How to be prepared for your next on-air interview

August 24, 2010

I’ve just returned from giving a five-minute on-air interview with Fishers Chamber of Commerce President, Dan Canan about my business Gurtowsky Graphics and the Fishers Business Insider, a monthly publication that I design for the Fishers Economic & Community Development Commission in conjunction with the chamber.

Note to self. Be prepared.

You’d never know that my college background was in broadcast news. I was so nervous during the interview that I mis-spoke certain titles and internally sounded like I was rambling on about nothing.

So I’m writing this blog to give you a few tips in case you find ourself in front of the camera with a live microphone.

  • Make sure you have a clear understanding from the interviewer about the topic that you’ll be speaking.
  • Arrive a few minutes early so you can adjust to your new surroundings. (This interview was held in the produce section of a Super Target.)
  • Write a few ideas ahead of time or small topics that you can share if needed during the interview. But have one topic or reason in particular for conducting the interview. For example, are you promoting a particular event for your company or business? Or is there a particular area of expertise and information that you want to share with your audience?
  • Focus your eyes, ears and attention on the interviewer not the camera man. (This can be difficult because you aren’t sure who you’re really talking to.)
  • Relax. Treat the interview setting like it’s a casual, comfortable conversation that you are having with a friend or co-worker. (But be sure to mind your p’s and q’s.)
  • Don’t forget to thank the interviewer at the end.
  • If you’re happy with your interview or feel your information is important to share, be sure to tell your friends, co-workers and others in your sphere when to look for your interview to air, and give us the time, station and day if possible.
  • Have fun. Your personality will shine through if you can take a deep breath, be relaxed and speak casually and professionally.

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