In light of Herman Cain's moment yesterday before a newspaper editorial board in which he had a difficult time coming up with an answer on whether he agreed or disagreed with President Obama on Libya, it's worth noting that he wrote a book in 1999 titled “Speak as a Leader: Develop the Better Speaker in You.” In that book, he offers advice about public speaking, particularly on how to handle media interviews.
In the sections about press interviews, he offers the following tips:
* Expect the unexpected question.
* There is no such thing as off the record.
* Think sound bites and plan some ahead of time if you know the topic to be discussed.
* Say it over and over.
He also suggests for those doing frequent interviews "a media training course…to learn effective communication techniques.”
“First, if you know the topic ahead of time," he writes, "plan the key points you want to make during the interview and be able to state those points in a variety of ways. If you will be doing frequent interviews with the press, then a media training course would be advisable in order to learn effective communication techniques. Second, there is no such thing as off the record. If you say it, then assume it might be used at some point. Third, expect the unexpected and be prepared to remain calm and professional.”