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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

PR TIP TUESDAY: Tips For Your First TV Interview

Today, one of our clients, Author Marcus Harrison Green had his first TV interview on King 5 Seattle's New Day Northwest.  We met with Marcus before his big TV debut and gave him some tips for being on TV. We shared our classic "what to do" and "what not to do tips" and we thought our blog readers could benefit from them as well.

1.) Know your key message you want the audience to take home and get it down in two sentences or less. Chances are before your interview either a producer or the person interviewing you will ask you, "What message do you want the audience to get out of this?" You need to be able to answer clearly and quickly. 

2.)  Take care of yourself prior to your feature.  Get plenty of rest the night before and drink plenty of water. You don't want to appear overly tired or have your "tired" body  language  mistranslated.  

3.) Wear solids! I know that leopard print dress or tie sounds like fun, but bold, solid colors translate better on TV. If you are unsure about what you are wearing, take a photo of yourself in the mirror, and look at it. That is how your outfit will translate onto digital mediums. Stay conservative in your dress. 

4.) Follower the production teams lead!  Many producers are very good at telling you when to sit, where to sit, when to get up, take off your mic, etc. If you are unsure just STAY PUT. Chances are if someone isn't waving you down or telling you to move, you're in the right place.
5.) Expect to wear Make-up.  Most of the time, guests will get a quick foundation to eliminate glare from the lights.  If you are a male be ready to get this make-up done.  Trust the make-up team, they know what looks best.  If you are a female, ask BEFORE arriving if they will have full  makeup or not. Chances are they won't and you'll need to do your own before arriving.
6.) Arrive on time.  Unless you have paid for your segment or interview, the production team is doing you a favor by having you on their show. Show them some respect and be on time.  Expecially if you are on a live show, if you are late, you could miss your segment all together.
7.) Check your posture! One of the most common  mistakes we see if slouching on camera. Go out of your way to sit up straight, you'll be glad you did! You'll look more confident, your clothes won't look "slouchy" and it can be thinning as well on the torso.
8.) Avoid saying "ummmm" as much as you can during your interview. Umm is a filler we often use without even thinking about it. Practice interviewing yourself infront of the mirror and try not using this filler.
9.) Be honest. It is ok to say "I don't know but I can't wait to find out!" instead of making up an answer. People feel pressure sometimes to come up with an answer and instead of being unsure and making something up, just say you don't know.  Follow your "I don't know" with something positive like "I can't wait to find out", "I really wish I knew" or "I'll research that and get back to you."
10.) Say Thank You!  Be sure to thank your production team, their assistants, make-up and hair teams. Really, you should extend a verbal "Thank You" to anyone you come into contact with that assists you in any way. Always send a follow-up note to the producer, thanking them for the opportunity.
11.) Learn from your interview! Watch your interview and critique what you did wrong and what you did right. Evaluating yourself will help you improve the next time around.  If you need some help, ask some fellow public relations pros and other colleagues to critique your performance. {Or contact us! :-)}
12.) Relax! And don't stress yourself out. Have fun, and do the best you can!
Follow these simple tips and you'll be sure to have a great interview! Good Luck!

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