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Reporters can be super impatient. Sometimes they burst in with a question while you’re mid sentence. Should you let them interrupt you? It depends.
There are (generally) three types of interrupters:
- The snarky reporter. If she says “yeah, but everybody says that”, you can roll on with what you’re saying. When you’ve finished you can look her in the eyes and say, “and that’s why we believe we are different.”
- The bored reporter who tries to change the subject. You can say, “Right, that’s a good point. How about I answer that as soon as I finish this thought?” It’s important to do this graciously.
- The really confused reporter. When he says “But I don’t understand” or any variant thereof, stop what you’re saying and start over. You’ve lost him.
You have as much power as the reporter in any interview. Wield it graciously and patiently. Don’t jump every time the reporter interrupts you. Having said that, if you just raise your voice and hammer home your point no matter what, you’re a jerk. As with nearly every conversation, there are no hard and fast rules that always work. Find a balance!
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