Whoops! How to Handle a Tough Media Interview
1. When asked an embarrassing or inappropriate question.
Reframe question by beginning with, *What I felt was....* Then focus attention on a broader social issue or expand it to encompass what many people might feel. An interviewer asked one of my clients who had been raped: *Did you feel dirty, unlovable, ashamed?* Instead of answering, *Yes,* she might have responded, *Many women whether they've been raped or not, have been made to feel that way about their bodies or sexuality at some point in their lives. That's why I've chosen to speak out on this sensitive issue now. To give a voice to all of us, even those who have no voice.*
2. When asked a question that is too personal.
Use humor to lighten atmosphere. Or change nature of question gracefully by saying, *What I'd really like to say is....* Or, *The question I'd really like to answer is....* Or, *In my book I say....* Or, *I'd like to keep that part of my life private, but I would like to share this....* Then offer something else delicious and intimate.
3. When an interview is lagging.
Ask to read a passage from your book or describe your service with a tightly condensed and powerful phrase. You will have already chosen in advance a paragraph or two that is particularly exemplary. Don't feel shy about offering. Most interviewers are so busy they may not have had a chance to review or even peruse your book or information you've provided. You are person most familiar with your book, personality or business and best parts of it! When she was being interviewed for her book, *Some of Me,* Isabella Rosellini delighted her audience by picking an imaginative and lively section which she read with feeling.