6 tips for facing the TV cameras

We recently had the opportunity to work with one of our PRGN partners, Xenophon Strategies, in gathering video content at the annual IATA (International Air Transport Association) conference here in Dublin.

Xenophon’s client Airlink was at the conference, and our brief was to oversee a series of TV interviews with aviation executives that would explain what the organization does. (Airlink is a non-profit that works with airlines to rush emergency supplies and personnel to disaster zones).

Organizing video schedule

As part of the project, we were tasked with organizing the video schedule, briefing videographers, providing script management and liaising with editors to make sure all TV content was packaged and back to the US in a timely manner.

We also briefed those being interviewed, including the CEOs of Boeing, JetBlue Airways, Rolls Royce, Ethiopian Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Brussels Airlines as well as Richard Quest, CNN’s influential Business Correspondent.

It was like a speed-dating version of media training, quickly giving each interviewee a couple of key pointers as they prepared to face the cameras. The results were excellent (you can watch all the interviews here), and so here are our six top tips for going on camera:

  1. Get your eyes right

Probably the most important aspect – 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 TV news segment, the camera becomes the interviewer and that’s where you look.

  1. Sit up straight

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. Go over what you’re going to say

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. Hit those 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

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. Be calm and positive

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