You’ve landed an interview on TV, radio or print. Great. Now you want to make the most of it. Start by keeping your answers concise and on point. It can be difficult, because interviews are conversational in nature and whereas they feel like conversations, they’re actually two different agendas. You have an agenda and the interviewer has an agenda. Yours is to deliver your main points, the interviewer’s is to entertain his readers, listeners and viewers.
With print interviews you have the luxury of being able to discuss things in more depth. On radio and particularly on TV, because of the time constraints, you want to be sure to hit your main points but not to elaborate too much. You want to focus on staying on message. In regular conversation one topic generally leads to another and that to another, etc. During an interview you don’t want to let yourself meander in that way. If an anecdote illustrates the point you’re trying to make, that’s great, but you want to make sure that all of your conversation in some way furthers your message.I’d suggest developing a cheat sheet. You can’t use this approach for TV interviews or radio in studio interviews, but you can for print or radio phone interviews. Write out the main topics you want to touch on and points you want to make. Don’t script your dialogue, but write out cues that will remind you of points you want to mention or anecdotes you want to use. Your job is then to match your answers to the questions you’re asked. You don’t want to force or shoehorn information, but there are ways to make sure you make your points.
For example, if asked a question that doesn’t quite fit your answers, give a short answer to the question asked and then segue with a phrase such as “what’s really important…” or “what’s really interesting is…” and then move to your main point. Keep in mind that on TV or radio you only have a limited amount of time. In that case come up with three main points that you want to share. Your job is to get those three points out during the interview. If you get two in that’s great, but you want to shoot for three. Put them in the order of importance. Try to bring them up early in the interview. Again, you don’t want to shoehorn them in so that it sounds forced, but you want to introduce them as part of the flow of the interview. Once you’ve delivered those points, you’ve basically done your job; you can then relax a bit more and have fun with the interview. If you wait until the end of the interview to introduce your primary points, there’s a very good chance you’ll run out of time, before you get to them.
On TV or radio they main thing you want to work on is a relaxed delivery. That comes with being prepared, but you also want to keep in mind the basics such as sitting erect, being aware of your breathing and smiling (that works even if it’s not TV).
So, the main points are to focus on the information you want to deliver, practice delivering it in a concise manner, stay on point as you deliver your message and relax and having fun with the interviews. Chances are you’ve worked to land them, now make sure they work for you.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013