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  • Writer's pictureKevin Lindon Ryan

How to Prepare Talking Points for Press Interviews [10 Tips]

Photo by Jason Hornick

Photo of me by Jason Hornick for The Washington Post.

When you land an interview — time to get published! — don’t panic. Media training is necessary for many individuals. However, there are tried-and-true ways to prepare yourself for your big moment.

Last year, a reporter for The Washington Post - Express interviewed me for an article on small space living and closet organization. My client at the time was a professional organizer.

I prepared well. In my research, I even discovered that the writer had previously worked with Tori Spelling. ("I think 90210 changed the world," said Nicole Richie.) The excitement was nerve-wracking!

Even though I had written talking points for clients before, I still worried. Interviews cause most people anxiety. Right? What if you say the wrong thing? What if you don't know an answer?

With careful planning, you can use some of your nervousness to your advantage and maintain equanimity. Be energetic! Have a lively conversation. But please, prepare well. Use my tips below.

How to Prep for Press Interview [10 Tips]

  • Don’t be afraid. Most journalists are fun, kind, and engaging.

  • Write an outline. Add the interviewer’s name, the publication, date, and topics to the top of the page. (Clients thank me for that.)

  • Research what’s already out there. Write down what you know and how you might answer questions. Remember, you are the expert. You know more about the topics than most readers do.

  • Select interesting talking points. Add each to your outline with notes below. Use headers, bold or italicize text, and cascade your elaborations beneath each heading. Organize!

  • Don’t wing it! Come prepared with your outline and notes.

  • Don’t mislead or lie. This mistake could damage your reputation.

  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, tell the reporter you will follow up with it.

  • If you are unsure of the question, ask for clarification.

  • Upon wrap up, thank the reporter and say you can be contacted if any additional information is needed.

  • Relax, and shine on!

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Please share this post with others. You never know when you or your colleagues might be interviewed! Comment below with questions. Have you been featured in a publication? Tell us about it. Never hesitate to reach out. I'm only a phone call, email, or message away.

Thanks so much,


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