6 Pre-TV Interview Questions To Ask Yourself To Define Your Story + Make People Care

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Congratulations – you landed a TV interview! You’re on your way to gaining more visibility, raising your profile, and sharing your expertise with more people.

But the hard work isn’t over. Now you need to make sure that viewers care about you and your story when they see you on TV.

As a veteran TV producer turned broadcast PR expert and founder of TenXPR, a broadcast PR agency that specializes in TV media relations and communications, I’ve seen it all – the incredible, the so-so, and the really ugly. What I’ve found through my years of experience is this: the difference between the incredible and the really ugly lies in preparing for 6 specific questions.

Whether you’re a subject matter expert, business owner, or author, working through these 6 questions will make or break your big break. Check them out below!


Who are you and what is your expertise? 6 Pre-TV Interview Questions To Ask Yourself To Define Your Story + Make People Care

This might seem obvious, but this is a question you do not want to skip as you prep for your TV interview. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that it’s the most important question to think about. Why? If you’re unable to define who you are and your expertise clearly, viewers at home will not be able to either.

Before your interview, think about how you can paint a clear picture of your background, what makes you an expert in your field, and what exactly your expertise is in a way that doesn’t leave viewers with more questions than answers. Your goal is for those watching to walk away with a vivid understanding of who you are and what your expertise is so they can both easily remember you and feel comfortable sharing your background with friends (the best kind of marketing!).


Can you describe who you are in 30 seconds?

Once you take the time to clearly define who you are and what your expertise is, your next step is to practice saying it in 30 seconds. This is really important because in most cases, the network producer will slot you in during an existing segment that lasts just minutes, giving you not much time to get your point across. I’ll admit, this one takes practice!


Is there a news peg that makes who you are and what you are doing relevant?

Do a quick Google search before your TV interview and see if you can find a news story that you can speak to. This exercise will help you do two things during your interview: (1) it will help viewers understand why you and your expertise matter, and (2) it will help you stay relevant.

If you can’t find a news story that ties into your expertise, I also recommend brainstorming a “hook” that makes who you are and what you are doing important and relevant. A hook can be anything from a relatable topic, a fascinating statistic, or an upcoming holiday or event (you can find most of these in the National Calendar). Just remember, if a news story or hook doesn’t feel relatable to your expertise in any way, don’t force it into your message. Otherwise, your audience will most likely get confused and lose interest. 

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Not only does the news story or hook have to be relevant to you and your expertise – it also has to be relevant to viewers. Every audience is different, so make sure you do your research on the network’s viewers to understand the types of news stories and hooks that will keep them engaged.


6 Pre-TV Interview Questions To Ask Yourself To Define Your Story + Make People CareCan you describe what you do and why it’s important in layman’s terms?

As an expert, you have the unique ability to speak at the highest level about what you do because well, you’re the expert! However, keep in mind that your audience is not. Once you have your 30-second elevator pitch and a news peg that makes who you are and what you do relevant, think about how you can boil it all down into layman’s terms.

This can be a tricky exercise because as an expert in a specific industry, you’re probably using specific terminology that only other experts can understand. But using industry terminology will alienate your viewers, confuse them, and disengage them from your interview. Keep your story and message down to the basic facts and make sure you use everyday terminology that anyone can understand.


Are you releasing a book or launching a product? What makes it stand out?

You put in the hard work and landed a TV interview, so make it work for you! This is the perfect opportunity to promote what you’re working on while you have an audience’s attention. Do you have a new book coming out? Are you launching a new product? When? And what makes it important or different from the competition? Don’t forget to mention where and how viewers can purchase your book or product and learn more.


Do you have a personal story to tell that will resonate with others?

People want to feel seen, so incorporating a human element into your interview will make you all the more compelling to an audience. Think about any personal stories that relate to your expertise, the topic of your interview, and most importantly, a wide net of people. Once you’ve thought of a personal story or experience to share, practice sharing it with vulnerability. Being vulnerable is being human, and that alone has the power to form an unforgettable connection between you and your viewers.

6 Pre-TV Interview Questions To Ask Yourself To Define Your Story + Make People Care



By Samantha Jacobson, Founder of TenXPR

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