It’s natural for a CEO to be wary about media interviews—and it’s also unnecessary and counterproductive. Business leaders know more about their sector than any reporter does and should welcome the chance to show it. Strong answers build trust, show leadership and demonstrate expertise.

Here’s how to prepare for that next media interview:

* Anticipate The Questions – “Why did your founder leave?,” “How do you compare to a competitor?,” and “Aren’t you late to the market?” can appear formidable, but they open the door to your key messaging. A question on why financial projections were missed can turn into a strong message about investment in R&D with a glimpse at the new technology that will change the industry.

* Be Up To Speed – For the appointed day, review your successes and compare to competitors. Last-minute prep should include knowing the reporter and the news outlet so you know who you’re talking to and what they need to do their job. Confidence is 20 minutes on Google to sweep the nerves away.

* Be Bold and Take a Stand – Reporters want a business executive with a strong point of view. Being a good source means not only conveying insights and thoughtful data but also likability, charisma, high energy and an intelligent, educated opinion. It’s the difference between a one-and-done guest and a recurring commentator.

* Get Media Training – OWC has helped hundreds of executives find their voice and take control of interviews. But our media training is a rigorous boot camp, and CEOs can also train themselves on Zoom do’s and don’ts, ATM (Answer, Transition, Message), and can organize mock interviews with colleagues that, with practice, turn confrontation into calm confidence. Nobody is born camera-ready, but we’re all born capable of readying ourselves.

Get ready for your close-up.