How to wrangle 4 tricky types of spokespeople

Follow these tips to keep challenging clients from going rogue or freezing up in interviews.

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Some executives are media interview superstars.

They were born to do it, and they work hard to improve. They prepare, effortlessly handle tough questions, and then smile when it’s done and ask for feedback.

Others, not so much. Here are four types of challenging spokespeople, as well as tips on how to rein them in:

The Cowpoke

Cowpokes are eager to lasso the next media interview. They’re always ready to go—or at least they think they are. Forget about prep; interviews are easy. Sometimes they are, but Cowpokes tend to mosey into risky territory.

Overconfidence is tough to tamp down. One way to corral their exuberance is through positive critiques, such as taking the best of what they did before, reminding them of it and urging them to do it again. You can also point to someone else (a competitor or a person they look up to), highlight what they did or didn’t do well, and then show them how to replicate the success or avoid the disaster.

To wrangle Cowpokes, emphasize and hone their strengths. Gently stressing the importance of prep and training is also helpful.

The Avoider

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