Congratulations, your PR team has secured your company an on-camera interview with a targeted media outlet! Thankfully, you’ve already gone through the rigors of media training where you learned how to effectively deliver key messages, prepare for difficult questions and control the interview. However, the glare of the lights can make even the most seasoned communicator nervous. Here are a few last-minute reminders to ensure you are fully prepared before the camera rolls.
1. Choose Quiet, Comfortable Clothing
Dress appropriately and choose clothes that fit you well and that you are comfortable wearing. Avoid distracting clothing such as patterns, plaids, checks or stripes. Instead, wear solid pastel or muted colors without a logo, minimal shiny jewelry, and remove everything from your pockets. Men should try to have a fresh haircut, trim facial hair and if offered makeup or powder, accept it. For the ladies, remember that eyeliner and blush add a welcome accent to your face, but avoid glossy lip products and dangly earrings. If wearing a suit jacket, unbutton it while seated, and button it when standing.
2. Pay Attention to Posture and Body Language
Don’t forget you’re always communicating even when you’re not speaking. Sit up straight and lean in slightly when you speak. Some recommend sitting on the edge of the seat as a helpful reminder to sit up. Try not to sit all the way back in the seat as you’ll come off as too relaxed or disengaged and avoid chairs that encourage fidgeting such as swiveling or rocking back and forth.
If you use gestures to emphasize a key point, try to keep your hands below chest level and no wider than your shoulders. Also, if there’s water provided, take a quick sip before the camera begins to roll to ensure you don’t have dry mouth.
3. Make Eye Contact with the Reporter, Not the Camera
When face-to-face with an interviewer, it’s important to focus on them and not be distracted by any behind-the-scenes action. While it may sound difficult, pretending the camera is not in the room will make you appear more comfortable and produce a better quality and more personal interview. Remember, the reporter is interviewing you so answer their questions while looking at them just as you would during a conversation with a friend. Ensure that you’re speaking with your natural voice and respond slowly and clearly to questions.
Most importantly, don’t forget to smile!
Theresa Masnik is a Senior Account Supervisor at Lovell Communications. Connect with Theresa at: Theresa@lovell.com.
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