So much of communication occurs outside of the words we say and how we say them. We also convey our attitude about the subject or the person or group with whom we're communicating.
With that in mind, it's vital that we stay cool under pressure, especially during a crisis. You'll be encountering questions from the media and these can often be pointed and direct.
When this occurs, remember that the public is looking past the words you say to the way you say them. Non-verbal language has a huge impact.
It's important to understand that the media are a conduit to the public. Reporters have a job to do. They have a right to ask questions. It's not their fault that you may be in crisis mode. Keep that in mind when tempted to lash out at a reporter or refuse to return a reporter's call.
What's the best attitude to convey? That you're in control.
You don't have to wear a fake smile, but you need to demonstrate that you're handling the crisis or taking steps to address the problem as best you can. That's really what the public wants to know.