Media Training tip for Louisa Wall

31 August 2012
She’s been effective at getting her views about same sex marriage across, but there’s one piece of media training advice that would make Louisa Wall be heard more clearly. She needs to ditch the big earrings. In every television appearance, she wears large earrings that constantly wobble when she moves her head. This can distract people from what she is saying. These have not been seen since the days of Christine Rankin. We tell our media training clients to dress conservatively on TV. This is because bright clothing or dangly jewelry moves people’s focus away from what is coming out of the spokespersons mouth and onto the clothing or jewelry. This was highlighted by commentators when Christine Rankin was often in the news. It’s clear that Wall has a particular image she tries to maintain and the earrings are part of that. But if she just wore smaller earrings and not ones that reflect light, her messages would get through to many more people. However, from a media training perspective, she has become a very effective communicator. One notable skill she has is not showing anger towards those who disagree with her stance on same sex marriage. She accepts their views, even though she doesn’t agree with them. This is a far more effective approach than angrily dismissing any arguments opposed to hers. This grows her credibility and is an important media training skill to have on such a polarising issue.

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Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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