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  5. How to Prevent Misunderstanding and Conflict when Speaking


Have you ever heard of the word “media training?” Simply put, media training helps prepare you for how to speak to the mass media. It’s is often utilized by people who have to give crisis control (i.e. apology) press conferences. Author Yamaguchi has, over his 17 years as a media training educator, taught over 3500 individuals ranging from CEOs and top managerial professionals from major corporations, PR managers, government officials, politicians and other top business professionals.

The most important aspect of media training is practicing how to speak so that your words cannot be misconstrued. To those of you wondering whether or not this means you need to change the way you normally talk? The answer is, of course, yes. In order to not be misunderstood it’s vital to speak not in the order in which things occurred, but instead from what is most important. Simply by changing the order in which you speak from chronological order to priority order (also called the inverse pyramid speaking order) you can drastically reduce misunderstandings.

Another key aspect to is learning how to properly answer difficult questions from reporters, confidently conveying your ideas without saying anything that could be interpreted in a negative light. Media training methods used to avoid misunderstandings at press conferences can also be used to prevent problems over social media networks.


Part 1. How to Not be Misunderstood When Speaking

1.1  Don’t Tell a Story – Instead Use the Reverse Pyramid Structure

1.2  Separate Topics from Specific Subjects

1.3  Try Re-writing the Urashima Taro Folktale Like it Were a News Story

1.4  Hints to Ensure You’re Not Misconstrued

1.5  Putting it to Practice

Part 2. Preventing Conflict When Answering Questions

2.1 The Difference Between Internet Conflict and Mass Media Conflict

2.2 Non-Controversial Ways to Take and Answer Questions

2.3 How to Answer Difficult Questions

2.4 It All Comes Down to Being Prepared

About the Author

Yamaguchi is a professional media training instructor. Since 1999 he has taught over 3500 individuals ranging from CEOs, government officials, organization leaders and PR professionals about media training, presentation training and how to speak in business situations. A graduate of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Yamaguchi worked for NHK, advertising firm Access East, Inc. and the international advertising firm Hill and Knowlton before becoming a professional media trainer. Yamaguchi is the author of Mass Comi Taio wa Mou Kowakunai! Media Training no subete (Parade, Inc.).

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