If a TV interview is on your holiday wish list, ask yourself some questions.
- Do I have something to say that the audience will be interested in? An interview is not a free ad for your business, but it can be used to your advantage. That is as long as you provide real value in the interview
- Is the timing right? Or would I be better off waiting until I develop some media skills? You don't want to make a bad first impression by not being prepared. If you stumble all over the place it's unlikely a producer will book you a second time.
- Do I know how to express myself in a clear and concise way? If you've heard about "sound bites" but haven't learned to respond to questions that way--practice.
- What is my messaging? This is the most important part of any media interview. That's why you need to first develop talking points and then learn techniques to stay on that messaging. An aggressive reporter can throw you a curve ball and you need to know how to bridge back to your message.
- Am I sure I know where to look during a TV interview? It depends. Sometimes you do look straight into the camera; often you are looking at the interviewer. A sure way not to connect with the audience is to look in the wrong direction.
- Do I need to wear something flashy to grab attention? Or will that actually distract from my messaging? No matter what you choose, it's important to be comfortable. I am not talking sweatpants-comfortable; something you feel confident wearing that won't clash with your messaging.
- Is my voice OK? Check your tempo and tone of voice. It's common for new interviewees to speak faster than they normally do. It's just something to watch. Your tone of voice can convey your enthusiasm. Sounds important.
News producers and editors are always looking for fresh content. This is never more true than during the holidays. Believe me, they are tired of doing the same, old stories season after season. If you have a unique story, product or service that their viewers, listeners or readers can relate to, this time of year is a good time to pitch it. If it's a "feel good" story so much the better.
Just be sure you are media-ready when the media is interested in you. It's not easy finding time to learn a new skill set, but think about the potential rewards. Put it on your holiday to-do list. Or, make it a New Year's resolution. In the meantime, scroll down our home page to sign up for free media tips.