As the company media spokesperson it is likely that you will be invited to participate in a live in-studio tv interview. It is after all one of the goals we aim to achieve when pitching a story to a producer!
We do however understand that being comfortable in such a scenario does not come naturally to everyone. For that reason I have put together some tips to help you ace your next TV interview.
It is essential that you prepare for the interview. Even if you are a seasoned spokesperson, take the time to consider potential questions and practice your responses.
Very few producers or shows provide questions as they tend to follow the natural direction the interview takes. They do however have a clear idea on what information they need from you. You can determine this when they invite you for the interview. If your invitation is because of an article or press release, go through the content again.
When we arrange interviews, we will obtain all the necessary information for you.
Take the time to familiarise yourself with the show, the host and the audience they are targeting. Know who the host will be and look at any available podcasts to get an idea of the running order of the show, how questions are asked and whether there is audience interaction.
Dress for success
Make sure that you wear solid colours like navy or black. Stay away from small patterns as these will distort on screen. Some shows provide make up but don’t assume – ask beforehand.
Arrive on time
Or 5 minutes before.
Find out who you are meeting (usually a producer), call people by their names and make eye contact. Even if you are nervous. Thank the host afterwards.These sound really basic but the pre-interview jitters and post-interview adrenaline can make even the most conscientious person forget basic etiquette.
Bring across your message effectively
If you are a guest because of a press release, make sure you bring across the key message on the topic. If the host moves away from the point, bring them back. A simple “That is an interesting question, but we should really be asking the following” will do.
The three main areas to focus on are eyes, words and hands.
Make eye contact with the host and don’t look into the cameras. Try to forget they are even there!
Be careful of “um”, throat-clearing or repeating words like “you know” or “as you know” or “like”. Pause and reflect on the question asked, then provide a short and concise response. Don’t launch into a lengthy monologue.
It is common to fidget when you are nervous. Watch out for drumming your fingers, wringing your hands or picking at your nails.
Try to relax
And have fun!
CF Communications strategically conceptualise and manage public relations campaigns to influence, engage, and build relationships with key stakeholders across a host of platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of your brand. Get in touch to find out more.