When a business or company has the opportunity to showcase their products, services or brands for a chance of airtime on the local news, it can be extremely exciting. However, sometimes exciting media opportunities brings out anxious or nervous behavior for interview guests. These nervous feelings may hinder communication, causing you to have trouble getting a message across in a clear manner. If you have secured a TV interview, it’s important to prepare yourself as much as possible to ensure a successful outcome. Here are our tips for successful on-camera interviews.
Dress the part.
The last thing you want to see on-air is a wrinkled shirt of a well-known business owner. In fact, that first impression may alter the way the public recognizes your brand. To remain professional as possible, it’s important to wear something that represents your brand appropriately and authentically. Stick to solid colors, especially blues, pastels and neutral tones. Avoid red, as it often bleeds on screen and try not to wear patterns, as it can look too busy. Right before you go on air, dab your face with a tissue to diminish any shine and remove your glasses to eliminate any glare. Bring along a PR rep or another person from your organization to double check your appearance and make sure nothing is sticking out or out of place.
Watch your body language.
It’s normal to be nervous but be aware of your anxious tendencies. Do you talk with your hands, or play with your hair? Make mental notes for yourself to keep your arms at your side and keep still. Take a breath and focus on relaxing your shoulders, which will help with keep your posture more natural. Overall, you want to express a voice and tone that enhances the effectiveness of your words. This will make you appear more credible and help the audience to build a personal connection with you. If an audience likes you and relates to you, they will be more receptive to your message. If you are doing something that distracts from that, such as failing to maintain eye contact or fidgeting in your seat, they may not hear your words.
When it comes to giving interviews, you cannot practice enough. Practice your key messages several times leading up to the interview and remember to explain who you are and why your message matters. It helps to think of your talking points as brief sound bites – you never want to cram a key message into every answer. Inflection, pace and delivery are vital components to a successful interview. Remember you are just having a conversation with the interviewer, and in fact, the best interviews occur when you can forget about the camera and just focus on the person that you are talking to. Most of all, let your passion shine. Getting an on-camera interview is a big deal, so you should show enthusiasm about the subject you’re representing. Once the interview is over, be sure to thank the interviewer and/or the producer who organized the interview. By thoughtfully preparing ahead of time for an interview, you may have reached a new audience for the brand you represent. If the interview was successful and you came prepared, you may even be asked to be interviewed again.