Entrepreneur: Talking to the Press.

By: ‘Bimbola Adewole.

Entrepreneurship means different things to different people. Some argued that the moment you have an idea, you are an entrepreneur. It is very laughable to think that successful entrepreneurs only sit somewhere and allow their money to break the news for them without necessarily getting their hands dirty, rolling up their sleeves and get on the street to make it happen. An American entrepreneur once said ‘ My overnight success took me 10 years’ If you think success is cheap, go to bed now and wake up next day to build an empire.

An entrepreneur is a risk taker, an initiator, a challenger, a creative person and a driver with an independent mind, with or without funds. Excuse me! If you lack these qualities and you keep parading yourself as a start up (Entrepreneur). Please get a white collar job and keep reporting to another entrepreneur.

When people see you as a challenger in business, it simple means that – you have muscles to bring down any mountains and of course talk about your ideas to millions of people on radio, television or print media, but you must understand the principles of talking to the press as an entrepreneur, in order to win more vote or confident in the eyes of the public that you intend to sell your products and services to.

BEFORE YOU MEET THE PRESS

Research: It is an assumption to think that a good journalist does not research on topics before they speak with you on phone, radio or TV. Make sure you dig deep on the topic, get all sides of the topics and take your position which represents your interest as a business man.

Preparation: Jamaican Usain Bolt is an Olympic legend who has been called “the fastest man alive” for smashing world records and winning 9 gold medals as a reigning champion at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Games. Nobody get a standing ovation without paying a price for it. The moment you get date and time of your interview, get online and ask professionals in the line of your topic to help you with information. You must identify the points you want to share on paper and in your head. Even if the anchor talks wide to divert your thoughts please make sure you don’t loose the wheel of the interview. It is you and it is for you only. Talk less of what you don’t know and more of what you have pencil down to talk on.

Know the Journalist: You must understand that journalists are human with a face and mindset. You never can tell the motive of the interview, so never go for an interview without a proper research on the previous works of the journalist. You need to get his/her style of interview and get all information you can lay your hands on before you sit on that set.

Dress your Business: when I was still a teenager my mother will always say ‘dressing is a magic’. Your business is regulated by a sector and there is always a specific look for each sector regardless of your country. Please if you are an engineer, dress engineer. If you are a banker, dress a banker and if you are a farmer, dress a modern farmer. Every business has got a dress sense. Look for your business look and dress like it before you accept that interview to go LIVE or in any business meetings.

DURING THE INTERVIEW.

Relax: It is normal to feel a bit nervous before a journalist, but being calm and mastering the tricks will ensure those nerves don’t show at all.

Body Language: a very strong element of communication on television. Unfortunately, you have two set of audience to battle it with – the TV anchor and the viewers at home. It is now a must to ensure that your words and body language compliment each other for the few minutes you will spend on the screen. It is a good strength, but don’t worry if you don’t know the tricks. Just note the following;

– Make your movement flexible.

– Don’t move or wink unnecessarily.

– maintain balance eye contact.

– Don’t distract yourself.

– Don’t pass your discomfort to any part of your body. E.g. Standing with hands on hips means aggression, nodding means agreement and active listening, biting nails shows nervousness.

Use stories: Learn how to share stories based on personal experience. Surely, this will enhance your interview and bring your idea to life for public.

Don’t say jargon: Always say what you know and avoid filler. People listening or watching you are more intelligent than you are, so keep it simple but truthful and express your passion on each statement you make.

Sales Pitch: Attention is at a premium. You are just one of the many fighting for a piece of your prospect’s mind. All of your sweat, blood and tears have come down to this: you must sell your products or services in an extra ordinary way using the right words that has never been heard before.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW.

The question may be over, but your relationship with the reporter has just begun and you should proceed accordingly, if you remain in his or her good graces in the future.

As a responsible entrepreneur, do consider to say thank you to the reporter, leave the door (relationship) open and share your products and services by updating the journalist periodically.

Remember, nothing is one –off! Whenever you find yourself around a journalist, take the opportunity to sell yourself to investors, stakeholders and prospects. Remain consistent because people are watching.

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