The first thing you need to know is how long you are going to have on air. Will you have 30 seconds, 3 or 13 minutes.
The next thing you want to know is if you are part of a group discussion or is it a one-on-one interview.
Presumably the producer has decided to include you on the program because of your credentials. To live up to and exceed expectations, there are a few things that you can do in advance to make sure this happens.
1. Ensure the producer and presenter have an accurate introductory statement on you, your titles, positions, expertise and the reason why you are on the program.
2. Depending on the program, you can also prepare a list of suggested questions or issues that could be discussed and provide these to the producer (who will share them with the presenter).
3. Once you know the format and length of the interview, fine-tune three (or five for a longer interview) key points you want to make and have these firmly in your mind so you can talk about them easily. If the subject is hard to grasp for the layperson, use an analogy that explains it more easily.
4. It’s very important to rehearse with someone who will ask you questions. And don’t expect the questions to be the ones you provided. Make sure the person interviewing you (find someone you don’t know and who is good at interviewing) throws in some tricky ones that you aren’t aware of. Your PR person can prepare these questions.
Note: there are companies who offer media training workshops, so if you are a novice, this could be a good option for you.
5. Have a positive demeanor and a strong clear voice. Keep sentences short so they are easy to comprehend.
6. Record the interview, review it and critique it. Do it again and improve on it. If it’s still not right, do it again. One nod is good in acknowledgement of a question, but any more than that can be very distracting.
7. Needless to say, it is unacceptable to umm and err.
8. Use eye contact, be real, empathetic and non-defensive.
9. On the day of the interview, make sure you arrive early in fresh and neat clothing (that won’t strobe the lights) and have makeup applied as necessary.
10. Don’t over promote, but don’t waste the opportunity either. Ask if it’s ok to mention a particular website, phone number or other promotional aspects.
Reaching mass audiences is exhilarating and a wonderful opportunity to promote and build your brand.
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