Jun 17

This is our Fresh perspective on how to prepare for an on camera interview.


Does the thought of public speaking make your heart race? Are your palms already getting sweaty at the idea?


Reports indicate that 75 per cent of the population has a fear of public speaking. When you add a camera it becomes an even more daunting experience, but there are some simple tricks to make it a lot simpler that it seems.


While media often use on-camera interviews, we are now also seeing video becoming the medium of choice for marketing and digital platforms as businesses start to take control of their messaging.


So if you get the opportunity to share your messages in an engaging way, how do you prepare for an on camera interview?


1. Be prepared

When someone is asked to be a spokesperson on a topic, it’s usually because they are the expert (and therefore we can assume that you know what you’re talking about!). But if you get the opportunity to be interviewed, take some time to think about what you will get out of it — what message do you want to share and what are your objectives for doing the interview.  If you are simply waiting for the journalist to ask questions, you might miss an opportunity to get your message out there. Sounds straight forward, right? Just follow these simple steps:


  • Determine your objective for doing the interview – what’s in it for me?
  • Research your topic to find interesting stats or examples to make it more engaging.
  • Draft your key messages while avoiding jargon, abbreviations or uncommon words and keeping succinct and to the point.
  • Practice, practice, practice. As often as you can!


2. Look the part

Every interview is different but for most, we suggest you simply present the smartest version of yourself! That means if you would usually wear a suit to important meetings, that’s the right choice for you, but if you work outdoors in high-vis clothing, ensure you wear a clean, preferably branded version of that for the interview. People are often tempted to wear heavy make-up but as there are no studio lights, there is no need so it’s best to have minimal make up, tidy hair and no bold patterns or stripes as they can create a moiré effect on camera. Unless you’re on camera for being in an extravagant stage show, you’re well known for your fashion sense or you’re Lady Gaga, it’s better to keep it simple.  And, as a final check, get a colleague to give you the once over to check for food or lipstick on your teeth, wayward hair or a skew tie!


3. It’s not just your words

When you’re on camera, it’s not just how you say something that’s important, but what you are doing with your body. Avoid fidgeting, rocking, touching your face, blinking, stumbling and sweating and remember to smile when it’s appropriate. And breathe! A big deep exhale can let go some of those nerves. It’s also good to break the ice before you start the interview. Take a moment to chat to the journalist to strike a rapport, as it makes the interview much easier and will help you relax and speak in a more engaging way.


4. Keep your answers short

While it’s always important to be succinct, journalists will be listening for small snippets of information that they can cut into a “grab” to use in their story — particularly for TV news and radio news interviews. We suggest sticking to the 10-second rule – answers that are longer may result in your key messages getting lost or used out of context. So take the time to prepare three short, sharp key messages that are really important to convey and refer to them through throughout the interview.


These simple tips can take your interviewing skills up a notch and help provide journalists with the information they need, while still getting your key messages across — it’s a win-win!


If you are looking to maximise your media interviews and prepare for an on camera interview, you might also like to find out more about Fresh PR & Marketing’s Media Training. We’ve been conducting our training for more than 12 years with more than 1,500 participants to date, of which 100 per cent said they would recommend the course to others and more than 90 per cent scored it a 5 out of 5.


Reach out to our team for a chat about a ‘Fresh’ perspective!

About The Author

Natalie Weyman

Jordan brings a wealth of knowledge and on-ground experience when it comes to media. Working in television newsrooms across Queensland, Jordan has covered everything from natural disasters to political upheavals. Our in-house journalist has an enormous love for writing with the ability to look deeper into what makes a captivating story and loves sharing ones that make a difference. Jordan has a way of understanding and interpreting complex stories and relaying them in a simple, concise way to the general public. She works her best under pressure, especially when it comes to deadlines.


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