Katja Schleicher knew already at an early stage that talking is gold and silence the beginning of all troubles. After her studies (German & English language & Literature. Linguistics & psychology) she pursued an international career in PR, Advertising and Corporate Communications for Media & HiTech Companies. For more than a decade she now passionately enables effective & empathic communication with all the clients she works with. From big banking, conservative pharma to ambitious startups. From 1:1 dialogues to the big stages. With three languages, two passports and an European heart, Katja works across borders constantly to bring people and ideas closer through communication. She speaks at conferences about communicative misunderstandings and how to initiate change through communication.
Communication as a walk of life
Communication came very early in Katja’s life, it was quite a natural thing for her. After finishing her studies she started her career in corporate communication, in PR and media.
In 1993 she had her first encounter with Tech when she took part on Microsoft Windows 95 launch. That started a fascination with technology that led Katja to a long career with different positions in many IT companies.
Later in 2006, she started her own company for training and coaching people in communications, in storytelling, how to bring narratives across, and intercultural communication as well.
The Challenges of media interviews for techies
Unlike the corporate world in the tech world one of the important points is that you get out the news into the world, so think that anytime you give a speech, a presentation or whatever it is very probably the press will attend and not every time you are going to be aware of this. This means you have to be prepared for the unexpected as good as it gets. You have to know how to manage properly this kind of situation: keep your nerves and be the master of your own message.
How Techies can succeed in any media interview
- Set Key Messages
- Use stories, pictures and analogies to connect emotionally with your audience
- Always have in mind how to return to you Key message in case you get lost
- Learn to differentiate a criticism from a personal attack
Traditional media vs Internet-based media
In general, Katja tends to be very opinionated about treating all the media the same in terms of giving them all equal attention. Media should get always the 100% attention independent from what kind of media It is. Specially because all media tends to mix and combine so you can have a TV interview and later find it posted in the internet and backwards.
A general rule: the more you go on into visual, the more that you should focus on making your point, fast, brief, and emotional. It doesn’t matter if that is a YouTube video or if that’s a TV recording.
While in printed media, you may have a little bit more time in to elaborate your message.
Related: Rock the Tech Stage
“Courage is not the absence of fear. It is just knowing that something else is more important.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Routine to Shine
Practice the “headlining exercise.” Before having an interview, visualize what would be the headline for it. Do it every time, even every time you go on stage as well, have this headline in mind.
The moment you envision that, it is easier to derive your key messages from there.
So think about what is a realistic call headline that represents your company, the product you develop, and all the ideas you had in your heart.
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