TV Interview Best Practices

When you’re called upon to appear live on TV, the stakes are high. Use the first few pieces of advice excerpted from these “Hot 100 Media Tips” to help you get acclimated. Catch the entire series by signing up to follow The Media Training Blog in the column to your right.

  • Let the technicians do theTV graphicir job of placing the microphone in its proper position. They are the pros who can help you sound good.
  • Find a comfortable seated position during your interview. Then maintain that pose for the duration. Don’t shift or squirm; you’ll look nervous and untrustworthy.
  • Ask the director or floor manager for a “shot” on a monitor. This shows you how you will look on TV, and allows you to make last minute adjustments.
  • Look at your interviewer during a TV interview. Maintain eye contact with her throughout and ignore the cameras.
  • Stay away from herringbones and tight checked patterns when appearing on TV. Viewers will spend more time talking about how your suit breaks up than they will listening to your message.
  • Look into the camera only when you are in a remote location being interviewed by a reporter in a separate studio. In this instance, the camera substitutes for the reporter’s eyes.
  • Cut to the chase immediately when talking to reporters. Then fill out the story with the facts, figures, and anecdotes that support your case.
  • Build your magnetic message on four solid points. Put your story into context for listeners and motivate them to take action.
  • Stick to your message throughout your interview. Return to it in response to every single question.
  • Use vivid language to ensure you speak in quotable quotes. Colorful stories, action verbs, and clear images rule the day.

What else comes to mind when you reach out to reporters?

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