Spotlight on: Preparing for Interviews· October 2, 2015
You’ve booked an interview with a reporter. Congratulations! Now what? Here are some tips to ensure your experience is a smooth one.
- Develop key messages beforehand and practice saying them, so they are delivered naturally.
- Use plain language and avoid jargon. Explain any complex concepts in easy to understand language.
- Avoid rambling sentences. Short sentences are best for news clips.
- Play Devil’s advocate. The reporter may ask questions that will pull you off topic. Anticipate these questions by writing down some possible ‘trigger questions’ and developing answers for them.
- Don’t panic that you are on camera. View the interview as a conversation between you and the reporter.
- Don’t wear any distracting patterns or ‘loud’ colours. Viewers will focus on these details instead of what you’re saying.
- Assume the microphone is always on. Avoid saying anything you don’t want broadcast to the world.
- Interview by phone: Stand up, smile and breathe. Your listeners can’t see you but you still need to convey confidence with your voice.
- Watch your ‘uhs’ and ‘umms’. They are much more noticeable with radio and can make you sound inarticulate. Be aware of these filler words.