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Media Training: Building Confidence

  February 8, 2023

Want to exude confidence in TV interviews?  It starts with learning some interview basics. Then practice on-camera so you and your media trainer can track your progress.  Nailing your messaging is most important.  Once you have crafted three to five key talking points, get to know them inside and out.  I'm not talking about memorizing sound bites word-for-word.  But become so familiar with your key messages that you can easily re-phrase them on the fly when needed; and bridge back to them even when a reporter throws you a curveball.

Once you've got your messaging down, move on to other elements that can help you appear more confident in TV interviews (in speaking engagements and in the boardroom).

  • Learn to avoid unnatural pauses in your speaking patterns.  Examples: you know, um, ah, and like.  You may not even beware how often these slip into your everyday conversations.  In a TV interview these crutches are especially noticeable and make it appear that you are not confident in what you are saying.  If you need to pause a second to respond to a question, try these instead, "I'm glad you asked that," or "good question."  Both give you just a moment to collect your thoughts.
  • Bad posture is another confidence-buster.  If you are standing for an interview, don't slouch or sway.  When seated,  sit a bit forward in your chair.  If the chair is on casters, don't swing the chair.  These things may seem trivial but they distract from your messaging.
  •  Your hands may also impact how confident you appear.  If you are doing anything distracting with them--say a nervous habit, you'll come off uncertain.  Medium size gesturing is fine, but wringing your hands is not.
  • In TV interviews you'll want to dress appropriately for your profession.  Don't try to be someone you are not and appear uncomfortable in your clothing. Certain patterns and colors don't work well but there's usually no need to buy a new suit or dress.  Just try out a few looks at home on-camera.  
  • Rushing to an interview is a clear way to blow the top of your interview.  If you arrive at the very last second, you may appear nervous. It probably means you won't have time to give yourself a final check in a mirror, do any breathing exercises or review your talking points.
  • When it comes to makeup for TV, leave yourself enough time to hit the makeup chair or to touch up your own face.  Make a habit of keeping blotting papers in your pocket. Give your face a light tap with the papers just before air so they don't see you sweat. This goes for all genders.  For men, don't shave minutes before air time.  Nothing can distract like a facial knick.  Play it safe by having a styptic pencil on hand. 

As with most things in life, the more TV interviews you do, the more relaxed you'll be.  Your confidence will shine through.


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