Today, the first of a 3 part series on doing TV interviews in a political campaign. In this video, what you need to know before the interview so that you can properly prepare.

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Recently I helped teach a symposium in New York City to people who want to become better at television interviews… a 3-day deep dive on TV interview tips… everything from how to dress, prepare, stay on topic, handle tough questions, and defend a controversial point of view.

Today, the first of a 3 part series on preparing for a TV interview in a political campaign—what you need to know before the interview.

#1. The Setting. Will you be seated? Standing at a table? Closeted in a room by yourself while you are asked questions through an earpiece? At a location outside the studio? How long will you be on the air? Is it live or taped?

#2. The Format. Is it a one-on-one exchange with an interviewer? Or are you debating someone who will have a different point of view? Or are you part of a panel where there will be a free exchange of opinions?

#3. The Interviewer. It is imperative to know this because you need to know their style, how they have conducted other interviews, the kinds of questions they usually ask, whether they interrupt their guests with questions or allow them to talk freely.

#4. The Subject. Smart candidates have talking points prepared and in their head before the interview begins. The interviewer’s first question may or may not be a topic you want to discuss. You’ll want to be prepared to quickly pivot to a subject that gets you votes, or a sound bite you want your audience to remember.

In the next video of this series, I’ll have some tips on how to prepare once you know the rules— how to dress, anticipate difficult questions, how to comport yourself during the interview.

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In case you missed it:

How to Run for Office: Preparing for a Newspaper Interview

How to Run for Office- Preparing for a Talk Radio Interview

running for office

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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