by Brian Jud
Have you wondered how celebrities being interviewed on television can look so calm when millions of people are watching them? And have you ever wondered if you could do that?
You can appear on national television and radio, and you can appear calm and collected, just like the actors you see every day. And like actors, you cannot simply show up for performances. Actors learn their lines and rehearse them until they create a believable, entertaining performance.
The key to any good performance is preparation. Good media guests need to know what they are going to say during all their performances and practice their delivery of each word beforehand. Adequate preparation will make you more confident in your ability to perform and help you relax while you are on the air.
You have heard it said that practice makes perfect. However, that is not necessarily true. Practice makes permanent, so you have to make sure you are rehearsing the right things. Before you appear on any media event, engage the services of a professional media trainer so the techniques you make permanent are the right ones.
Practice on a regular basis and you will conduct professional and successful interviews. Your practice sessions can be as formal or informal as you want them to be. They run the gamut, from talking into a cassette recorder or performing before your video camera. One technique is to have someone who knows nothing about your subject ask you questions. This simulates most interviews, and it will help you practice responding to unexpected questions.
Practice can be as easy and fun as listening to or watching talk shows. On television, watch how successful guests interact with the host and audience. Try watching the show on which you are scheduled to appear, with the sound off to focus your attention on the guests. How do they sit? What do they wear? What are the seating arrangements and backgrounds? What are the predominant camera angles? Incorporate what you see into your own performance.
Turn the sound back on and listen to the host. How are questions asked? How does he or she stimulate audience participation? What is the pace of the show? On radio, listen to the interaction between guests and host and between guests and callers. What makes one show better than others? How are stories woven into the author’s answers? Does the guest answer the host's questions directly or follow his or her own agenda? The important point is to do something every day to improve your media skills.
Brian Jud is host of the television show, The Book Authority, a media coach and author of the media-training video program, You’re On The Air. Brian also hosts Book Central Station, where you can find rated lists of suppliers to help you write, publish, and market your books.