Effective TV Interviews
"No TV performance takes such careful preparation as an off-the-cuff talk."
- Richard M. Nixon, 1952
- Do not wear a white shirt - it reflects too much stage lights
- Dress like an expert
- If you are doing a stand-up interview, keep your hands out of your pockets
- this will force you to use your hands when talking
- If you are doing a sit-down interview, sit up straight
- do not cross your legs
- do not lean back (it looks defensive)
- When you sit, put your rear end as far back in the chair as you can
- this will force your upper body forward,
making you look engaged with the interviewer
- it will also force you to use your hands
- Do not look at the camera; look at the interviewer when you are talking
- the only exceptions to this rule are some programs on
CNBC and CNNfn when
you are being interviewed remotely within a studio
- Pretend you are having a conversation with your grandparents.
- Do not use tech jargon
- but no condescension
- Be concise
- Only try to get 2-3 messages across in a TV interview
- Speak in short sentences that are no longer than 15 seconds
- Be personal
- Address the reporter by her first name
- "Well, Linda, the first thing consumers should know is . . ."
- Don't criticize the competition
- otherwise, the media story gets framed as "the battle"
instead of the positive key messages about your company and products
- let an industry analyst be the critic
- Do NOT talk "off the record" about sensitive information
- you will never really know if the camera or microphones
are off until you leave the building!
REHEARSE , REHEARSE, REHEARSE
Rehearse the key messages you want to cover, otherwise . . .
"your interview will become your rehearsal"