From the blog Mr. Media Training, here is a brilliant example of how to properly conduct a media interview. It’s even more amazing when you consider it’s a face-off between Kevin O’Leary, one of the hosts of “The Lang & O’Leary Exchange” from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and 14-year-old Rachel Parent, a student activist, debating a campaign for mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The point is not whether you are for or against GMOs. As blog author Christina Mozaffari Phillips points out, the point is how Parent handled herself in the debate. Read her post here, but in the meantime, here’s the five key learnings.
1. Parent didn’t let O’Leary change the debate. No matter the question, she always brought the answer back to her singular and focused message, over and over.
2. She refused to engage in hypothetical statements. Instead of answering the impossible, she responded with facts.
3. She ignored OLeary’s insults. Funny how the teenager was the adult, and the adult the teenager. In other words, you don’t have to help someone else make a fool of themselves.
4. She was 101% prepared. She did her homework. She had her examples. She knew her background. May I say it again? She was PREPARED.
5. She got on the front foot. After hearing O’Leary insult GMO protestors, Parent challenged O’Leary to a debate on his TV show. Parent rose up to what she believed was inaccurate perceptions, and in turn, to put forth her messages.
This example couldn’t come in a more interesting week. Compare Parent’s fortitude versus this week’s embarrassing silence by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg who has yet to comment on why she isn’t going to pay a intern a salary despite Sandberg earning $90 million a year. If you ask me, Parent is a far more believable demonstration of female empowerment.