During our media training workshops, clients sometimes ask if it’s appropriate to share personal experiences and anecdotes in answers to a reporter’s questions. Our advice depends on the topic and the circumstances of the interview. But as a rule of thumb, if your personal experiences are relevant to the topic, sharing them may help humanize you and add to your credibility.
An example of this came from Congressman Jason Crow, a veteran who fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, Crow connected his military service to his position on a proposed ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war. Here is the exchange between Crow and moderator Margaret Brennan.
We take no position on Crow’s support of a ceasefire. But his argument for one was clearly bolstered by his decision to share his own military experience. When appropriate, we encourage clients to follow Crow’s example. Sharing experiences and personal anecdotes can make you a more effective communicator and help you drive home your key messages.