How to prepare for a broadcast interview

Being invited to a broadcast interview can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for anyone trying to convey a message to the public. Broadcast interviews mean that you’ll be both seen and heard by an audience, and this offers a powerful chance to connect. Perhaps you’d like to illustrate your unique business story, promote a new product or service, or change an audiences’ opinion on a given topic. 

Regardless of what your media and publicity goals are, you’ll want to make sure you’re well prepared to make the most of this valuable opportunity. At Powered PR, formerly Plant Powered Press, we ensure that our PR clients are fully equipped before appearing in front of the media. Here’s our top tips on how to prep for your television, radio or podcast interview: 

Pre-interview homework 

Ensuring that you are perceived as a knowledgeable, credible and trustworthy source means that you’ll need to do some homework before you’re ready to jump into the hot seat. Our team assists all our PR clients to do the following: 

  • Identify your core message. Consider your audience and determine what one key message you want them to hear. What do you want people to feel or learn as a result of your interview? Focusing on a core message will help you to refine your talking points.
  • Know your talking points. These are a set of clear, easily recalled facts, figures or examples that work together to prove your core message. Talking points can help keep your thoughts on track during an interview. It’s incredibly important to have a refined set of talking points that you’re familiar with before entering any interview situation. 
  • Prepare specific examples to support your talking points. You can use facts, figures, statistics, trends or personal anecdotes to support your talking points. It’s important that you’re able to substantiate your thoughts if a journalist asks for more information.

Before your interview

In the minutes leading up to your interview, it’s natural to experience some nervousness. Here’s how to clear your mind in order to feel confident and calm:

  • Relax and take a moment to breathe. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. To calm your nerves, it’s useful to remember that you’re simply having a conversation, not going into battle!
  • Understand your tics. Everyone has verbal (or non-verbal) tics they rely on. For example, you might say ‘like’ or ‘um’ frequently, or have a tendency to giggle when nervous. Knowing your tics and taking command of them will ensure your interview appears more polished.

During your interview

  • Slow your pace. When we’re nervous or excited, we tend to speak quickly. Resist the urge to race ahead by using deliberate pauses in your speech. Always wait a beat or two to answer the interviewer’s questions. This appears thoughtful and authoritative.
  • Nail your sound bytes! Broadcasters will often clip short 5-10 second snippets of speech to summarise the contents of your interview. Keep your answers concise and speak with conviction in order to establish a winning sound byte. Your tone of voice can be used to convey specific points with added emotion and emphasis.
  • Control the conversation. Are you worried about being asked tough questions? Are you concerned that your interview might veer off topic? At Powered PR, we teach our clients specific strategies that will enable you to control the conversation. 

After your interview, remember:

  • You’re always on record – even when the camera’s aren’t rolling, or the interview appears to end. Be mindful of how you behave before, during and after an interview session.
  • There’s always a parting thought to be added! If a journalist asks for a final comment, you should provide a clear Call To Action for the audience. For example, perhaps you’d like people to visit a specific website or resource. Use this opportunity to mobilise the audience, to reinforce your core message, and have the last word.

If you want to master the art of a broadcast interview, you’ll need an expert PR team to guide you through proven, effective strategies that suit the Australian media landscape. Contact Powered PR for a tailored media plan today.

AUTHOR: Jessica Cotton

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