How To Prepare For Live TV Interviews
Updated: Oct 24
The spotlight is waiting, and so is an audience eager to hear what you have to say. A live TV interview is a golden opportunity, but it's also a challenge that demands careful preparation. The phrase "fail to prepare, prepare to fail" holds true in the context of live TV interviews. Forbes states that 90% of your success hinges on your preparation, emphasizing the need for a well-thought-out approach.
Here are 6 steps to help you prepare for live TV interviews:
1. Start with research
Knowledge is power. Find all needed information about the media outlet, the interviewer, and the likely questions. Resources like Profile Booster can offer a sneak peek into the interviewer's style, helping you tailor your responses. You can also work with a media trainer in Toronto to drill down your key talking points and how to handle tricky questions.
2. Define your key message
Clarity is not just a virtue; it's a necessity when you're in front of the camera. Whether you're discussing a groundbreaking innovation, such as a new renewable energy solution, or advocating for a social cause like mental health awareness, your core message must be both concise and impactful.
For example, if you're representing a tech startup that's launching a new app, your core message could be, "Our app revolutionizes the way you manage your daily tasks, making productivity effortless." This message is clear, focused, and easily digestible for the audience. A well-crafted sound bite like this can often become the highlight of your interview, quoted in social media and remembered by viewers. It serves as the cornerstone upon which the rest of your interview is built.
3. Prepare for the difficult questions
Journalists have a knack for the unexpected. Prepare for curveball questions by practicing your answers to a range of topics. A moment of pause to collect your thoughts is always better than a rushed response. For instance, if you're a CEO discussing your company's recent growth, you might suddenly be asked about your views on industry regulation or corporate social responsibility.
4. Practice until you’re confident
Repetition breeds familiarity. Use various rehearsal methods—from mirror practice to video recordings—to refine your delivery and body language. The goal is to make your on-camera presence as natural as possible. Talk in front of a mirror and see the expressions you make. Talk in front of your friends, family, and colleagues to know what words you should emphasize and how to phrase sentences that grab the viewer’s attention.
5. Dress for success
The style you choose should align with the nature of the interview. For a corporate or financial discussion, a classic suit in neutral colors like navy or gray is advisable. If you're appearing on a lifestyle or entertainment show, you have more leeway to express your personality through your clothing—perhaps a smart-casual ensemble that reflects current trends.
Regardless of the setting, stick to solid colors to avoid distracting the viewer. Patterns, especially intricate ones, can be visually jarring on camera. Always aim for a look that complements both your message and your persona. For example, if you're discussing sustainability, wearing eco-friendly brands can underscore your message.
6. Arrive early and feel the setting
Time management is crucial when preparing for a live TV interview. Arriving early provides the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the environment, be it a bustling TV studio or a remote setup in your home. Utilize this time to employ calming techniques, such as deep breathing, to ensure a composed on-air demeanor.
From crafting compelling messages to handling curveball questions, Bulletproof Media Training has got you covered.Sign up today and make your next live TV appearance unforgettable.