I began my media coaching today with Michael Ray Dresser, host of the well-known radio talk show Dresser After Dark, my regular guest blogger and author of the forthcoming book, Why Do They Listen? Creating a Compelling Connection with Your Audience Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere. I discovered that media coaching has a lot in common with the publishing mentoring I do with my clients.
I help both established and aspiring authors get clear about what their book is about and if it is viable—if it has a market and if their idea will appeal to readers. This allows them to tell agents, publishers and readers about the benefits of publishing or purchasing that book.
Michael Ray helps his clients—who are often also established and aspiring authors—get clear about what they want an audience to know about their book and how it will benefit them. In his case, the audience is comprised of the media, listeners and potential readers; in my case, the audience is agents, publishers and potential readers. Michael Ray helps authors know what to say, and he ensures the audience actually hears their words and personally identifies with their message.
My clients and I can play around with words on paper. We have a bit more chance to make sure that our audiences, all of whom are actually reading words rather than hearing them, understand our message. Yet, we still must accomplish the same goal: The words must be understood. If this doesn’t happen, communication doesn’t occur. We are in the communication business after all. Having words actually be understood becomes much harder when an audience only hears them.
Well, they may be heard, but they may not be heard in the way the speaker intends. The key lies in have the words spoken conjure up the images, feelings and meanings the speaker desires. This, Michael Ray explained to me, results in the action an author (or any speaker) desires.
I was amazed at how difficult it was for me to answer the questions Michael Ray asked me about my book—questions that got to the heart of the message I wanted to impart. Yet, he pulled out of me the answers and came up with words that someone can hear…or begin to hear. (I still have work to do to solidify the message; I’ll write more about this soon.)
This process—these initial two hours—reconfirmed my belief in coaching and mentoring services. In particular, if you plan to spend time promoting your book through radio or television talk shows, you must get media training. Although knowing how to conduct yourself when you get up in front of an audience is invaluable, knowing what to say and how to say it will do more for your confidence than almost anything else. Plus, it will achieve your goal: You’ll sell more books.
I can tell you that I thought I knew what my book was about and what I wanted to tell people about it, but I didn’t. I needed help finding the words. I needed a coach, just like my clients need a writing coach to write their books or a publishing mentor to produce their boo proposals. Michael Ray Dresser helped me with the initial message I’ll offer to my listening audience…and he’s going to continue doing so in the weeks to come.
Check back again for more on what I’m learning during my media coaching sessions.