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How To Succeed With A Radio, TV Or Press Interview

By Roberta Y Keith

Coping with a radio interview.

The following points will help you come across to your radio audience clearly.

The phone rings, and a journalist wants to interview you! How do you respond? This is where all your planning and preparation pay off. Make sure you know who is going to interview you and why, and where and when the interview will be.

Of course the topic of the interview is of paramount importance. Don’t assume you know what it is. Check with the producer or interviewer in advance.

Does the interviewer have a particular style, and can you find this out in advance? Are there recordings of their work you can listen to? This is an important part of your preparation.

Practice delivering your key points. Prepare your interview plan and practice again.

Don’t be late. Arrive in plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the studio and arrangements. And especially don’t arrive out of breath.

Take notes of your main points into the interview with you. These will help you get your key points across to your audience.

It can be disconcerting if your interviewer seems preoccupied and unable to greet you. Don’t let this affect you. They have many things to focus on before the interview goes to air.

Headphones can put you off if you’re not used to them, so best avoid them unless it’s a talk-back show.

When the red light’s on, you’re “on-air”, so be very careful what you say. Don’t be fooled by thinking the interview’s over.

Get close to the microphone so you sound strong. If you’re too far away you’ll sound weak and distant. So make sure you get close.

Make sure you stay close to the microphone during the interview and don’t pull away. About 10cm is right.

Coughing is OK if you have to. Make sure you turn away from the microphone if you need to.

If you smile on air, it will show through in your voice. So smile! Your audience will empathise with you better.

If possible, record the interview, or obtain a recording. You may need it later.

Make sure you thank the interviewer.

Succeed with your TV Interview

In addition to the 15 tips for a successful radio interview, here are 5 more tips for your television interview.

Go live, if at all possible.

Ensure your television interview location is relevant to your topic.

TV is visual. Get your story across better with visual support like pictures, tables, graphs and drawings.

To reduce the potential adverse consequences of editing, keep your answers concise, about 20 seconds per point.

On reflection, you may find you’re not happy with some of the answers you gave. Ask for the interview to be repeated.

Lastly, 3 more tips to help you cope with a press interview.

An interview with the press will quite often be over the phone. This is your opportunity to be in control and set the agenda. Be prepared, and have notes of your main items and phrases to hand.

You may be able to influence the way your story is reported by providing the journalist with briefing notes and background information you have prepared.

Once again, if you can record the interview, do so.

A trusted London based business adviser, Roberta Y Keith recommends London PR to businesses searching for a London PR Agency and want to save themselves time and money. London PR Services range from full-service to highly specialist PR Services.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Keith, Roberta Y. "How To Succeed With A Radio, TV Or Press Interview." How To Succeed With A Radio, TV Or Press Interview. 1 Jan. 2012. 1 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Keith, R (2012, January 1). How To Succeed With A Radio, TV Or Press Interview. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Keith, Roberta Y. "How To Succeed With A Radio, TV Or Press Interview"

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