Podcast and TV interviews are more than just an opportunity to have a chat with the host. They are also one of the most effective marketing tools available and they don’t cost you a penny! By refining your technique, people who watch your previous interviews will get a true sense of who you are, what you bring to the world, and most importantly, how you can help them improve their lives.
There are mistakes repeated time after time in interviews. Here are my 7 deadly sins of TV and podcast interviews.
Not knowing the audience
Without knowing who the audience is you will not be able to speak to them directly, meaning that what you say could be irrelevant and they could easily lose interest.
Let me give you an example. You are a fitness professional talking about maximising gym gains. “Split up your daily workouts into three hour-long chunks and you’ll bulk up in no time!” It’s a method that has gotten your clients incredible results. Feeling pleased with how well the interview went, you are crushed to find out that the livestream viewing numbers plummeted from almost one hundred at the start to just five by the end. It’s not until later that you realise you’ve been sharing your knowledge with a group of stay-at-home-mums.
If you had known in advance who you would be talking to, you would have shared how to improve fitness with activities that can be done with kids. “Pick up your child to dust high shelves. One lift for one swipe of the duster.” THIS is what they need and so their ears will perk up.
As soon as you book an interview, spend time researching the podcast/show and the host. Who is their target audience? What are the most popular interviews on the channel, and what did those guests do or say that got the most engagement? Look at the comments, where applicable. You could even ask them to send you some questions or topics in advance so that you can craft your responses to be concise and informative.
Getting defensive or irritated
Occasionally you may be asked a question that you don’t want to talk about or be interviewed by someone who you feel is rude or difficult (this is rare, but it can happen). Always remember in cases like this, it’s usually not personal; they are just doing their job and trying to get to the bottom of the story.
In situations like this, it’s easy to get defensive. If you feel irritation creeping in, take a deep breath and stay calm. Tell them that you are not able to talk about that right now and give a reason why. Don’t just say no comment, this is not a police interrogation. If it’s a host with a differing opinion to you, respect their stance and politely explain the reasons behind yours.
Looking awkward on camera
Nerves often bring out ticks in people. The most eloquent public speaker can be reduced to a mess of “erms” when they don’t have a carefully crafted speech to answer from. Suddenly, every response starts with them saying “absolutely!” They shuffle in their seat, play with their hair, their eyes dart all over the place or they blink a lot. They may start doing something completely out of the norm.
We all have our quirks, it’s part of who we are, but if we allow nerves and ticks to take hold, they will be magnified to the audience. Do you know the adage of the camera adding ten pounds? It adds twenty pounds to nerves! Even in an audio-only interview, your habits will seem magnified and can distract from your message, and even lessen your credibility.
Do some relaxation exercises before your interview and be aware of what your nervous habits are so that you can keep them in check. Guided meditation or a quick burst of exercise works a charm for some people. Find what works best for you.
Being a cardboard cut out
Leave your mask of professionalism in its box and show your true personality. Worrying about how you are coming across and focussing on putting up a professional front is going to result in boring, stock answers that have probably been heard multiple times before. Instead, engage your audience by bringing out your inner performer. Give them real value in your content, and let them see your spark!
Consider joining an acting class, or spend some time watching online videos that teach acting techniques.
An interview is NOT a sales pitch. You have not been invited onto the show to spend the entire time hard-selling your product or service. To do that, you need to buy ad space. The purpose of your interview is to bring value to the audience by sharing tips and insights, whilst expecting nothing in return. Your job is to show the audience what you can do instead of telling them. Incorporate real-world examples into your responses to illustrate the results you get for people. “A client of mine told me just the other day how they used the technique I just shared with you, and they’ve already managed to spend three hours a week less in the office,” is a much more effective way of creating interest than just stating “pay me three grand and I’ll show you how to organise your life.”
The host will give you time at the end of the interview to tell people where to find out more information. That’s when you direct them back to your space. If you have provided enough value, a number of them will follow you and become part of your world. From there it’s up to you to take them through your funnel and turn them into paying clients.
Losing the key message
When we’re excited about what we do and we get the opportunity to talk about it to a new audience, it’s so easy to go off on a tangent by babbling on and even forgetting the original question. When I had my first interview on a major TV network about my business, I was there to promote my book coaching but found myself blabbering on about something completely unrelated and before I knew it, my time was up and I hadn’t said half the things I wanted to. I was gutted because I’d lost my key message.
Within a longer interview, it’s not as bad because you are likely to catch yourself drifting and bring it back to your original point. But, many TV interviews are 3-5 minutes long; if you drift, you eat into your time.
Before you reply, pause and think about the message you want to get across and deliver it concisely way. It can be helpful to repeat the question. “My top tip for organising my day is to write a to-do list as I drink my first cup of coffee.”
Not being prepared
It can be easy to think you’re prepared for interviews; you know what you’re talking about and may already have experience speaking on stage or livestreams. While this sort of experience will help, they will not prepare you for a media interview.
Take some time before the interview starts to look over your research notes and do your relaxation. If it helps, write a list of points you want to make and the tips you want to give. Practice giving interviews with your friends and family, or for the best results, hire a media coach.
Which of these 7 deadly sins have you committed? Comment below!
By Luana Ribeira
About the author
Luana Ribeira is a book and media consultant. She helps entrepreneurs to skyrocket their business with a bestselling book, and by helping them get media publicity elevating them into celebrity status in their niche.
Since she became a bestselling author, she has been featured multiple times on FOX TV, become one of FORBES top 21 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2018, developed relationships with media outlets including Huffington Post, NBC, ABC, Miami Herald and many more; been booked for speaking gigs internationally and rapidly grown her audience taking her business to new levels.
Luana currently resides in rural Portugal where she is setting up a fully sustainable, eco friendly animal sanctuary. She is also a black belt in kickboxing and has 2 homeschooled girls.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.