How to Relax and Look Natural for a Broadcast Interview

Posted by Bridget Schultz on November 13, 2012

If you’re preparing for a broadcast interview, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, “How well do I know the topic we’re discussing?” Then you can prepare yourself and make sure you are armed with all the background information you may need.

Preparation is critical to doing well.

In addition, here are a few simple tips that can help you feel relaxed and look natural on camera:

  • Know ahead of time what you can or can’t answer -- and be prepared to say, “Let me check and get back to you on that” if you don’t have the answer right away. You can always follow up with the reporter later.
  • Keep your answer concise -- 10 to 12 seconds if possible. That way, you are providing the length of comment needed.
  • Go in with a positive attitude and it will show through. Believe it or not, you can also help make the interviewer feel more comfortable. When you’re positive and friendly, you both can do a good job in the interview.
  • Breathing is a big part of feeling natural and comfortable on camera. Teach yourself how to breathe under stress. And be sure to pause from time to time; it will make all the difference in the world.
  • Remember to keep the interview like a conversation. Imagine you are just sitting in a coffee shop with the reporter and ignore the camera and lights. You are talking with someone else about a topic you know well.
  • For your clothing, wear bright colors, or combine black with a color. Never wear just white. Try to avoid houndstooth or any busy pattern. Also make sure you are comfortable in your clothing. You don’t want to be pulling or tucking; that makes your clothing something else to worry about. If you are planning your make-up, keep it natural, and don’t wear distracting jewelry.

Finally, remember that preparation and confidence are everything when you’re going on camera. If you know your subject matter and you are dressed for success, you are already ahead of the game.

What tricks have you used that have led to a successful interview? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet your reply using the hashtag #mcgblog.