Have any of you ever hired a media trainer/media coach to help you prepare for public speaking, radio interviews, etc.?
Not I. But I know people who have.
No I just fell into a couple of situations where I had to perform.
What does a media coach do?
I am always interested in improving my performance. There are very few resources out there for this topic.
As I understand it, a media trainer or media coach will work with you on public speaking/author events, radio and phone interviews, and, if needed, on-camera work. They can also help with wardrobe/appearance (I don't know about you, but I spend all my time in grubby gardening clothes, so I could use some help in this area!) and in some cases they will videotape you and let you have a copy of the videotape, which you could give to TV stations, conferences, etc. that are considering booking you.
Some media trainers work with authors, others work with executives and corporations and others do both. As far as I can tell, there is no association of media trainers, but if you do a Google search for, say "Media trainer Ohio" you might find one in your state.
That's all I know, but I'd love to hear about any experience anyone's had with one of these folks.
I did read a hysterical piece written about a woman using a Media Trainer before she was to be interviewed by Katie Couric. Absolute scream! don't remember where, don't remember why - just remember it was the first time I had heard of Media Trainers.
Many years ago I found out the value of media training/coaching, not for myself, but for a former employer. He was a wonderful, funny guy who was very knowledgeable and a leader in his field. BUT, the minute he got up before a group, he would get very nervous, button and unbutton his jacket, jingle the loose change in his pockets, touch his hair, and wander away from the podium (and the microphone & his notes).
A colleague suggested a professional coach when I despaired prior to a major speaking engagement for him at a national convention (I was the PR person for the company). In preparation, he was videotaped and was horrified when he saw all the annoying and distracting mannerisms. With practice, he turned out a very memorable presentation (and continued to do so in subsequent speaking engagements). Years later in my own presentations, I still remember what the coach emphasized.
The problem with media trainers is that they -- often -- make everybody look and act the same. Back in the days when I wrote restaurant and wine columns, I could tell right away when a chef or winemaker had gotten a media trainer -- by the way they had changed their appearance, by the way they moved, and by the way they they talked. Yes, it was effective, though it could smack of robotics, and often [incorrectly] conveyed a lack of sincerity.
I haven't noticed it quite as strongly with garden personalities (perhaps because I did not know them before they hot the big time.)