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4 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your TV Interviews

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 13/10/2015 Mona Kosar Abdi
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So you captured the attention of a reporter who wants to do a story on your startup. Well before you go on camera in front of millions of viewers you should know that, when comes to television, every second counts. In fact, reporters usually get a little over a minute of airtime for most of their stories. So that 15, 20, sometimes 30 minute interview often gets cut down into a few 7-second sound bites.
If the interview is live, you might get a little more time but the reporter and producer are still watching the clock. So it is important to be concise, otherwise you risk not being able to get your message across. Here are a few quick tips to help you make the most out of your 7-seconds.
What is the angle?
Before you even agree to an on-camera interview, you should first be clear about the context of the reporter's story. Is it a feature piece to highlight your business? Or is there some controversy surrounding your product that is of concern to the station's viewers? By identifying the story angle you can decide if doing the interview is in the best interest of your company or not. If you decide it is a great promotional opportunity then knowing the reporter's angle will provide you with enough information to think of some mock questions and prepare answers that will add to the story.
Keep it Short and Sweet
When preparing for the interview, create a list of the most important points that you would like to make. These will be the points that you should try and get across first. If you have an idea of the story angle, find a way to make your message relate to the topic being discussed. The idea is to somehow concisely incorporate your message into all your responses. Any longer than two to three sentences and your answer might be cut due to time constraints.
Be Conversational
If you want to bring a few notes you've written down for reference, go right ahead. However, it is not a good idea to memorize those notes word for word, or you will risk coming across scripted. Forget that you are trying to reach a large audience and just approach the interview as a conversation between you and the reporter. The idea is to sound and look natural, which often starts with truly and sincerely believing in your company's mission.
Don't ramble
Again time is of the essence here, so even the best responses can be cut due to time constraints. Also it is very easy to get off message when you go on and on with your answer. If you need a second to gather your thoughts, then take one. Make sure you truly understand the questions you are being asked and can come up with an appropriate response. Especially if it is a recorded interview, because unlike live interviews you have the ability to start, stop and pause before giving your response.

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