Communications and Media Training

The Smith & Harroff speaker training course fully prepares participants to become adept at standard, professional communication techniques — ranging from how to handle on-camera news interviews to how to succeed in confrontations with hostile audiences. However, unlike most training programs, our course offers an extra dimension that is essential to persuasive communications on controversial topics: we equip our participants with insight into the overall dynamics of your issue and specific messages that should prove successful in gaining public support.

A major objective of the Smith & Harroff training will be to increase the speakers’ confidence and effectiveness in media interaction. Smith & Harroff makes extensive use of role-playing simulations. A major feature of the simulations is a series of on-camera drills, followed by video playback and critiques by the course instructors.

Course Sessions

We begin with discussions on basic communication techniques, how to communicate in a time of crisis, and helpful tips for conducting successful media interviews. In addition, we emphasize message strategy, teaching techniques for communicating effectively to the public on various technical issues. Reading materials are distributed to trainees in advance and are designed to help each person get the maximum benefit out of the training experience.

Our training course also includes interactive practice sessions using video playback. Additionally, we show good and bad examples of corporate speakers and politicians during media interviews and debates. These segments are used as visual “real life” examples of the communication techniques and message strategies taught during the course.

Finally, written feedback on each speaker can be provided to the training sponsors if requested.

Focus Areas

  • Speech content and delivery
  • Media interview techniques
  • Developing a positive relationship with the media
  • Role of the spokesperson and how to be effective
  • Interviewing skills (verbal and nonverbal)
  • Knowing the audience and your message
  • Avoiding jargon
  • Establishing trust and credibility
  • Mastering the sound “bite”
  • Avoiding being misquoted
  • Responding to hard and easy questions
  • Bridging techniques