This is How You Should Talk in a Media Interview

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Getting interviewed by the media can be a nerve wracking thing, even if you are going to talk about something that is important to you or exciting. You may be nervous that you will say the wrong thing or do something to express yourself poorly. It is natural to wonder what is the best way to talk.

In a media interview, it is best to communicate clearly and concisely. People being interviewed will want to stay on point and avoid going on tangents or adding unrelated detail. It is also essential to listen to the reporter’s questions carefully so that you are responding to relevant information.

Fortunately, interviewing in media does not have to be a difficult thing. Keep reading for some tips about how you should talk in a media interview along with some additional insight on how you can prepare for the process.

prepare radio interview

Here’s How You Should Talk in a Media Interview

Media interviews are a very frequent occurrence. Most of the time, media interviews happen in the following formats:

  • Radio
  • Television
  • Podcasts

There are various reasons why a media interview can happen, but usually it is because someone wants to hear what you have to say. While this is a fact some take comfort in, it can also put the pressure on you to speak well.

Especially if you do not have past experience with media interviews, you will likely be wondering what you can do to prepare for this experience. The following sections will describe some general guidelines that will help you overcome your nerves and give the best interview possible.

images Speak Clearly

This one might sound obvious, but it should be addressed first because it is essential. If you do not speak clearly, nobody will be able to understand you. Speaking clearly can be accomplished by following these tips:

  • Enunciate: Avoid slurring syllables or dropping the ends of words. You do not need to sound robotic, but you should try to avoid falling into the speech patterns you would use in casual or everyday conversations.
  • Use a good volume: Speaking too quietly means audience members will struggle to hear what you have to say. On the other hand, speaking too loudly can cause some issues with feedback. 
  • Speak in complete sentences: Everyday speech involves a lot of dropped off sentences, but you should avoid doing this in a media interview. Use a complete sentence and pause between sentences.

The above tips will go a long way in helping to improve your overall clarity.

Stay on Topic

It can be both exciting and intimidating to be interviewed by the media. This can cause you to lose control over the direction of your conversation, causing you to veer off on tangents or give unnecessary explanations.

Remember that even though your own logic may seem easy to follow when you are speaking, our audience cannot read your mind. For this reason, it can be incredibly complicated for your listener if you do not get to the point immediately when you are speaking. 

Listen to the Interviewer

The person who is interviewing you will likely have numerous questions they will want to ask you. Although you will probably practice your responses beforehand to the questions you expect, there may also be some unexpected questions, too.

Even though you are nervous, make sure that you focus and listen to what the interviewer wants to ask you. If you do not listen or avoid answering questions, you may seem less credible to your listeners. This will help you target your responses to answering the question and increase your overall comprehensibility for your audience.

interview iStock 000010921828 Large

How You Can Prepare for a Media Interview

Now that you have the tips to follow, your next step will be preparing for the interview. Preparing for a media interview is important, but it does not have to be too difficult.

These are some guidelines that can help you as you prepare:

  • Imagine some questions and answers: Write out some questions they might ask you and how you can plan to answer them. If you do not know what questions they will ask, contact the journalist or watch or listen to some other media interviews for the necessary context.
  • Practice with a friend or colleague: There is the old saying that practice makes perfect, and this is true for media interviews, too. Find a friend or colleague who can read you a list of questions that you are both expecting and not expecting. This will give you some confidence as you prepare your responses.
  • Record yourself: Take a video or recording of yourself responding to questions, and then critique how you are answering. This can help you increase the clarity and delivery of your speech.
  • Set a schedule: Sometimes the hardest part of practicing can be setting aside time to do it. For this reason, it is a good idea to create a schedule to organize your time. You are much more likely to practice if you set aside time and hold yourself accountable.
  • Download our FREE ebook: The TENXPR ebook is filled with tons of practical tips that will help you ace your media interview. Not only is it useful, it is also completely free and created by media professionals. You can find it available for download here

Regardless of what strategy you choose, it is essential that you do set aside time to prepare. A media interview can be nerve wracking, and nothing will help you feel more at ease than repetition and a good practice schedule.

Conclusion

Participating in a media interview can be a big step for anyone. Even if you have done one before, though, it can still induce some anxiety. For the best success in your media interview, you should speak clearly, stay on topic and respond to the questions that you are asked. 

Additionally, practice will go a long way in helping you feel prepared. Use the TENXPR book for best results and try out some different strategies that will help you ace your interview.

Written by Contributor
Sources:
https://www.bu.edu/prsocial/best-practices/public-relations/10-tips-on-speaking-with-the-media%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8B/#:~:text=Get%20to%20the%20Point%3A%20Capture,analogies%20to%20illustrate%20your%20points.
https://innovationlabs.harvard.edu/talking-media-guidelines/
https://go.tenxpr.com/free-ebook

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