6 Tips for Successful Media Interviews

By Peg Booth

No matter whether you’re on your first media interview or you feel you’re a seasoned professional, there are always good tips to remember when being interviewed, and these six are a few of our favorites.

Simply being able to complete a media interview is not the only goal. With practice you can also become a powerful spokesperson for your book and your thought leadership in your professional field.

Here are six tips to ensure you’re doing the best interviews possible. Whether television or radio – you’ll hit it out of the park every time!

Tip #1: Focus – Treat every media interview as an opportunity to speak directly to your target audience. It’s good to understand the audience base of the radio or TV show, but always keep your focus on who your target is within that audience.

Tip #2: Facts – Always have some statistics that can underline your topic. For instance, if you’re speaking on Obamacare, the situation in Crimea, or “Conscious Uncoupling,” then make sure you not only have sound bites from your book but also from the latest news about the event or subject.

Tip #3: Flexibility and Preparation – Often interviewers will ask a question that is off topic from your subject but will still relate to news of the day. One of the things you can do in order to give yourself a bit more time to answer this type of question is to say, “That’s a really good question..,” and then pause for a moment. Thinking on your feet is incredibly important and valuable in live radio shows.

Tip #4: K.I.S.S. “Keep It Simple, Stupid” – Less is more, and simple is better! Make sure when you’re being interviewed that you keep a lively tone and that you create space for back and forth dialogue. Answer in 1 or 2 sentences, not long paragraphs. Don’t sound too sound-bite rehearsed. Keep it conversational.

Tip #5: Takeaways – Make sure you have some words and phrases that specifically identify you and your brand or your book. These help differentiate you from other interviewees and provide great quotable soundbites that the media will repeat. Tell the media and the audience what you want them to remember!

Tip #6: Bridges – Be ready to bridge back to your topic no matter what kind of question the media throws at you. Have a little set of phrases ready to go, such as:
• “Before I answer that, let me point out…”
• “That question ties in with another point I’d like to make…”
• “…but what is most important is…”
• “…but what I’d really like to point out is…”

BONUS TIP: Media love to repeat great words or new terms – think of a term like “gamechanger” and how it was used over and over during the presidential election. See what terms you can come up with for your specific topic that are new and catchy.

Finally, to have success always know what you want to accomplish during the interview and have your 2-3 talking points ready. Be confident! You are the expert, after all.