Posted & filed under Blog, Communication Skills Coaching.

Presented with the prospect of an upcoming TV interview – all too many business leaders think of this an ordeal to be survived rather than an opportunity to demonstrate their Sizzle Factor.

It is true that a bad TV interview can be “out there” forever but so too can a great TV interview. Moreover it can set agendas and win over hearts and minds.

So how do you sizzle under the TV lights?

1) Preparation

2) Preparation

3) Preparation – The perfect sound-bite is almost never a spontaneous turn of phrase uttered under pressure. Even Tony Blair’s “People’s Princess” moment was conceived after careful consideration with his Director of Communications! Politicians not only rehearse what they will say but how they will say it – the tone of voice and hand gesture that accompany it. If facing a controversial interview, ensure you rehearse with colleagues playing the part of a troublesome interviewer.

4) Understand the audience – There is little point being brilliant but irrelevant. You need to engage the TV audience by talking in terms of what matters to them. They are rarely interested in technical and theoretical discussions. Matters that could impact their lives directly will gain their attention.

5) Don’t get bogged down by the question. Address it and move on.

6) Don’t get cross – The interviewer’s job is to present the other side of the argument. Don’t take this personally. Stay calm and argue politely. Remember the real audience are the millions watching at home.

7) Remember this is a performance and not just a conversation. Conviction and passion really matter. You usual energy level is not enough – notch it up several levels.

8) Use examples – The key to helping your audience remember your message is to find memorable examples that bring it to life. With luck they will recall these long after your interview has finished.

Written by Helen, our  Senior lead on Media Training.