Tips TV Interview Success

War does of course bring experts out of every conceivable closet. Oil experts, defense experts, expert experts and many more of every known variety and nationality. The ideal candidate for a television interview, should look like George Clooney, have the dress-sense of Pierce Brosnan and the voice and delivery of Anthony Hopkins. Regrettably, this mixture of talents is rather thin on the ground, so loosely based on my own experience of television and particularly Sky News, here are my own tips for the TV expert:



- Never forget that Television is an entertainment medium rather than an information medium
- The eighties were a lot of fun but fashion moves on
- Strictly no beards
- Conservatism can be reassuring. It suggests competence and control to the audience.
- Sensible Suit – Sensible Shirt – Sensible Haircut – Sensible Tie
- People notice little things, Bill Clinton wears a plastic watch and Tony Blair wears blue contact lenses.
- The dividing line between confidence and pompous arrogance is a narrow one
- Just because he's the CEO is no good reason to inflict him on a global television audience.



- When a woman is interviewed, the audience will notice her looks, her clothes and her weight.
- Weight and credibility don't mix well on television so consider radio as an alternative
- Strong primary colours will attract the Coastguard but will dazzle the audience
- Sit straight and avoid a double chin
- Spectacles tell the world that you are intelligent. Designer spectacles tell the world that you are German
- Strong central European accents don't make good television
- Avoid swivel chairs and sit still
- Look at the interviewer not at the camera
- Understand who your audience are rather than who you would rather wish they were.
- Use broad brush strokes when dealing with technology
- Assume you are live at least fifteen seconds before the interview starts
- The length of the answer is frequently inversely proportional to one's comfort with the question.
- Give an opinion in twenty seconds and an answer in twelve
- Arrive at the interview with at least one good soundbite and leave it there
- Inflection can be as important as presentation. It's called delivery!
- If you have to use your hands then limit your gestures and rest them intertwined. Don't use them to fidget with
- If you are incredibly rich you can wear what you like. Otherwise wear a suit.
- Humour is the best antidote against a hostile interview
- Avoid unconscious expressions and gestures that tell the audience that you wish to be loved
- Authority comes with confidence, it can't be taught
- If the interview starts to move against you, take the initiative and pretend you are from Glasgow
- On radio you need to be smart on television you can escape with being good looking!
- What is most wonderful about your company is the part that is most likely to end up on the cutting-room floor
- The BBC invariably has its own agenda. This will rarely coincide with your own
- Never retreat behind "It's what our customers want"
- What's the worst question you could be asked? Prepare for it
- Repetition is the last refuge of the desperate
- Weapons of mass destruction won't convince a European or an Arab audience..

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