Congratulations! The hard work of pitching journalists has paid off and you landed a live TV interview, a great way to gain exposure for your brand, message or event. But the road doesn’t end here, there is still more work to be done.
What do you say? How do you prepare? And what do you wear?
Here are three tips to put those worries in the rearview and help you get ready for your big opportunity.
1. Know Your Facts
There is no question about it: proper preparation prevents poor performance.
Your job is to tell the story. Pause for a moment. Think about what you are trying to convey. Make a list of talking points that drive home your message. Remember, those who might tune into your interview come from all walks of life, so keep your key messages simple and easy to understand, yet informative. And throw in some sparklers. No, not fireworks, but the key messages that make the information sparkle or come alive.
You will have a limited amount of time. Live TV interviews are typically brief, averaging about three minutes. Pick two-to-four messages that you know you want to touch on during the interview.
2. Practice! Practice! Practice!
Cliched, but true: practice does make perfect.
Memorize your key messages. Rehearse in front of the mirror (no judging here). Better yet, practice in front of your PR team, family or friends. They can provide constructive feedback as you prepare.
When you talk, speak slowly and clearly, while getting directly to the point. Time may be limited, but you are the expert on the topic, so be confident and engaging. Also, be mindful of any gestures or facial expressions you make while speaking. Don’t fidget.
When it’s time for your interview, talk to the anchor or reporter, not the camera.
3. Carefully Plan Your Wardrobe
It sounds a little silly, but what you wear matters. Not only do you want to speak knowledgeably during your interview, you also
want to look the part. Here are some pearls of wisdom I’ve found helpful when it comes to looking presentable and professional on-air:
- Consider the topic of the live interview and where it is taking place. These are key in determining what to wear. If it’s in the studio, business professional is ideal. Think suits, dresses or skirts. If it’s on-site, a bit more casual might be appropriate – polo shirts (branded is great) and slacks.
- Avoid patterns and bold prints. They don’t come across well on the screen.
- Do wear solid colors. Jewel tones and bright colors are highly recommended.
- Keep jewelry to a minimum. Too much can be too distracting.
Live TV interviews all boil down to this: know your facts, practice in advance and plan your wardrobe accordingly. When it’s time to go on air, relax and take a deep breath. You did your homework. Now it’s time for you to rock this interview. Oh, and don’t forget your sparklers.