Media Interviews: Tips for TV and Radio

Tips for TV:

  • Remember: your visual will make as much of an impact as your words!
  • Use gestures that complement the expression of your ideas.  Make sure to be in an upright posture. Avoid distracting, meaningless movements (for example, moving your hands a lot).
  • Maintain eye contact throughout the interview and keep an “open,” friendly face (in some TV interviews you may be speaking to a gray wall or camera. Unless told otherwise, look just to the right or left of the camera: you do not want to appear to be staring right at the TV audience).
  • Before you begin to speak, smile at the interviewer to establish a rapport.
  • Speak at a moderate pace. Don’t speed up your words to try to cram more into the interview. Speak clearly and use language that is easily understood and relatable.
  • Consider what to wear and how your appearance will impact your audience (make-up? outfit?).  Some suggestions:
    • No busy patterns, no shiny materials.
    • Avoid mostly black or mostly white, as they appear poorly on camera, generally a mix of darker colors do well.
    • No stripes.
    • Check your collar.
    • Often you can ask for some make-up appropriate for TV (eg. powder to avoid a shiny face).


Tips for Radio:

  • Remember: radio has people tuning in constantly and it’s all about your words!
  • Speak slowly and clearly.  Don’t speed up your words to try to cram more into the interview.
  • Use very short sentences and short examples. You want to be able to repeat your core message often so that if someone tunes into the interview at any point they can easily understand your position and what you are trying to communicate.
  • Use vocal variety. Let your voice and your delivery reflect the full spectrum of emotions and points of emphasis.
  • Keep your voice hydrated. Have some water to make sure you don’t get hoarse as you speak (but don’t sip during a radio interview).
  • Be friendly, show personality, laugh.
  • Do the interview in studio or get a good phone connection.
  • Keep talking points in front of you.

For more interview tips, see Giving Great Interviews: The Basics and Giving Great Interviews: Advanced Techniques.