National Television Doesn’t Need to be Nerve Wracking
Last week I was on national television promoting my new book. It was exciting, nerve wracking and extremely rewarding. Despite having done countless media interviews, I still take the time to go through the steps on how to prepare for a television interview.
And trust me, this preparation is key to nailing a television interview you are proud of and share with your friends (or blog about) versus hoping it never sees the light of day.
If you follow these steps it will help you feel more in control, ease some of your anxiety and, most importantly, help you share your message in a way that connects with audience (making you look good).
How to prepare for a television interview
- Research. Go to the media outlet’s website. Look at clips from previous shows and/or interviews. What is the reporter or host’s interview style? Formal? Informal? Short interviews or long? How long will your interview be? Are you the focus or just a sound bite in a news story?
- Audience. Who watches the program you are being interviewed on? Even if it’s the 6 p.m. news, each television outlet has their own unique approach which attracts a different audience (example traditional studio newscast versus standing up with open concept background). Knowing the program’s audience will help you tailor your interview to better connect with viewers.
- Backdrop. Are you going to be in studio or interviewed on location? Inside or outside? If it’s in studio, what does the set look like? Pay close attention to the color pallet and backdrop. If it’s on location, try and see where you’re being interviewed in advance. Are there any features that could enhance or detract from the interview? For business interviews, try and get your company logo in the background (or wear clothing with your corporate brand).
- Clothing. Solid colors are often the best option (but make sure it stands out from the backdrop). I prefer bright and vibrant, so you stick out (or a pop of color with black). Avoid stripes, checkered and busy patterns as they can be distracting. For sit down interviews, if wearing pants make sure you wear long socks so you don’t have the weird line of flesh.
- Key messaging. What are the THREE points you want to get across? Keep your interview focused on these three points.
- Don’t rush. Get to your interview early so you have time to collect your thoughts and get centered.
- Be yourself!! Let your personality shine through. If you like to joke around, do so (unless it’s a serious topic). Don’t try to be someone who you are not.
- Smile. No one wants to watch a stuffed shirt. Smiling helps you connect with viewers and keep it real.
- Have fun. It will be over before you know it. Trust me.
Even if you do media interviews on a regular basis, or are used to presenting, you still need to take the time to prepare. There are many more elements to consider when preparing for a television interview versus print or radio. And remember, all media outlets are not created equally. Each have their own style and approach. So if you are conducting multiple media interviews, you still need to prepare for each one individually, adjusting your message to connect with their specific audience.
If you want to learn more about how to prepare for a television interview, or any other media interview, check out this download. I also invite you to watch my national television interview promoting my new book, Your Child’s Voice, to see how I nailed my interview (okay I’m proud of it) by following the steps above.
For those of you who have previously done television interviews, what steps have you taken to prepare? Is there anything you would have done differently?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or send me a message.
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