Media Training 101: Mastering the Television Interview
As I travel around the world I always enjoy sampling the media in different countries.
Even if I don't speak Thai, Bahasa or Mandarin, watching local news services always provides a unique insight into local culture.
I was recently watching a story on a new biotech company on Channel News Asia in Singapore. The story had interviews with both the China-based CEO and biotech venture capitalists in Singapore.
One of the visual images that struck me was how professional, persuasive and powerful the Chinese CEO looked compared to the Singapore interviewees.
The simple difference was the Chinese CEO was wearing a dark suit jacket whereas the Singpore-based talent simply had on a tie and white shirt.
Attention to detail like this can make or break your image and ability to persuade others.
Here are the Top 10 Tips for TV Interviews:
1. Avoid the phrase "I think"
This phrase weakens the impact of your message and sound bite. It adds no value and should be avoided.
2. Always wear a dark jacket for business interviews
Always have on hand a dark jacket to wear for TV interviews. This will give your body shape conveying confidence, credibility and charisma.
3. Avoid white shirts without jackets
A white shirt without a jacket is going to make your head look like a pale, washed out balloon floating around the screen. Avoid this unless you have a great tan or dark complexion.
4. Lean slightly forward towards the camera
That great Western Australian-born TV communicator, artist and inventor of the wobbleboard, Rolf Harris was a master at creating intimacy with viewers by subtle changes to the angle of his head in relation to the TV camera.
Leaning forward slightly will give you more presence and intimacy, as well as making you look thinner.
5. Avoid looking directly at the camera
Having been a TV weather presenter, looking directly at a TV camera to deliver messages is a really challenging skill.
Avoid looking directly at the camera unless you're a seasoned pro.
6. Look at the interviewer
Look directly at the journalist to avoid 'wandering eyes' syndrome. Looking around furtively will make you appear shifty and untrustworthy.
7. Always control the background visuals
Control the background of your TV interview with the message you want to convey. Your logo flashed up behind you for 7 seconds can be worth upwards of $50,000 in free branding.
8. Work on your "quotable quote"
Your media message must be succinct, memorable and to the point.
9. Avoid milk, caffeine and alcohol
Milk will clog up your mouth and caffeine and alcohol will dull your senses and make you want to go to the toilet.
Stick to water and make sure you are fully hydrated.
Nothing is known to improve your skills more than rehearsing, practising and then reviewing your performance.
Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.
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