self-study courses.  

Meet your tutor

Your Media Skills open course will be delivered by Victoria Smith.

Victoria is a Sony-award nominated TV, radio and print journalist with a background at Euronews, ITN, the BBC and The Associated Press.

As a journalist, Victoria understands what makes audiences tick and how to maintain their attention.

And she has delivered hundreds of presentation skills courses for our clients.

Book your place

Places are available on the dates shown below, with each booking priced at £895 +VAT.