Take a cue from the Oscars — keep it short and sweet

Take a cue from the Oscars — keep it short and sweet

The 91st Academy Awards are in the books and, once again, several award winners didn’t get to finish their speeches. Creators of the Best Animated Feature winner “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” had their mics cut before they could even thank Stan Lee — the person who created the character!

Reporters have the same rushed mindset as the Academy. It’s hard to hold their attention. So when you’re pitching them, get to the point right away — no extra anecdotes or hanging clauses. Here are some tips on how to keep a journalist’s interest:

Start with a good hook. No one likes a speech that’s just a list of people to thank. Viewers want to hear something extraordinary — just like reporters want a unique or compelling angle for a story.

• Support your arguments. It’s easy for a winner to claim someone is “the hardest working person in showbiz.” But that statement is more convincing if there are stats to back it up. Use facts and figures to keep a reporter’s interest.

• Don’t ramble. What’s better than a five-minute speech? A 30-second speech that conveys the same message. Keep your pitches under 200 words — or even shorter — so reporters keep reading.

• Bring it home. That final sentence of a great speech leaves the audience wanting more. So should your pitches. Wrap things up by inviting reporters for an interview or directing them where to get more information.

Andrew Grafton
andrew@kbc.us