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Being Seen and Heard: Tips for TV Interviews
The radio tips in February's "PR Tip of the Month" are also relevant for TV interviews. However, TV has additional considerations, since you are seen as well as heard. Below is a list of pointers unique to being on television.
- Watch the show and research the host before your appearance. You will want to understand the host's style and approach.
- Make sure a microphone can be clipped to your attire. Business dress is safe. Do not wear solid white or black, it looks dull. No busy patterns, plaids, checks or polka dots. Women, no tangly earrings or distracting accessories.
- Ask where you are to look during the interview. The rule of thumb is you look at the interviewer, not the camera. However, if you are being interviewed in a remote location -- another studio or via satellite -- you will need to ask where to look into the camera.
- Ask how long the interview will be. Is it one segment with no breaks? Or will there be a few segments broken up by commercials.
- Find out in advance if there is more than one person being interviewed. If there is, do not fight for airtime. It is an uncomfortable situation for the viewer to watch and the interviewer to manage. Focus on being clear and concise.
- When the host introduces you, nod your head in acknowledgment. Don't just sit there.
- Don't overdo gesturing. Don't be static either. Use your hands, fingers and facial expressions to make a point, but too much talking with your hands is distracting.
- Practice. Have someone conduct a mock interview with you to practice thinking on your feet. Video the session to note your expressions, gestures and the speed of your voice.