A week ago the San Francisco 49ers hired new head coach Jim Tomsula. Yahoo Sports Talk Live hosted an interview with the relatively unknown coach that served to introduce the new coach to the public. The interview, to say the least, was awkward. Tomsula answered the majority of the reporter’s questions with grunts, half-formed ideas, and nonsensical mumbling.
Even a neophyte public speaker like Tomsula, however, could have handled his debut interview much better with a little practice. Some quick and easy media training could have helped Tomsula avoid the awkward silences and flubs that punctuated the interview. In the absence of media training, the end result was disjointed and hard to follow.
When dealing with the media, as in many aspects of life, preparation is key. With just a little bit of effort on his part, and some smart PR work by the team, he could have delivered a more engaging and informative interview that inspired confidence instead of confusion.
Media training can also help prepare interview subjects in other ways. If there are sensitive topics that may come up, you can formulate responses that answer the question without leading into dangerous territory. Likewise, media training can help you avoid the kinds of awkward silences that punctuated the Tomsula interview by ensuring you have a well-formulated response to any potential question.