6 tips for doing a TV interview

Media training is one of our core PR services, and we have worked with many clients over the years to prepare them for situations – planned or otherwise – where they have to face the media.

Undergoing a TV interview is a particularly demanding media situation, where the interviewee has to interpret questions and formulate responses, in the knowledge that their performance (and their face!) is being judged by thousands of people.

As with all aspects of media training, preparation is key. Once you have your facts straight and your messages ready, even the prospect of a live TV interview is a little bit less daunting. To further put you at your ease, and to improve your prospects of a successful outcome, here are our 6 top tips for facing the TV cameras:

  1. Know where to look

Media training 101: if you’re being interviewed face-to-face, make sure you keep your focus on the interviewer (not the camera). If you’re being interviewed remotely, e.g. for a news segment, the camera becomes the interviewer and that’s where you look.

  1. Get your posture perfect

Or stand up straight – not only will you look better, you’ll breathe better too. For example, if you’re sitting at a desk the right posture will actually increase your air supply, making you more comfortable with what you’re saying. Whatever you do, don’t slouch!

  1. Use any available time to rehearse

Use whatever time is available is to practice what you plan on saying. Even if you only have 10 minutes, find somewhere quiet – a corridor, an empty room, the bathroom – to get your story straight. The more comfortable you are with what you’re saying, the more convincing you’ll be.

  1. Keep hitting your key messages

Make sure you keep ‘bridging’ back to your key points. Even if the line of questioning is not what you were expecting, find a way back to your key messages. If you’re asked for a final thought, make sure you finish on a key message.

  1. Speak in soundbites (but not clichés)

All media likes quotes that are quotable, so try and phrase your key messages in a way that makes them memorable. Avoid clichés; use colourful images and interesting examples; try and catch the eye.

  1. Keep calm and carry on

No matter what happens, roll with it. Keep your cool, stay on-message (fall back on your key points) and remain upbeat. Where appropriate, smile – this will give you positive energy and come across well on TV.

There you have it. Being interviewed can be a daunting prospect, but it gets easier the more often you do it – so grab every opportunity to front up and face those cameras!

To find out about our media training services, contact us here