My Tips for Handling Your First T.V Interview.
I was recently interviewed on A.P.N television network and it was with some trepidation that I participated in what I regard as essential marketing for authors.
What I learned from the experience is that it is not nearly as scary as you might think, and the key to handling such an interview is the same as with most new experiences in life – preparation, preparation, preparation.
So here is my recipe for T.V interview success! I am sure that at some point I will write a more detailed report – a few interviews down the line, when I have the benefit of more experience and hindsight. But here are my key tips and insights.
It may sound like stating the obvious, but try to anticipate how the interview may go, and where it may lead. Even if you have some previous inkling of the kinds of questions you may be asked, try to anticipate less obvious avenues of enquiry and do your research.
Think about what kinds of messages you want to get across to your readers beforehand. Think about the things you most want to mention in order of importance.
Decide beforehand what you want to wear. If your background on the screen is blue, then don’t wear blue. Try to wear a block color rather than a pattern, which may be distracting.
Get a good night’s sleep before your interview so you feel alert and fresh.
Watch the professional authors and how they deal with interviews. If you can catch a first interview, then you won’t feel intimidated!
On the day, have a glass of water handy in case your throat gets dry. I must confess, I didn’t and wished that I had!
Be sure to inform your audience of the date, day time your broadcast will go out well in advance.
This may sound obvious, but make sure you can hear what is being said, be attentive, and ask for repetition of the questions where necessary.
Easier said than done, but it gets easier little by little! Use breathing techniques to calm any nerves. I find it helps to focus on others rather than yourself and that way you will be self aware but not shy or self-conscious.
- Think of Your Audience at All Times.
Try to make what you say easy to listen to. You can do this by varying your intonation so it is not flat and monotonous.
Be natural and be yourself. Try not to be po-faced or inexpressive, but at the same time don’t force gestures or facial expressions either. Think that you are having a conversation with someone you know fairly well, but keep it professional.
Humor will get you and your audience through. However, let this come naturally. Don’t force a laugh – but keep your sense of humour.
- Keep You Cool.
Interviewers may ask you a few things you don’t expect. They may even express points of view you disagree with. Let them. Remember, they are interested in what you have to say. Help them make the interview run smoothly. If it is necessary, state your point of view, but don’t get into disagreements. Be diplomatic and keep your cool.