MEDIA INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES
THE POWER OF PR with Danae Jones
Preparing people to front the media in good and bad situations is something I do as part of my daily work with clients. Having worked with everyone from seasoned professionals through to amateurs over the past 16 years, when it comes to media the truth is no-one is alone with the nerves or self doubt that are associated with it. Here are some helpful tips to get you better prepared for your next media opportunity.
It’s amazing how many people buckle when it comes to interviews. Whether it be TV, Radio or Print, many people seem to become self conscious and start to stumble over words. If you’ve ever been interviewed, I’m sure you would agree that television interviews or live radio interviews are the most daunting. The fact that you’re every word is being recorded is off putting to say the least, but there are a number of measures you can take to ensure the exercise is made that little bit easier to cope with.
Record your own voice and start getting used to hearing it.
If time permits, try and strike up conversation with the interviewer before the interview commences, it will make you feel more comfortable.
Try not to “um and ah” – it’s something we all do when we’re nervous, but be conscious of not saying it too much.
Be prepared and know what you’re talking about.
Think of short, snappy answers that get your message across.
Take the time to make sure you’re looking presentable before appearing on camera.
Stand still and don’t fidget when involved in a TV interview as it will distract from what you’re saying.
No-one can see what you’re doing when you’re being interviewed on radio, so if having your notes in front of you makes you feel more comfortable, than do so.
Don’t speak too close to the mouth piece of the phone if it’s a phone interview, as your voice can start to crackle.
If you’re speaking in a studio on a microphone, don’t speak too close to it as your voice may “pop”.
With print interviews you can have your notes in front of you.
Try and be descriptive in what you’re saying, as newspapers don’t have the benefit of moving pictures or sound – the words not only need to tell the story, but they need to create distinctive images in people’s minds when they’re reading it.
With all media interviews the number one rule is to try to be yourself, as you will come across more natural
When doing media interviews, bear in mind that the journalist or interviewer is so used to carrying out interviews with various talent, that they will often forget about how nervous you are feeling.
It’s up to you to be fully prepared by the time the interview takes place, and if you aren’t, don’t go through with the interview. It’s better to take an extra five to ten minutes to gather your thoughts, than to go in trying to wing it and end up crashing and burning.
The aim of all interviews is just to have an open and honest discussion with one another. As hard as it may be, try to forget that it’s a media interview and just speak as if you were talking to a friend or colleague.
Danae Jones is Principal of PR & Marketing firm Danae Jones Consulting