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Tips for your first Press Conference

Press conferences are typically very exciting and emotional times for riders, as they usually take place after a great finish at a large event. Although exciting, press conferences can be incredibly intimidating if you haven’t done one before. You won’t know the questions ahead of time, so it is impossible to plan out exactly what you are going to say. Here are 3 tips we have in order to feel confident and articulate in your first press conference.

1) Stay positive!
Most often, you will be entering an interview or press conference after a top finish, so you will have plenty of positive things to say. However, say you had a rail in showjumping which bumped you from first to third place. As gutted as you may feel entering the press conference, it is important to appear positive and thankful. The number 1 rule of press conferences is to never blame your horse! Even if the rail was completely their fault, take responsibility and say something like “wasn’t our best fence, but I am so thankful how hard my horse tried for me after a grueling cross country course”.

2) Show appreciation
Press conferences are a great opportunity to shout out the people behind the scenes. Whenever you can, find a way to say thank your sponsors, coaches, owners, and event organizers. These are the people who made your top finish possible, and they deserve some credit. From a PR perspective this shows potential sponsors, owners, and clients that you are down to earth and recognize the people who have gotten you to where you are.

3) Be concise
It is completely normal to ramble on when you are feeling nervous. Although interviewers would like you to elaborate whenever possible, make sure you are staying focused on the question that they gave you. If the question they asked you was about a certain combination on cross country, you probably should not be talking about your dressage test from yesterday. As difficult as it is, try to answer their specific question in depth, and not ramble off topic.

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