Tackling a TV interview – our 6 tips

There are few things in life more nerve-wracking than the unblinking eye of a TV camera. Being interviewed for television is a true test of your communications skills under pressure, so it’s vital that you are as ready as you can be – here are our 6 top tips for facing a TV interview.

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.

2.      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!

3.      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.

4.      Hit those key messages

Throughout the TV interview, 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.

5.      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.

6.      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 as a TV interview.

Don’t shy away from the TV interview

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!

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