How to win the TV interview battle

How to win the TV interview battle

With the Brexit debate reaching a climax, we are witnessing an increasingly hostile series of interviews with the front runners for the Prime Minister’s job.  Most politicians have some training and preparation before they are seen on screen but if your business comes to the attention of local or even national TV would you know how to come across in a positive way?

The first thing you need to think about is how do I look? Obviously, what  you wear is your choice. Just make sure you represent your business/trade/profession in a positive way.

Your body language will be assessed by the viewers so bear these points in mind:

  • Sit or stand with a straight back.  This will help you look confident.
  • Try to drop your shoulders and relax your hands. Busy fingers show a lack of control and are distracting.
  • Make direct eye contact, either on the interviewer or the camera (if that is required).
  • Let your eyes show emotion to match your words. The camera will pick up subtle facial expressions which will help you appear sincere. The “robot” look will not do you any favours.

When it comes to what you are going to say, the most important thing is that you have decided, in advance, the one thing that you need to get across. Practice several ways of saying it.

Key things to remember about delivery:

  • Listen to the question then pause before answering. Don’t be rushed.
  • If you feel you are being bullied, keep cool. Your audience will be with you.
  • If you don’t like a question you don’t have to answer it,but keep evasion to a minimum as modern audiences don’t like that.
  • You can dodge the issue by saying “that’s an interesting question, but I believe that the real point is.….” Or. “I can understand why you would ask that question but I think viewers would want to know.….”
  • If you are interrupted, don’t get irritated but use a soft, polite tone as you say, “Please let me finish my point”. Your audience will sympathise.
  • Always remember your key message and if you haven’t had chance to say it, insist- “I really must make the point that.….”

It is impossible to consciously think about your voice to as you are speaking, but general points to consider are:

  • Open your mouth to let out sufficient sound and allow people to lip read.
  • Control the pace and aim to complete every word.
  • Really think about what you are saying and mean it. If your emotions are connecting with your words you will appear natural, confident and sincere.           

Good luck!

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