Interviews on the television are tricky. You’ve got lights glaring down at you, a lens trained on your face, plus a pesky reporter or presenter asking you questions – which you may or may not want to answer.
You’ve got to think about what you look like (see TV: what not to wear) what you’re body language is saying, and most importantly whether you are giving a good impression and saying what you intended to (ie: whether you’re delivering your key messages effectively.)
Of course, media training can help with all these things. It can get you used to appearing on camera, teach you how to prepare for an interview, and provide you with the skills to deliver a great performance. At Rough House, we advise anyone likely to be in the spotlight that it’s essential to do a Media Training Course.
However, if an interview gets sprung on you at the last moment, here’s a list of no-nos to prevent you from making some of the worst mistakes.
- Don’t drink alcohol beforehand: however tempting it might be, you need to be on top form and totally alert
- Don’t go to the wrong studio: some TV and radio stations have several. Make sure you go to the right place
- If you’re in a studio, don’t swivel in your chair, fidget or gesticulate too wildly
- If you are on location, don’t shuffle nervously from side to side or put your hands in your pockets
- Don’t become distracted by things happening around you: it’s essential to maintain concentration and pay attention to what the interviewer is asking you at all times
- Don’t sheaves of notes into the studio: they can rustle, and if you read from notes, your answers won’t sound natural
- Don’t use jargon and technical terms: if the viewer doesn’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll stop listening
- Don’t answer with just ‘yes’ or ‘no’
- Don’t criticise or talk about other organisations
- Don’t lie, bluff or guess
- Don’t lose your temper or walk off
- Don’t get up immediately or remove your earpiece if you think the interview is over – the cameras may still be running
There is of course of a whole list of ‘Things to do’ as well. Watch out for posts about those!