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5 ways to nail your next broadcast interview

Written by Staff Writer

July 19, 2022

By: Candice Burgess-Look, Director and co-founder of PR firm, King of the Jungle.

Being asked to do a broadcast interview, whether on TV or radio can feel like both a privilege and a curse. On the one hand, you’re excited to share your company’s message on air, and on the other, you are feeling sick with nerves. While this is completely normal, there are some simple interview guidelines that one can follow to mitigate the anxiety and make a lasting impression on their target audience.  

Besides the obvious and commonly stressed interview tip, which is to ‘slow down’ when you speak, the most advantageous thing you can have in your back pocket is a holistic understanding of your industry and the talking points related to it. Oftentimes in PR interviews, you are not interviewed solely on your product or service, but rather on the news story or supporting conversation related to your offering. Being an expert in your field not only makes for a more interesting discussion, but also aids in making you as the interviewee feel more confident in what you are saying while at the same time establishing you as a thought-leader in the minds of the listener. 

Here are my top 5 interview tips that will help you nail your next interview:

Make peace with the nerves
They likely won’t go away. It was Michael Jordan who said, “being nervous isn’t a bad thing, it just means something important is happening.” And if that doesn’t do it for you, turn it on its head and remember to not take yourself too seriously, it’s not life or death stuff.

Love what you do and you’ll find your flow

You can’t fake this. If you don’t really care about your product or service or whatever you are trying to ‘sell’ on-air, it’s going to come through in your interview. Passion will trump fear every time. Sometimes the topic you are talking about might be a little removed from your core product, but if you tie it back to what you do and harness that passion, you’ll find your flow.

Address the interviewer by name

The key to feeling relaxed in an interview is to feel like you’re just having a conversation, and one way to get things started is to make the interviewer feel comfortable. Remember, they likely haven’t spoken to you before, they don’t know if this interview is going to feel like drawing blood from a stone or if it’s going to run smoothly. Make them feel at ease with you by simply addressing them by their name a few times. It immediately establishes unspoken respect and creates a safe space for some good old-fashioned back and forth. To quote another famous figure “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language,” Dale Carnegie.

NEVER read your answers

This is one of the worst things you can do on-air. The listener can pick it up right away. It comes across as being unprepared and tells the presenter that you are the wrong spokesperson for the interview. Know your product or service inside out and you won’t need to read anything.

Always think about the listener

Don’t use the interview as a hard sales pitch. That’s not fair to the listener or the presenter. Instead, tell a story with your answers. Give the listeners content that they will find interesting and thought-provoking. Think along the lines of ‘did you know that’ or ‘a recent study suggests.’ Try to keep the listener engaged. I promise you they don’t want to spend their time getting the technical run-down on your product or service. What they want is to be moved, inspired, informed, or entertained. Your product or service will receive organic exposure if you always keep the listener in mind when answering questions. Hard sales will prompt listeners to switch off, not only because they didn’t tune in to be sold to, but because it’s boring!

 

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