Skype-Jack (verb): When children, pets, or other disruptive forces interfere with a live on-camera interview as it’s being broadcasted, streamed or recorded.
If you get Skype-jacked, no one will remember anything you said before or after. They will only remember how you handled it.
Golden State Warriors Guard Stephen Curry, an NBA Most Valuable Player and World Champion was already worshipped by fans and admired around the world when he began the obligatory press conference after a playoff game. The tightly controlled environment was unlikely to affect his popularity in either direction. But then he was skype-jacked… by his daughter Riley. He could’ve handed her over to mom or dismissed her. Millions of viewers from dozens of countries wouldn’t have been surprised. He could have scolded her, which most parents might have done in private under different circumstances. Instead, the World’s Greatest Basketball Player morphed into the World’s Greatest Dad right before our eyes. It was an authentic moment in a space normally reserved for canned quotes. For one moment, this sports hero was a dad, doing dad things. He was relatable. The world instantly adored Riley and loved Curry more than ever. Though not a Skype interview, it was a clinic in how to handle a Skype-jacking.
Just imagine if he had snapped at his daughter.
In the world of TV news there are few opportunities to be truly authentic, but that’s changing as more and more as news programs conduct live interviews with experts via Skype. Interviewees are inviting millions into their homes and offices where real-world distractions lurk just outside a door. If you’re home alone with kids, they will barge in. If you have dogs, they will see a squirrel. If you’re a teacher, a student will enter without knocking. All of them will get viewers’ undivided attention and immediate sympathy. The only thing you can control in this situation is yourself. The only one who can look bad is you.
So, remember Stephen Curry. The ball is in your hands and little time left on the clock. What would he do?
Invite your student to have a seat and learn about the topic. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to scoop up your child and put him on your lap. Introduce the world to your dog. At that point, all the audience watching is how you react.