[00:00:00] Welcome to the Good Talent Podcast, it’s wonderful to have your company. My name’s Tony Nichols. I’m the CEO and founder of Good Talent Media. We’re a team of ex-journos and we help organizations get their message across in the media.
[00:00:29] Now I want you to remember with any media performance that you’ve got coming up: your take is your take. Whatever you deliver is whatever you deliver. That is so important to lock into your mind, because so often we see with our clients that they get frustrated and upset when they’re in the media and they didn’t get this message out or they didn’t get that message out, or they stumbled here and they stumbled there. But what you’re forgetting as talents in the media or a spokesperson in the media, Your audience has no idea what your script was.

[00:00:59] They have no idea what your goal was: these ideal messages and stories that you thought that you would get out. Your take was your take. They received what you delivered, and it’s quite liberating when you think like that, because it’s tough performing in the media. It’s tough being good talent in the media.

[00:01:17] In your busy schedule, you don’t need to put more pressure on yourself that you didn’t say this, and you didn’t say that. And I wish I had have said this, or I wish I didn’t stumble on that part of the story. That’s just pressure and stress that you don’t need. The facts are when you are performing in the media, your take is your take, whatever you get out is whatever you get out. And that’s the best that you’ve got in that moment, and that’s actually gold.

[00:01:40] You’ve gotta remember when you’re in the press: there are nerves, there is pressure, there is stress. There are questions that you didn’t think would be fired at you. You did have a goal in mind, and you did have a clear audience of mind, and you’ve had your messaging and your sound bites and the stories that you’re ready to tell. But within the context of that moment for that interview, you got out what you got out. And you should be proud of that and it’s never gonna be perfect. No interview that you do necessarily will be perfect from start to finish. There will be bumps. There will be detours.

[00:02:13] If you think of it a little bit like a performer who might be improvising, let’s say the audience never knew what you prepared backstage. So whatever you delivered was in fact perfect for the audience. And it’s a good way of thinking because whatever you deliver, you should be quite happy with. It’s the perfect version of what you could have delivered in that moment, and then you move on. Move on with your day, move on with the next interview, and away you go.

[00:02:37] I’ll never forget as a live cross broadcaster at the ABC, I got to the ABC and I was lucky enough that I had some skill and that was to talk underwater essentially. And so I was a live cross guy and I was on a lot of stories back to back, day after day, week after week, month after month. And I remember saying to a news editor one morning, I’m not sure how today’s going; I don’t feel great. I don’t feel like this is coming out very well. Tim Ayliffe… said to me, “Don’t stress Tony, because I’ll take your average above everyone’s.”

[00:03:07] And that was an education for me because I was a perfectionist. I was being too hard on myself. I didn’t realize at the time that the audience never knew what I prepared or what I intended. What I was getting out was… My 80% was pretty good anyway. And he said,’ I’ll take your average ahead of anyone.’ So that’s broadcaster talk for journos who are nonstop in the media, and media performers who do it as a full-time job. They often might be running at 60% or 70% or 80% of their ability cuz they’re worn out, and their personal life is tough, and things are really hard in the newsroom, let’s say. But as an audience, we’d never really know because they’re good talent to start with. And they’re 80% is probably way above someone’s 120% anyway. So that was a great compliment that Tim gave me that morning that he was happy to take my average any day.

[00:03:52] The facts are: you as an interviewee, who’s keen on increasing your profile and strengthening your brand, you’re gonna have interviews that you feel like you absolutely knock it out of the park, which is great. It’s a wonderful feeling. But the facts are, even in assessing that interview, you might have had a very restful weekend. You might have had an interviewer that wasn’t challenging at all. So it all went your way and you feel like you totally knocked it outta the park, which is great. But you get to another interview when you’re more stressed and your life is busier. And it might not, in your mind, go as well as you thought. But for the audience, it’s just what they needed, right? You’ve got the messages out there.

[00:04:26] What I think what spokespeople really forget is that you are the absolute expert in your industry when you are the person doing the interview on the project, or you are the person in the AFR or the ABC, or wherever you might be. Now, you might not think of yourself as the expert in your industry, but in that moment, you are. And compared to the journo interviewing you, you absolutely are the total expert in your industry. It’s your moment, right? You’ve got your five minutes of fame now. I think too many clients of ours and CEOs that we deal with think to themselves, ‘Well, I can’t do that interview. Who am I to do that press because I only have 20 years of experience or I only have 10 years of experience.” But if you’ve got the ABC microphone in front of you, in that moment you are the industry expert. You have all the knowledge; much more knowledge than the interviewer and much more knowledge than the audience consuming your content.

[00:05:17] So you should have confidence in the moments that you are in the press. You are the industry expert, and what you are delivering is what you’re delivering. And it’s way above the heads of most of your audience anyway. And you’ve done well dealing with your nervous system and your personal life circumstance at the moment to perform as well as you have. So I guess this is a loving way to treat yourself. It’s a very loving and kind way to treat yourself because you should be, right? If your aim is to increase your profile, strengthen your brand and use these huge news platforms as a vehicle to do that, you have to be kind to yourself on the journey and accept that your take is your take.

[00:05:52] And I’ll just leave you with one brief story: we were just at an industry awards function for a great peak body client of ours. And it reminds me, actually, I videoed this speech and I’ll send it back to this client. He gets up there delivering this award and he does this wonderful speech. And it was the one night when the 300 plus audience stopped: it was the pin dropping in the room moment. It was a great speech, and he went through it and delivered this big award… and there was a standing ovation. But in my client’s mind, all he would focus on is the one stumble he made somewhere in the speech.

[00:06:27] From the audience’s point of view, all I remember is: the room stopped. You couldn’t hear a pin drop. It was the most significant moment of the night. And the award winner was incredible: it was an older gentleman; it was like a lifelong achievement award. It was probably the only one enjoyable speech of the whole evening. All my client was worried about is this one stumble, which no one, no one in the room, would have any memory of other than him.

[00:06:51] So he was too focused on himself in this example, not on the moment he was trying to create and the value he was trying to provide in that speech on the night. So that was an interesting one. So you gotta remember your take is your take, whatever you deliver is whatever you deliver, and it’s the best you can do in that moment.

[00:07:10] Your 80%, or 60% or 70%, undoubtedly is way beyond most people’s 120% in your industry. So you should be proud of it: you’ve faced up to the moment, you delivered when most people aren’t even brave enough to deliver, and undoubtedly you’ve educated, you’ve inspired, you’ve built some awareness, and you’ve definitely helped build your profile so: congratulations.

[00:07:31] Thanks for listening.

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.


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