Winning the 2013 Shire ADHD Scholarship was a big deal for me in a lot of ways. One of the most unexpected things for me was the opportunity to do some press interviews. Speaking with reporters can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. I’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you present yourself in the best way that you can.
Tip #1. You Determine Your Own Story
The first time I was ever interviewed for the local newspaper was for the Shire ADHD Scholarship. I was nervous about talking about sharing my story and struggles with ADHD publicly. On the day of the interview, I simply answered questions as they came to me. When I read the story in the newspaper a couple of days later, I was disappointed to find a story that didn’t relate the inspirational or motivating story I had hoped to portray. To me, the headline might as well have read “Local Disabled Man is Not Entirely Useless to Society.” It bugged me. I really had a hard time being proud of being in the paper.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to be interviewed several months later about the same topic. I determined that I was going to make this one better. I had a clear goal of leaving a message of motivation and encouragement instead of simply overcoming trials. The result was an article that was really exciting, motivating, and something that I could proudly share with friends and family. The lesson I learned was that nobody can determine your story but you. If you aren’t intentional about how your story is told, somebody else is going to take control of it instead. By figuring out what your story is ahead of time, you will be able to represent yourself the best way you know how.
Tip #2. Interviewers Want Soundbites
Back when I recorded the limited run of the Between Your Ears Podcast, I learned that one of the most valuable habits of recording a solo podcast is to stop yourself mid-sentence and start over if you need to. Don’t bother falling all over your words while you’re trying to express yourself. Just stop talking, compose yourself, determine what you want to say, and say it again from the beginning. The result is a single video clip that looks good and flows well.
Tip #3: Have a Good Headshot
I received an email a few days ago from a University newspaper that I spoke to last week about the Shire ADHD Scholarship. They wanted a picture of me that they could put into their article they were writing. I literally have no good pictures of myself. Seriously. I need to get on this, and it took me by surprise. Have a picture of yourself so that you don’t get stuck in my situation, filing through pages and pages of pictures in iPhoto. Besides, if you really want to develop your personal brand, you need a good headshot.
Tip #4: Being Easy to Find on Social Media Pays Off
On the day that I was being featured in the Lethbridge Herald, I received a Facebook message from Quinn Campbell from Global News in Lethbridge. She said she wanted to do a feature on me for the news, and I was pumped! I never would have been on TV if I wasn’t easily found on Facebook. That really goes for anything else, so if you’re trying to grow your personal brand online, be visible. It’s just that simple.
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