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FAQs on Media Training

How Has Media Training Changed Since 1981 When Parkhurst Communications First Started Offering This Service?

In the early 1980s broadcasting underwent a major transition from a three network model with two morning talk shows and three nightly newscasts to the hundreds of channels we take for granted today. Clients sought media training as a strategy for breaking news or controversy when “Nightline” called or “Sixty Minutes” was about to run an unflattering segment. Or, it was a form of speech training for fearful or tentative guests going on national television. Today the field has expanded to accommodate a twenty-four hour news cycle and a constant demand for niche expertise.

For Example?

Medical researchers are called to respond to a new study on “The Today Show” or industry spokespeople are tapped to be on “NBC Nightly News” live, tonight. Analysts are asked to give snap responses to stock fluctuations for Bloomberg Media while CEO’s are called upon to appear on “The Wall Street Journal Report” or otherwise speak for their companies. Every organization, even a small start-up now needs a strategy to be ready for that call.

How Have Your Training Techniques Changed To Accommodate Today’s Media Climate?

We use less video playback as a training tool today than we did in the Eighties. We record our interview role-play, of course, but in most instances we’ll bypass repeated playback in favor of continuous timed interviews that match the formats where our clients are actually going.

How Long Is A Training Session?

Group sessions of up to fifteen participants run six to seven hours with a forty-five minute lunch break. Individual training sessions vary from 2 1/2 hours for experienced media guests to 7 hours for clients with difficulties. Most of our individual client sessions are booked for our Standard Session of four hours.

Should Clients Bring “Sound Bites” To The Session?

We favor conversational talking points over so-called “sound bites,” or scripted responses to questions that may never be asked. Unless the interviewee is a recognized public figure, retention studies consistently show that what sells in a broadcast interview is the passion, authenticity and commitment of a guest. It’s conversational, never about a sequence of committee-prepped words.

How Far In Advance Do You Book A Session?

Generally three weeks in advance of the session, but, given the immediacy of some client needs, often much faster. Email us or call 212.362.9722.

Call 212.362.9722 or visit for an email link.

FAQs on Presentation Training

What Is The Most Important Quality Of A Good Presentation?

Respect for the audience. Put yourself into the center of the fourth row and ask what you would need to hear from yourself, and then shorten the length. We advise our clients to complete a twenty minute presentation in sixteen to eighteen minutes, better yet, fifteen.

How Has Technology Changed Business Presentations?

Many speakers today fall into a trap by creating an elaborate slide show that transcends the allotted time. Then they gamely trudge through it since it got created in the first place, speaking so long that they diminish their impact.

Are You Saying Not To Use PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is a wonderful program, but probably never intended to be used to the excess that it is today. You want to talk to your audience, not your slides, so we minimize the PowerPoint and integrate it with flip charts and other visual aids. Even the most elaborate digital multimedia shows are accessories to a good speaking performance. We say never rely on visual aids to hold attention. Only you can do that.

Do You Assist In The Writing of the Presentation?

We usually ask clients to bring a prepared ten minute presentation with visuals to training groups. We provide feedback on the composition of that presentation. If a client needs to start from scratch, we usually arrange at least two individual coaching sessions.

How Do I Arrange A Training Group Or Individual Session?

Email us or call 212.362.9722.

Call 212.362.9722 or visit for an email link.

FAQs on The Art of the Pitch

What Is A Pitching Session?

In most cases, a team with a designated leader meeting to persuade a client that they represent the best choice to deliver a service. However, it can also be an investor relations meeting, a presentation by senior management for an annual meeting or even a sole proprietor looking to land that first big account.

What Makes A Good Pitch?

A good pitch is not about how wonderful the presenting team is. It’s about the quantification of how this team has assessed the potential client’s needs, anticipated their goals in the time frame of the contract and, based on this needs assessment, predicts results along a designated timeline, complete with stumbling blocks and challenges.

How Long Should An Effective Pitch Be?

Five years or more, whatever the duration of the projected time line. A pitch never ends with the actual pitching session which peaks at about ninety minutes, including questions. But it is often much shorter than that, especially when the target company CEO is present.

How Do I Arrange A Pitch Workshop?

Email us or call 212.362.9722.

Call 212.362.9722 or visit for an email link.

FAQs on Business Writing

How Can Employees Improve Their Writing Skills In A One-Day Workshop?

First, we cast aside the mythology of writing to make the process interactive and fun. We help change the traditional view we have of writing from a chore to what it really is in today’s workplace, another opportunity to communicate effectively. But there are do’s and don’ts that we illustrate in a series of progressive exercises. We also provide online follow-up so that when they sit down to write a memo business letter or proposal, we remain a continuing resource.

You Offer A Program Called “The Power Of e,” on writing effective business e-mails. Don’t most employees already know how to write an e-mail?

E-mail is probably the most effective written communications tool we have, but there is a difference between a lean, direct unit of business correspondence in e-mail form and the sequence of disconnected, run-on sentences that most people use as conversational communication between friends. We go back to the basic elements of professional, effective business communication while retaining the all-important gift e-mail has given us. It is short, direct and immediate.

What Are The Key Elements Of A Good Business Proposal?

Proposals have become trickier in the twenty-first century. They are shorter, more punchy, yet they need to be substantial with a research-based outcome, free of rosy platitudes in favor of projected change in the client’s way of doing business.

How Can I Set Up A Writing Program?

Email us or call 212.362.9722.

Call 212.362.9722 or visit for an email link.

Contact Information

Parkhurst Communications, Inc.
11 Riverside Drive, Suite 1TW
New York, NY 10023
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