Wouldn’t it be great to consistently get your message across in media interviews? University of North Carolina Professor Cynthia Bulik, an expert on eating disorders, is someone who knows how to do this. Take for example this CBS interview she did in which she answers six different questions in a three-minute time period. She communicates all her key talking points and even gets her book mentioned. On episode 27, Cynthia shares some of her best practice on how she does this, and how you can do the same. Among her key points:
• “Research doesn’t do a whole lot if it just stays in the ivory tower.”
• “My goal is to take what I do and find the lowest common denominator of vocabulary so that the maximum number of people can understand it.”
• “A concise message is a clear message. You don’t want to have to go digging through to find what the kernel is. I want the kernel to be front and center.”
• “Get media training and do it often.”
• “Watch yourself. So many people will do an interview and then say ‘Oh I can’t watch or listen to that.’ But you are your best critic. Have your parents watch it, have your friends watch and have them give you honest feedback. Find someone who can tell you what you are doing wrong.”
If you want to improve in how you come across in media interviews, you won’t want to miss hearing Cynthia’s advice. Ditto if you are communicator looking to provide insights to your colleagues.
In our reports section, I share some thoughts on academics can avoid jargon, while technology correspondent Harry Hawk previews an interview he did with Dan Zaiontz, author of #FollowTheLeader, which highlights lessons in social media success from university presidents.
About Cynthia Bulik
Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., FAED, is Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is also Professor of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, and founding director of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. She is also Co-Director of the UNC Center for Psychiatric Genomics. Dr. Bulik is also professor of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. She is passionate about translating science for the public.
This episode is sponsored in part by Experiential Communications’ Media Training for Academics program.
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