5 Golden rules for TV interviews

When you get an interview on TV, it often means national coverage and this is one of the best ways to get mass awareness and orders for your book. 

To help you prepare for a TV interview, I’ve put together these five tips, in addition to the general interview advice in my last blog.

Non-verbal communication – 93% of the message a TV audience gets from you is non-verbal so be aware of your facial expressions, body posture and hand movements. You can practice interviewing on your personal video camera to pick up any non-verbal habits to be aware of during your interview. 

Be confident – just be yourself! As challenging as it may be, try to calm your nerves and stay calm so you can get your message across clearly. Try not to think about the viewing audience and just focus on having a chat with the interviewer and feel comfortable answering their questions. They asked you on the show because you really do know what you are talking about.

What to wear – never wear white, black or small prints. Instead wear bright singular colours that ‘pop’ like red, pink, orange, etc. You can try your outfits on home video to see how they look. It’s a good idea to bring one extra change of clothing as a back-up just in case any accidents happen at the last minute or if by remote chance the host is wearing the same colour as you!

Hair and make-up – most TV stations will do your hair and makeup for TV because the lights wash you out. You can check with the producer beforehand to see if this is the case. If in doubt, have your hair styled and make-up done before arriving at the studio. Men go easy on the make-up!

Bring your book – always travel with extra copies of your book and when you leave the station sign the book to someone, preferably the person who has interviewed you.

Usually the producer will already have a copy of your book ready to show on screen, but be sure to bring one just in case. You can ask the producer whether they will include a link to your book website on the TV show’s website, along with any fact sheets or summary of tips you gave during your interview. 

Always thank the producer and person interviewing you when you leave the studio and follow up with a hand-written thank you note in the mail.

Next time, more interview tips especially for radio.

Yours in book publicity

Chelsea McLean

One thought on “5 Golden rules for TV interviews

  1. You may want to think twice about wearing red. It’s a camera operator’s nightmare trying to play around with colour balance to make it look good on screen.

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