05 Sunday May 2013
Here are 6 tips for doing television interviews that will save you from night sweats about crashing and burning on the air. If you follow these simple rules, you will come out on top and producers may even ask to have you back on the show.
1) Practice makes perfect. Although you might think you’re automatically charming and well-spoken, nerves might get the best of you in the studio or in front of an audience. Take time with your PR team to fine tune your key messages, talking points and do a mock Q&A so you’re ready for all the interviewer’s questions (even the left fielders). Practice your answers out loud, speaking to a mirror so you can fine tune your facial expressions to make responses seem the most natural. Count 3 breaths to calm your nerves. Remember to speak slowly and enunciate your words – when nervous, we tend to speed up and it’s harder to understand. Instead of saying “Like” or “Um” when you’re trying to piece together a thought, try taking a brief, collected pause until you sort it out.
2) Look the part. You might have an a stunning pair of dangly earrings or a dazzling patterned shirt…but this is not the time to wear either item. Pick solid bright colors in tailored shapes. Avoid shiny textures, busy patterns or wearing white or shades of brown. In terms of accessories, go classic – you don’t want a necklace or tie to steal your limelight. Be conservative with your collar, buttons and skirt to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions or Sharon Stone peepshows. In terms of makeup, wear a bit more than you normally would for daytime…bright lights will wash you out, guaranteed. This is the ideal time to invest in a professional makeup artist who specializes in on-air makeup. If you don’t want to splurge on a house call, try your local MAC cosmetics counter where they often have artists trained for on-camera makeup. Need some outfit ideas? Flip on Good Morning America and take a look at the cheerful, stylish and sharp ensembles of Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer.
3) Listen up and come full circle. Just like in a job interview, you never want to cut anyone off. Listen thoughtfully to the interviewer and then respond in a complete sentence (ie: repeat the key components of the question). Also, do not be afraid to repeat certain key messages in different ways – if the interview is not live, it will edited – so it never hurts to repeat your main points.
4) Smile, smile, smile. We can’t say it enough – people forget to smile on the air. Unless you’re talking about a series of tragic events, be enthusiastic, passionate and warm. The best way to convey these emotions? Show those teeth. Not confident in your chompers? Invest in some Crest White Strips a week before the segment…you’ll be flashing brightly in no time!
5) Animate yourself. No, we’re not talking jump on the couch Tom Cruise-on-Oprah style, but be sure to work some gestures with your hands instead of staying motionless and robotic in the chair. Get comfortable, sit up tall and try not to freeze up! If you need some help getting pep in your step, drink a nice big cup of coffee before you go on the air and get plenty of sleep the night before.
6) Be thankful. From the receptionist who checks you in at the studio to the anchors themselves, be polite and show appreciation for inviting you on the show. No one seeks out an entitled diva who is demanding and unpleasant – and if you behave in this regard, prepare for this to be your first and last appearance on the program.
If you still aren’t feeling 100% ready, invest in a more intensive media training workshop where an expert will coach you through mock interviews and smooth out any uneasiness on camera. Professional Media Training courses will rid you of any stage fright and make you more confident than ever. At RED, we offer media training to help whip even the shyest clients into interview experts!