Last week was a study in what happens when props fail, both in public presentations and media interviews.
Props can be a great addition to help make your point, but please proceed with caution. You risk more by using the prop than not, so here are three things to consider (and avoid) before you go on live TV:
1. Use spell check! This floor poster made us LOL.
Last week, Sen. Maria Cantwell (now referred to as “Sen. Cantspell”) was trying to make a point against the Republican health care bill, yet forgot to spell check her prop. #YouHadOneJob
2. Props should never make an appearance in media interviews, and Kellyanne Conway proved why. Though she was using her flash cards to clear up confusion about the Russia saga, it didn’t seem to have the intended effect.
(We’re confused. We don’t understand.)
But also, the signs were a distraction from her main message. Instead of listening to what she said, we tuned her out to watch as she awkwardly broke the frame to pull the signs into the shot. When you have to pull props into a live shot, you’re doing it wrong.
3. Don’t be the punchline. Beware of any potential for a screen shot to be made into a meme. We saw this happen to President Trump when he lifted up a copy of a just-signed executive order. The prop took on a life of its own, not only creating memes, but also a meme generator.