You need to view every media appearance as an opportunity to get your key message out.
Keep in mind that it might not only be a television appearance. Maybe some journalist who’s up against a tight deadline needs your help via phone. Be prepared to make the most of any opportunity that comes your way.
So how do you make the most of your opportunity? Here are some important things to keep in mind when you prepare for any interview:
- Take some time to do a little research in advance. Find out what you can about the interviewer and the program you’ll be appearing on.
- Make sure you know how long your segment is supposed to be. There’s a big difference between a 30 second sound bite and a 4-5 minute piece.
- Know in advance the three key points you want to make. Practice—practice—practice the best way to get your points across.
- Make sure during an interview you treat every question as an opportunity to articulate one of your three key points. That doesn’t mean you don’t answer their question. You can do that also, but don’t lose sight of the fact you have something you want to say.
- Gently try and take control of the interview. Don’t be aggressive. Answer questions in a manner that allows you to say what you want. A phrase such as ‘I think the point to remember here is…’ is a perfectly good way of answering a question during an interview and steering things toward your three major points.
- Show confidence. TV inter- viewers are generally good at putting you on the back foot. The entire broadcast environment can be intimidating. Re- member, you will always know more about your subject than the interviewer. There’s nothing wrong with correcting a factual inaccuracy in a question to establish you as the expert. Just correct it… gently.
- Stick to your agenda. Although you may be tempted to venture into other areas that aren’t your strength it will generally lead you into trouble. And it’s also a big time waste because it’s keeping you from the main topics you wanted to cover.
- Try to enjoy your experience and make sure you learn from it. Be sure you review your performance so you can see how to improve for your next media appearance.