Going viral recently is an interview of this famous sexy actress turned senatorial candidate by a veteran journalist. Reading the transcript of the interview was not as awkward as watching the footage of the exchanges between the actress and the journalist. It makes people think: What kind of candidates are we exactly getting?
While I have never ran for public office, it is my personal view that candidates should NEVER attempt to face the cameras without keeping in mind a few pointers:
- Remember that journalists may not be forgiving when they punch in the questions, so be prepared to take (hard) questions. Study if you must!
- Politics is not acting. You can’t fake it (or you can try to, but it will show). Have personal views on political and social issues. These are one of the most often asked questions by journalists. Mean it.
- Draw up your platform. Journalists will always ask this because this is what constituents need to know. Know what your political party’s platform is (of course, Philippine political parties don’t really have an ideology or strict political platform to base their stance with, but that is a different issue altogether). You just cannot show up on the boob tube and radio and simply say you have the heart and willingness to serve. Is this idea still selling with the public?
- If you get stuck in a question, just eat humble pie and be simple. Do not look like you are squirming in your seat trying to find the answers. Be straightforward. You the owe the public some decorum for watching you on tv. Try to look smart at least. Study how seasoned politicians like Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama respond to sticky situations.
- Talk to the viewers, not just the journalist. In interviews of veteran politicians, you will find them responding to the reporter but are actually talking to the viewers. It’s the whole package—the response, eye contact, and body language. One running for a high public position should exude this confidence and aura of reaching out to the public. You are not just explaining your views to the interviewer; you are presenting yourself to the public.
- People are SMARTER now. The public may be forgiving, but be prepared to become the butt of jokes for weeks.
- PRACTICE public speaking PLEASE! Rehearse anticipated responses to common questions. Some candidates get an image counselor and spin doctor for this. If you belong to a political party, see how your party can help you develop this. If not, get help from professional public speakers.
Let me just capture some of the funny remarks on Twitter.
Hope we don’t find a lot of these in the months to come. No offense to the candidate, but what was she thinking?