Here is the second part of a series of media tips from General Colin Powell. If you missed the first one (it's excellent), simply click here:
1. They get to pick the question. You get to pick the answer.
2. You don’t have to answer any question you don’t want to.
3. Never lie or dissemble, of course; but beware of being too candid or open.
4. Never answer hypothetical questions about the future.
5. Never reveal the private advice you have given your superiors.
6. Answers should be directed to the message you want readers/viewers to get. The interviewers are not your audience.
7. They’re doing their job. You’re doing yours. But you’re the only one at risk.
8. Don’t predict or speculate about future events.
9. Beware of slang or one-liners unless you are consciously trying to produce a sound bite.
10. Don’t wash dirty linen.
11. Do not answer any question contain a premise you disagree with.
12. Don’t push yourself or be pushed into an answer you don’t want to give.
13. If trapped, be vague and mumble.
14. Never cough or shift your feet.
15. When there are second follow-up questions, you’re in trouble – break right, apply power, gain altitude, or eject.