5 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Watch Back Your TV Interview
Pinpoint areas where you can improve your on-camera presence with these simple questions
One of your first thoughts after completing a television interview is often, “how did I do?” and one of the best ways to get an idea as to how you performed is reviewing your interview yourself. While opinions and feedback from others can be helpful, it’s also important to take it upon yourself to identify areas where you can improve. But if you’re not a media pro, how can you easily recognize the steps you need to take to boost your media presence?
The following is a list of five questions you can ask yourself as you watch back your TV interview to help you pinpoint where you can improve your on-camera presence.
1. What does the tone of my voice say about me?
The tone of your voice during an interview can say a lot about you as a financial professional. Is your voice shaky or quiet? Are you rambling or talking too fast? Do your responses to questions have fillers like “um” and “uh”? All of these can be a sign that you’re nervous, timid and possibly even the lack the knowledge to speak coherently to a topic.
The tone of your voice should reflect that you’re confident, relaxed and passionate about the topic at hand. Take note of the speed at which you’re speaking, the pitch and volume of your voice and whether or not you’re making the most of your answers. If your responses are concise, without fillers and spoken clearly, viewers will be able to identify that you’re a knowledge advisor that is capable of helping them develop a successful financial plan.
2. What type of non-verbal messages am I sending the viewers?
Nonverbal signals can be one of the most overlooked interview skills, but they can also send some of the strongest messages to viewers. From eye contact to posture to hand gestures, nonverbal cues can help a viewer gage just how confident and knowledgeable you are. Similar to the tone of your voice, if your nonverbal signals aren’t on point, viewers may be wary of the advice you’re providing during an interview.
Start by assessing your eye contact. You should be primarily engaged with the anchor and at times, addressing the camera when necessary. If you’re avoiding eye contact or frequently breaking eye contact with the anchor, you may seem untrustworthy. Next, check out your posture. You should be sitting up straight with relaxed shoulders and your feet should either be comfortably crossed or rooted to the floor to avoid fidgeting or twitching. (For more details on how to improve posture for a TV interview, check my blog “Posture Perfect.”) Finally, check out what your hands are doing. It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t use your hands during an interview when in fact, you should do what comes most natural to you. Yes, an excessive amount of hand movement can be distracting, but at the same rate, you shouldn’t forcefully hold your hands in your lap as this can look uncomfortable and rigid.
3. What kind of rapport do I have with the anchor?
TV interviews can be overwhelming, and nerves can get the best of you in a number of ways. One of the last things you may consider focusing on during your interview is the rapport you have with the person interviewing you. This can be a grave mistake as this can relationship can be the best opportunity to show your intrapersonal skills. Interrupting the anchor, showing little engagement and avoiding banter can result in viewers finding stiff, unfriendly and possibly even rude.
To improve your rapport with an anchor, start by taking note of their style. That’s right, turn the focus on them as you review your interview. Do they tend to make jokes? Do they often ask follow-up questions to further clarify your advice? Do they seem to be jumping in during your response so that they can move on to the next question? Getting a feel for the style and pace of anchor or reporter’s interview style can go a long way in helping you improve your rapport with them. If they seem to be more light-hearted during your interview, take the opportunity to show your personality by cracking a quick joke. If they tend to enjoy banter, don’t hesitate to engage in some back-and-forth–this too can help better show your personality. If they are more professional in their approach and cut right to the chase, focus on remaining concise with your answers. In this scenario, you can still show your engagement by nodding and smiling while they are speaking
4. Did I leave a positive, lasting impression?
As a financial professional, the goal of television interview is to display your wealth of knowledge, share sound advice that can help the viewers and ultimately, encourage them to give you a call to learn more about you can help them. So, ask yourself this after watching your TV interview: would you hire yourself based solely on this TV clip? If your answer is no, then what is it that’s holding you back? Did you come across too sales-y? Did you lack the confidence one would hope their financial professional would have when speaking about financial topics? Were you too mundane and lacking the energy needed to show your true passion for what you do?
Think about how you want to be seen as a financial professional and work to channel that during your TV interview. Bring the energy to show your passion for helping people improve their financial situations. Be confident in the fact that you are the expert on this topic and there is a reason this TV outlet ask you for an interview. Understand that with the right delivery, you don’t have to sell the viewers on your business but rather demonstrate why they need your advice in order to have a successful financial future.
5. What steps can I take to improve my TV interview skills?
After evaluating yourself, you might be wondering “what do I do now to actually improve?” If you identified several areas that you want to work on, start by prioritizing them first. Pick the issue that stood out to you most. Trying to fix the tone of your voice while adjusting your posture and improving your rapport with the anchor all at once can be counterproductive and often result is a worse second interview. Take the time to practice each of your goals separately.
And, just like anything in life, you’ll need to dedicate the time to truly improve. It won’t happen overnight and for most, it will take several TV interviews before you develop the media presence that you desire. There are a number of ways to practice interview skills—check out my other blog “DIY Media Training” for some additional ideas on ways to improve your on-camera persona.
Ready to secure more media opportunities and the coaching you need to maximize your camera time? Contact AdvisorPR to discuss our turnkey public relations programs that include everything you need from interview opportunities, one-on-one media coaching and placement leveraging to maximize your exposure!
Jill Schofield is the Director of Public Relations for AdvisorPR and a former executive producer and anchor for an NBC affiliate. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.