There’s only one rule for delivering a great on-camera interview: Try to have fun with it!
I know, I know. That is much easier said than done. But please hear me out.
If you go into an interview assuming it is going to be the worst experience of your entire life, it will be. That kind of attitude sours the atmosphere and puts everyone in the room on edge. And the camera picks up on it.
Awkward tension comes through on video loud and clear. And it is all anyone who watches the interview will remember after it airs. That is why it is so important for you to relax. So how do you do that?
4 Tips For How To Give An Interview On Camera
1) Nerves Are Natural
It is okay to be nervous! Believe me. Even veteran TV reporters get nervous sometimes when they’re standing in front of a camera, even though that’s their job. Unless you are getting paid to be on TV everyday, you are well within your right to be nervous.
So how do you deal with it? Just admit to yourself and everyone else in the room that you’re nervous. Say it out loud: “I’m really nervous.” That instantly eases any tension. Don’t try to pretend like you’ve done this a million times before.
Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. Even if you have done an interview previously and you’re still nervous, just say it. It helps to soften the reporter/producer/photographer/whoever else is in the room. And when the person asking the questions softens, so will you.
2) Fix It In The Edit
Unless it is a live interview, remember that you are being taped. That means all of your stammers and stumbles will be edited out. Remind yourself that reporters aren’t “out to get you,” nor are they trying to make you look stupid.
They want the quickest and most succinct answer possible – they’re not going to waste airtime simply to make you look bad. So if you need to stop midway through an answer, do it. Just stop and start over. No biggie.
3) Plan Your Answers
Before the interview, try to think through what the questions might be and how you’d like to answer them. Come up with a few generic answers that could be applied to a variety of questions, like the following:
- Why does this matter?
- Why should the viewer care about this?
- Why do I care about it?
The answers to those questions could likely be applied to most other question that may come at you. If you feel stumped, fall back on those answers. You can say something like “It all comes back around to (fill in the blank).” Remember to keep the answers simple – explain things like you’d explain them to a five-year-old.
4) Be Yourself
Finally, remember that you are human. It is okay to not be perfect. If you feel stumped or if you stumble, don’t sweat it. Instead, laugh at yourself. Be authentic. That’s how you connect with an audience.
Everyone can relate to feeling nervous and embarrassed, so use that to your advantage. By laughing at yourself, you endear yourself to viewers and interviewers alike. They’ll walk away from the interview feeling connected to you and ready to give you the benefit of the doubt, regardless of the words that come out of your mouth. And in the end, that’s all that matters.
So relax, smile and have fun!
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