TV Interview Tips
Doing an interview on television can be a fantastic opportunity to promote your business, your book, or yourself if you want to become a go-to person for the media when they are looking for someone to interview about a topic related to your area of expertise. However, it can also be a nerve-wracking experience if you have done few if any TV interviews before. Following my TV interview tips will help you ensure that your interview goes well.
Preparing for Your Interview Tips
• If you have time before the interview, get some media coaching. Your publicist may be able to provide this training, if you’re working with one. Another option is to hire a coach who specializes in preparing people like you for their time in front of the camera; however, media coaching can be costly.
• Identify the key points you want to make during your interview and decide how to convey them clearly and concisely. Brevity is important because your interview is likely to last just a couple minutes. Also, think of interesting examples and anecdotes you can share with viewers to help make your points and be prepared with any new and interesting statistics related to the subject of your interview.
• If you will be discussing a controversial topic, try to anticipate the questions you may be asked and then think about how best to respond to them. Your publicist or media coach can help you work on your answers. Knowing what to say when you are asked difficult questions will help you avoid any awkward moments that might make you look bad, embarrass you, or throw you off of your game during the rest of the interview.
• Identify any visuals you may have that will help illustrate the points you want to make. Those visuals might include an interesting graph or chart, compelling photos, the cover of your book, and so on.
• If you can, watch the show you will be a guest on before the date of your interview. This will give you a chance to become familiar with its format and to observe how the host/s interact with guests.
• If you are not sure where the TV station is located or if you are not familiar with the parking situation there, drive to the station before the date of your interview. Become familiar with the route you'll need to travel, get clear about how long it will take for you to drive there, and know where you can park. Getting lost on your way to the station the day of your interview or not being able to find parking is apt to make you feel panicked, which could cause you to have a bad interview. Also, showing up late for a live interview would spell disaster.
• Get a good night’s sleep the day before your interview. It's important that you feel refreshed and are thinking clearly when you do the interview.
• Decide what you will wear to the interview at least one day a head of time. Choose something that looks professional but that is comfortable and makes you feel confident. Avoid wild or busy patterns, very bright colors, low cut outfits and too much jewelry. Basically, don’t wear anything that will distract viewers from what you are talking about or diminish your message.
During the Interview Tips
• Look at the interviewer, not at the camera. Although there will be plenty of distractions in the television studio, pretend that you and your host are the only people in the room and that you are sitting together having a friendly conversation.
• Try not to hem and haw or jiggle your legs, and never chew gum. Also, if you sit in a chair during your interview, don’t rock back and forth and if you stand, try to be still. And, avoid dramatic gesturing with your hands, although some gesturing to make a point or convey your enthusiasm is fine.
• Don’t talk too fast or swallow your words, and avoid speaking in a monotone. Be conversational. Your tone of voice will either help engage viewers in what you are discussing or cause them to tune you out or even switch to a different channel.
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