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  • Bulletproof Staff

10 Tips For Your First TV Interview As A CEO

Updated: 6 days ago

As a new CEO, stepping into the spotlight for your first television interview might be equally thrilling and nerve-wrecking. It might be the first time your company's customer base will see you in action and you want to make a good first impression. If you haven't been in the public eye much before, consider taking media training classes. These sessions can prepare you thoroughly and equip you with tools to control the flow of the interview and handle difficult questions. 

Here are 10 tips for your first TV interview as a CEO:


1. Understand the Format and Audience

Find out the basics - will it be a live broadcast or a pre-recorded segment, will there be an audience in the interview room or just the recording team, and some demographic details of the audience. For example, if it is a finance channel, focus on your company’s economic impact. If the show talks about green initiatives, talk about how your company is making changes at all levels towards carbon neutrality. 

2. Develop Key Messages

Highlight two to three key messages you want to convey during your interview. Make sure they are impactful, concise, and relevant to your audience. Think about your company’s mission, recent successes, or upcoming initiatives and if any can benefit through a special mention. Your key messages are your north star; they will guide your responses and ensure you stay on topic.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Rehearse your key points and role-play the interview with your communications team. Ask them for feedback, so you can refine your delivery and make you more comfortable with the camera. Keep your answers to the point and refrain from giving extra information. 

4. Control Your Body Language

Non-verbal communication speaks volumes. Maintain good posture, use natural hand gestures, and ensure your facial expressions match your message’s tone. As the company’s CEO, you should have a defining personality and exude confidence. Eye contact is another non-verbal cue to build a connection with both the interviewer and your audience watching through their screens.

A question mark on a speech bubble on an orange background

5. Ask for Questions in Advance

There’s no guarantee that the same questions will be asked but it gives you some idea about the flow of the interview. You’ll also get a peek into the tough questions. Media training in Toronto can teach you techniques to handle potentially tricky or uncomfortable topics without appearing evasive. The "bridge" technique is particularly useful, where you acknowledge the question and then pivot to one of your key messages.

6. Dress Appropriately

This is where it gets tricky. Depending on the style and format of the interview, you can either dress professionally or put on relaxed neutral colour clothes. Keep it simple and avoid loud patterns and flashy jewelry that can be distracting on camera.

7. Monitor Your Voice and Tone

Your voice should be calm and authoritative. When talking about the key points, keep your tone simple and clear, so the message is delivered smoothly. In the same way, modulating the pace of your speech as speaking too quickly can make you seem nervous, while too slow can bore the audience.

8. Stay Informed and Current

Be aware of any recent news or developments in your industry that might come up during the interview. It will not just help you answer questions more effectively but also demonstrate your leadership and awareness.

9. Be Yourself

Be genuine in your responses and let your personality shine through. People appreciate transparency and can usually tell when someone is being insincere. Don’t sound too polished as that makes you look unreachable and cold. 

10. Follow Up

Review your performance post-interview: What went well? What could you improve? This reflection is crucial for your growth in handling media. Send a thank-you note to the interviewer and the production team to show gratitude and also open doors for a long-standing mutually beneficial media relationship. 

Need last-minute help preparing for your first TV interview as a CEO? Send us a message and we’ll reach out with a personalized 1-day media training plan for you!

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