Questions and Answers
Doing interviews with the media can make or break your career!
You need practice. This is in the news more than ever! Just look at people named Barack, John, Joe, and in particular Sarah.
See how they do on their interviews with people like Katie (and others)
You tell me- are they hitting home runs- or are they taking themselves out of the playoffs? (Had to put that in- I am watching my team the METS right now)
You gotta be prepared with every answer- and “You only have one chance to make a first impression”
***Here are some tips to help you with your interviews……***
For interviews with the media, be professional and totally prepared. Don’t leave anything to chance. Look your best. Be neat, well groomed, and dress to sell. Even dress for radio and print interviews. Although the audience won’t see you, the interviewer will–so make a great impression. Notice how often in print, writers describe the subject and what he or she was wearing or how he or she acted or looked.Prior to TV appearances, watch the show to see how the host and guests dress and conduct themselves. It’s usually safe to dress in the same manner as the host. If, after watching, you’re still not sure what to wear, ask the producer.
Keep excellent records of everyone’s telephone numbers, including the producer’s cell phone numbers in case an emergency arises. Know how to check into the reception area at the station because some stations’ doors are locked early in the morning or they have tight security and require photo identification.
Also, be aware that when important news breaks, your segment can be postponed or cancelled. Whenever possible, watch or listen to the station on which you will be appearing.
In response to interview questions:
* Answer the question that was asked, even if it doesn’t let you state any of your main points. Answer the question directly, but briefly. Then, slide into one of your main points. Try to make a smooth transition by moving gently into the point that fits most closely. If you’re too abrupt or reach too far, your response will sound contrived and you will come off as just a promoter. Slide gently by prefacing your remarks with, “That reminds me of a story,” “When I was _______,” or “I heard about a _______.” Sliding is an art that takes subtlety and practice, so work on it in conversations with your friends.
* “Master the art of ‘clever segues,’” Barbara De Angelis suggests. “No matter what anyone asks you, say what you want to say. Comment on the question that’s asked in one quick sentence, but then move on to the point you want to make. Practice until you learn to move gracefully from the question asked to the answer you want to give. To do so, you must really know your own material so you can quickly decide which point to make.”
* If you get stuck and don’t know an answer, say, “Thank you, that’s an excellent question. But what I want to share with your listeners is . . .” and then go straight to your message. Study politicians; they use this technique all the time. Watch how they deflect questions to always get their messages across, regardless of what they’re asked.
* If, as the interview continues, you have not had a chance to address your main points, do so, but don’t be rude. Remember that you’re there to make your points. So answer the questions you’re asked briefly and then state, “But I’d really like to point out that _________” or “I think it’s important for you to know (or understand) that _________” and then make your point. Speak directly, calmly, and pleasantly. Never let built-up frustration or anger seep through.
* Keep your answers short and simple. Don’t lecture or preach. Simplify complex information because interviewers and audiences tend to wander during long, hard-to-follow explanations. If interviewers want more information, they will ask for it.
* Give your interview for the audience, listener, or reader, not just the host or interviewer. “Ninety percent of the people who interview you are not listening to what you say. They’re thinking about the next question, the next interview, lunch, or their own problems,” De Angelis points out. So focus on the audience.
* That said, make the host or interviewer look good. Say, “What a great question” or “No one has ever asked me that before.” But do it only once or it will seem insincere. Act as if every question is insightful even as you change the subject to stress one of your main points.
* Listen closely so you can respond appropriately and gracefully tie your answers to your main points. If an audience is present, listen, watch, and speak directly to them. Treat the audience as your conversation partner, smile, pay attention to it, and observe its reactions.
* When possible, try to work the title of your book into your answer. For example, Barbara De Angelis will say, “It looks like she was having a ‘How Did I Get Here?’ moment.” However, sometimes the title of your book won’t work or it will sound too forced. Also, don’t state your title constantly.
* Be yourself. Don’t put on airs or try to be someone else. Avoid language, expressions, and gestures that you don’t ordinarily use or that the audience might not understand.
* Be polite, respectful, and likable. Laugh at the host’s or interviewer’s jokes, but not hysterically. Smile and call him or her by name: “Well, yes, Phil” or “Thank you, Jane.” Never steal the limelight from the interviewer or host or be pushy. Remember that it’s the host or interviewer’s show.
* Smile and act as if you’re enjoying yourself. Don’t paste a big, goofy grin across your face or laugh loudly. Be humble. Wear a pleasant look on your face and don’t act like you’re going through an inquisition.
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