Facing the media, an audience of professionals in your sector or a meeting of colleagues in your company is often not easy. Finding the right words, the right tone of communication, the right pace of speech and, above all, the right structure to make messages resonate and be remembered, is something that not everyone knows how to do effectively. So in today’s post, we bring you 5 reasons why you need spokesperson training.
We often solve the problem with an excuse: public speaking is a matter of talent. You either have it or you don’t. But this is not the case. You can work, improve and learn with the right training. But when do we need such training? What are the signs that tell us not only that we lack the skills for public discourse, but also that we are the ones who must overcome that challenge?
Not everyone in an organisation ends up taking responsibility for addressing target audiences to convey corporate messages. While it is true that, through social media, we increasingly act as improvised spokespeople for our sector, representing the company is something that requires preparation, coordination and alignment with the company’s communication strategy.
If we have been appointed as a company spokesperson, these five reasons will indicate that we need specific training on how to perform this task.
1. You find it difficult to synthesise your speech.
You may be clear about the messages, ideas and position your organisation wants to convey. But you may find it difficult to condense all this into clear, simple, direct sentences. The media have limited time to listen to you and decipher you, and the journalist also needs to understand easily and quickly what you want to say. A rambling, complex speech, full of long sentences, does not make things easy. It is essential to know how to synthesise, summarise and highlight what is relevant. Do you know how to do it?
“It is essential to know how to synthesise, summarise and highlight what is relevant”.
2. You’re afraid to face journalists
The interviewer is usually in control of the conversation: he or she leads the interviewee down the path he or she wants and tries to find out what the other person may be hiding. A spokesperson should not mislead the media or be a kind of spin doctor, but neither should he or she be afraid of the journalist. Everyone does their job and the important thing is to understand each other, to contribute to corporate communication and to be able to respond to what is asked of us. If we do so out of suspicion or fear, we will confuse and damage our organisation.
3. You find it difficult to speak without using slang from your sector.
A spokesperson must be clear in his or her speech, but he or she does not always have someone in front of him or her who speaks the same professional language, nor does he or she necessarily address other colleagues in the sector. If we are only able to speak in technical terms, anglicisms and abbreviations, we will need to work on empathy in order to be understandable.
4. You don’t know what an argument is
OK, maybe you know what it is, but if you haven’t seen it in your company, that’s a bad sign. An argumentative is a sort of short manual that sets out the company’s official line of response to standard questions or issues that affect it either directly or indirectly. The presence of argumentation implies that there is a focus for corporate messages and they can be worked with. If there isn’t, do you plan to improvise in front of the media?
5. Non-verbal language is a new concept for you.
When we talk about addressing the public, we think of verbal discourse: words, expressions, phrases that are capable of informing, convincing and moving. But we also speak with our body: our breathing, the position we adopt, the movement of our hands, where we direct our gaze… All of this must be in harmony with our words and not give contradictory information. This, of course, is also practised. This is the last of the five reasons why you need spokesperson training.
If you recognise yourself in some or all of the above, it is time to consider specific spokesperson training. You will discover techniques that you can use to communicate better, to make yourself understood, to convey correctly what your company does and what it stands for, and even to convince. At Incognito we are experts in this. Do you want to know how we can help you? Well, here we have all the keys.