How to Answer Tough Questions on TV:  Learn from Nancy Pelosi on “Meet the Press.”  Discover how she tries to control the interview to get her message across.  That’s despite the fact the moderator asks very tough questions and is tenacious.

Watch the interview, look for my comments on the bottom of the screen, watch how she deflected questions, then see these comments below from viewers who saw my video on YouTube.

Caveat:  Look beyond the personalities and politics.  Whether you love Pelosi and Obama’s approach to medical care or believe they’re both terrible for the country, watch how this experienced politician manages the high profile interview on NBC.

Jon Skeptic:

You’re kidding, right? Either you are the master of sly irony … or such an in-bred true-believer of Progressivism that you can’t see how supremely awful is Pelosi’s performance under fire.

My Response:
Jon, for sure about the irony.  Most of my political coaching has been for Republican candidates, but I had to set politics aside to consider the situation.  Pelosi is trying to defend a program considered by many to be a disaster and spinning out of control from the get-go even before people realize they’ve been misled.  Pelosi paints a remarkably positive picture, trying to monopolize the time, reinforcing her party’s talking points.  Thanks for your comment.
Sam Carotenudo:

I think his point is well taken. She has an indefensible position.  Obamacare is a complete failure.  It;s only successful in that it is the precursor to entirely socialized medicine in America for all enemies of freedom to embrace. The president and his staff and Pelosi were lying the entire time.  They are lying now.

With all that and the tough questions asked, Pelosi was able to fill the interview with blah blah blah everyone has affordable care, blah blah blah the president is being gracious, blah blah blah everything I said before was true.  She was a little shaky yet masterful.  The only question that would remain is why the anchor did not simply say.  “With all do respect madam speaker, you are not being forthright on anything.” Or, he could have said “Madam speaker you are a liar.”
TAKEAWAYS to Manage the Interview
  • Use questions as a starting point to list your talking points.
  • Avoid pausing so the interviewer can’t ask more questions.
  • When you can’t answer a tough question, change the subject:  “I’ve heard that criticism, but the real issue is…”
  • Look for opportunities to attack your opposition, diverting attention away from you.
  • If any of the above makes you feel uncomfortable, run for an unopposed position or consider another career!

If you have to answer tough questions on or off TV, I’m happy to help.  Having successfully coached many speakers and political candidates, I’ll share the do’s and don’ts.  Bob Kaplitz:


Bob Kaplitz
Bob Kaplitz

Bob coaches executives and managers on developing their leadership skills, which improves the morale and efficiency of their companies. He mentors individuals through Everwise, which optimizes the way companies develop their people by connecting professionals with the experts and resources they need to be successful.

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