DIY Media Training: Mastering TV Interviews
Lights, camera, action! A television interview has been secured for you and now it’s showtime. While this is an exciting occasion for you and your business, it can also be intimidating and daunting. Unlike a print or radio interview, you must consider not just your verbal, but also your non-verbal communication.
The following are a few proven exercises (used by media pros themselves) you can conduct at home in order to better prepare yourself for a television interview.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to practice any form of public speaking is in front of a mirror. This allows you to not only practice your talking points, but it gives you a chance to observe your non-verbal communication skills too.
Try practicing in a way that best resembles how your actual interview will be conducted. For example… If you know you will be sitting, set a chair in front of your mirror. If you will be using visual materials have them on hand and practice how you will implement them throughout the interview.
While practicing, take the time to observe your body language. How is your posture? Are you smiling? Are you “talking with your hands” too much? Critiquing yourself is the first step to improving your television presence.
Pick a Role Model
People say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, in this case, it’s also one of the best ways to improve your media presence.
Whether your current favorite primetime anchor is Brian Williams, Scotty Pelley or David Muir – taking the time to watch the seasoned pros can help your television presence immensely. But don’t just sit back and watch your favorites, be sure to take note of their tone, body language, and overall delivery.
I recommend doing this exercise in two different ways. First, mute your television and simply watch your favorite anchor without audio. This will allow you to really focus on the talent’s nonverbal delivery. Make a note of how they use their hands, how often they smile, what their posture looks like, and what other nonverbal actions they incorporate. Next, try closing your eyes and listening to the anchor, taking into consideration their pacing, tone, and intonation. This too will allow you to focus on just one aspect of the anchor’s overall delivery.
Practice Makes Perfect
While this may not make you perfect right out of the gates, it can certainly help over time. Once you have identified areas to improve upon and skills to practice, put yourself to the test. With today’s technology, it is easy to set up a recording of yourself whether you use a cell phone, a laptop or a video camera.
If a friend or a family member is willing, ask him or her to sit in as the host. Record your simulated interview and try your best to make it as realistic as possible. Afterwards, review the clip and make a note of the areas you’ve been able to improve upon and the skills you need to continue to develop. For most people, watching themselves on camera can feel rather awkward, but if you implement this exercise as a consistent practice, you will find it to be one of the most effective ways to improve your media presence. Happy interviewing!