Game Face, The Media Training Playbook: 19 Cautionary Tales by Bodine WilliamsGame Face, The Media Training Playbook: 19 Cautionary Tales by Bodine Williams

Game Face, The Media Training Playbook: 19 Cautionary Tales

byBodine Williams

Paperback | April 18, 2016

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Game Face pushes the playback button on 19 famous media interviews to illustrate the verbal skills, techniques, and tactics you’ll need to master any interview. In an era when a verbal misstep can reverberate around the globe in seconds, media trainer and coach Bodine Williams mines mishaps from the past so you can speak confidently in the present. It’s the ultimate guide for any high-stakes Q & A—from a media or job interview to a public hearing.

On-the-record interviews create defining moments, either igniting careers or extinguishing them. Along with verbal skills, interviews reveal character. In Game Face, media-training techniques are linked to conduct that guide behavior. Rules such as “Don’t Be Seduced By the Attention,” “Always Concede the Obvious,” “Don’t Presume You’ll Rise to the Occasion” and “Know When to Get Personal” are based on real-life cautionary tales of encounters that went horribly wrong.

Knowing when to get personal, or whether to get personal at all, is the question. Once you engage the media, you don’t get to disengage no matter who you are. From their wedding in 1981, Prince Charles and Princess Diana reigned over the global village. Media interest intensified after the fairy-tale marriage ended in separation and then divorce. But there was no precedent for the war the royals waged against each other in public.

Charles was the star of a television documentary called “Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role.” It was a glowing portrait, but for his confession of adultery.  In 1995, Diana sat down with the BBC’s Martin Bashir for a brash and calculated rebuttal, during which she confirmed that she too had been unfaithful. Both Charles and Diana gave media interviews to enhance their images. What they did instead was devalue their currencies. If only they had taken their cue from someone who had been there. Getting personal with the press was one mistake Jackie Onassis never made.  As Game Face shows, the former first lady was a master of the game.

The chapter “Be Consistent, Be Yourself” highlights the verbal skills from other interview subjects who show how it’s done. Ellen DeGeneres came out as a gay woman after heartbreak and the cancellation of her comedy show. What she did and how she presented herself in media interviews led to a successful talk show career and a new role as CoverGirl’s brand ambassador. To quote the New York Times, DeGeneres “has punched every ticket to mainstream success.

Each chapter tells the story of a celebrated media encounter, the players, the fallout, and the lessons learned. Game Face puts you in the hot seat alongside the subjects, contrasting what they said with the playbook of what they should have said. The first ever rules of conduct were inspired by the gaffes and verbal lapses of Tiger Woods, Oscar Wilde, Alex Rodriguez, James Frey, Joan of Arc, Mitt Romney, and many others.  

The ability to deftly respond to questions is a vital skill and the essence of your self-presentation—or your self-preservation in a crisis. Williams delivers an insightful and engaging media-coaching experience for performing your best in every interview situation.

Bodine Williams is a media trainer and coach who specializes in crisis communication, issues management, and media interview training. She was an on-air reporter for Global, NBC, and CTV television networks. Bodine is the former spokesperson and communication lead for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies...
Title:Game Face, The Media Training Playbook: 19 Cautionary TalesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:226 pages, 8.27 × 5.83 × 0.52 inPublished:April 18, 2016Publisher:Q&A BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0990886123

ISBN - 13:9780990886129


Table of Contents

Introduction Rule 1: Remember, Talk Is Autobiographical: The Lord of Language: Oscar Wilde Rule 2: Know Your Story: A Lonesome Cowboy: Henry Kissinger Rule 3: Consider the Audience: Down to Our Last Home: Linda Lay Rule 4: Don't Presume You'll Rise to the Occasion: The Day Reagan Was Shot: Alexander Haig, Jr. Rule 5: Don't Overreach in Your Speech: The Slipper Room: Jeffrey Dachis and Craig Kanarick Rule 6: Interviews Are Not the Time for Original Thinking: From Plains to Playboy: Jimmy Carter Rule 7: Beware the "Innocent" Question: The Prince of Ambivalence: Edward Kennedy Rule 8: Always Concede the Obvious: Foolish Innocent or Cagey Monster?: Gary Condit Rule 9: Assume the Truth Will Come Out: Keeping Oprah Awake at Night: James Frey Rule 10: Cultivate the Editor in Your Head: Listening to What's Being Heard: Mel Lastman Rule 11: Respond Even If You Can't Answer: The Maid of Orleans: Joan of Arc Rule 12: Never Repeat "Negative" Language: My Edward Is Not Gay: Sophie Rhys-Jones Rule 13: Don't Be Seduced by the Attention: A Passion for Publicity: Thomas Penfield Jackson Rule 14: Never Speak Ill of the Competition: Literary Ladies: Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman Rule 15: Don't Confuse Talking with Communicating: Lost in the Green Room: William Ginsburg Rule 16: Avoid the "Diminished Capacity" Apologia: The Twinkie Defense: Mel Gibson Rule 17: Resist Self-Labeling: The Supermodel's Minimum Wage: Linda Evangelista Rule 18: Know When to Get Personal: The Iceman: Michael Dukakis Rule 19: Be Consistent, Be Yourself: The Master Class: Ellen DeGeneres Acknowledgements Index

Editorial Reviews

How Not to Mess Up a Media Interview When famous or prominent people trip up or embarrass themselves when giving media interviews or public statements, their gaffes can take on a life of their own. But those situations also offer lessons to less-famous executives who need to improve their own public speaking or interview abilities. Former TV reporter Bodine Williams, now a communications consultant, collects some of those incidents in a delightful book, Game Face, from Jimmy Carter telling Playboy he had committed adultery in his heart to Henry Kissinger swaggeringly telling Oriana Fallaci he was a lonesome cowboy, to author Mary McCarthy calling Lillian Hellman "a bad writer" and so dishonest that "every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'" Ms. Williams says you know you have made it when you are asked by an interviewer to trash somebody else, as Ms. McCarthy was by TV host Dick Cavett. And it can happen. "The media thrives on conflict and controversy, framing the worlds of business, sports, and entertainment as highly personal rivalries with winners and losers," Ms. Williams writes in Game Face. Don't take the bait. Never speak ill of the competition. Be prepared to present yourself or your interest in contrast to someone or something else but resist the invitation to criticize. -- The Globe & Mail