The Picture-Perfect TV Interview

Public Relations

There is something about the TV interview that everyone loves. Maybe it’s the fact that when viewers see you or your brand on the screen, it adds an extra layer of credibility to your message. Perhaps it’s because those interviews can be leveraged to share with your audience either through your company website or social media. One thing is for sure; it doesn’t matter if you are new in your career or a seasoned professional, TV is exciting for all interviewees.

Most TV interviews will be LIVE. Live TV is not like any other speaking experience. Even people who speak in front of groups of people for a living will confirm that the first live TV interview was not what they had expected and are often surprised by how fast the interview went.

How can you prepare for a live TV interview?

Practice Makes Perfect

As a financial advisor, are there aspects of your job that you are better at now then you were on your first day? I bet there are. The great thing about your job is that you have roughly five days per week to become an expert.

Unless you’re a broadcast reporter, you don’t have the opportunity to practice live TV interviews – you have one shot at getting your message across. Because there are no retakes, your answers have to be on point. Yet, in close to 75 percent of interviews I’ve reviewed, there are many missed opportunities because the interviewee hadn’t practiced as much as they should have.

In sports, no one can predict what the opposing team will do during a game; however, a key difference between the major and minor leagues is those that practice over and over again remain calm and are able to perform under pressure. AdvisorPR has a DIY Media Training blog that provides terrific ideas to practice, but you must carve out the time to do it.

Every client I have worked with over the years wants to be the “go-to expert” in their field or city. In-studio interviews are typically 3-4 minutes. That is golden on TV! Whether it’s at the local or national level, producers are responsible for creating great content during that time. For every minute you expect your interview to be, a good rule of thumb is to spend an hour practicing out loud the anticipated interview questions. Not many people I know implement this suggestion, but the ones that do are so polished and confident, producers often ask them back!

A Smile Goes a Long Way

Smile when you practice – this will help you automatically smile when you’re on TV, and likability is everything during an interview. 

Show Up Prepared and Camera-Ready

On the day of your interview, many advisors being interviewed expect the reporter to have viewed the questions ahead of time. In actuality, reporters are handed scripts and glance at it during the countdown before your segment. Also, there is a common misconception that there will be hair and make-up (stylist) at the studio to help them get ready – that is never the case.

Hoping for a National TV Interview?

Practicing all interviews is essential to your success, but even more so if you have ambitions of PR opportunities in larger or national markets. National outlets will only consider interviewing someone after they have several engaging and informative local broadcast interviews showcasing that the interviewee has the chops for a national audience.

For more tips on preparing for live television interviews, check out our past blog “Recorded vs Live: What’s the difference?” or contact us to learn more about our turnkey public relations services today!

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