In last week’s video I shared some TV interview tips: How to prepare for a TV interview…the pre-interview phase. Today, in TV interview Tips part II, I’ll talk about what needs to be done the day before the interview.
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Your interview will be better remembered if you have what I call a quotable quote—something pithy, easily remembered, easily tweetable… something that will give your interview a second life on social media.
One quote I remember from Milton Friedman that was quickly repeated…
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
Make sure you check the daily newspapers the day before and the day of your interview. Look for something in the news that is relevant to your topic. It’s what we call a ‘news hook’. For example, if you are talking about railroad safety— you might say that had your proposal been the law of the land yesterday we would not be reading about the tragic death of three innocent children today.
If you can’t find a news hook, look for a fresh hook on how your message, your book, your program, your policy would improve the health, happiness or wealth of the listening audience, or a particular demographic group in the station’s listening audience.
The day before the interview pick the clothes you will wear so that you don’t have to worry about broken buttons or a soiled blouse the day of the interview. Do not wear clothes with complicated patterns or garish colors. TV doesn’t like them. White shirt/white blouse is ok, but don’t even think about wearing a white jacket. Do not wear expensive watches or gaudy jewelry. Audiences do not like ostentatious displays of wealth.
Arrive early for your interview, and allow plenty of time for makeup. Watch your attitude with the TV staff. It may be your only interview of the day, but to the TV staff you may be one of 80 people they are moving on and off the set that day. If you act like a prima donna you will not be invited back.
Finally, some things to remember before the interview begins:
#1-The interviewer may or may not be prepared; may or may not have read your bio; may or may not have looked at your website; may or may not have glanced at your book, or be familiar with your policy position. It may fall to you to highlight the important elements of the aforementioned for the audience.
#2-You have 15 seconds after the interview begins to convince the audience that you are more important than going to the bathroom. If you waste the first 30 seconds on irrelevant chatter you will have already lost part of your audience.
#3-You are not required to give a long answer to every question. It is YOUR job to stay on topic and get back to your topic even if you are asked an off-topic question.
#4- If you are greeted with a hostile question…Keep Your Cool. Smile. Do not raise your voice. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lose your temper.
Next time, I’ll have some TV interview tips on body language: How to sit, where to put your hands, how to look confident. And some TV interview tips on how you can stay on message even if the interviewer goes off course or off topic.
Have some questions about TV interview tips? Hit the comment button. If you send me a question I will answer.
More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:
Running For Office? TV Interview Tips Part I: The pre-interview phase.
Running For Office? TV Interview Tips Part III: Body Language
Candidate Training Instructional Videos to Win an Election
All Campaign Tips to Make You a Better Candidate When 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.