Top Tips: For Successful TV Interviews

Even if you have experience in dealing with the print media, if you’ve never gone through a TV interview it can be a little daunting but if you get it right it’s a great opportunity for positive coverage.

We’ve put together these top tips to help you perfect your preparation and performance in TV interviews.



  • Audience; adapt your messages, evidence and language according to the broadcaster and viewers you are speaking to
  • Research; find out as much as you can about the format, as well as the interviewer/producer and the questions they want to ask you (work closely with your PR team to be prepared)
  • Be concise; you can’t know for certain how long a live interview will be, ensure you can condense your story or message down, to communicate it in a limited amount of time
  • Add colour; use ‘real’ stories, evidence and statistics to illustrate what you say – content that ‘paints a picture’ works very well in broadcast
  • Practice; the only way to make sure you are ready to communicate your messages is to have a rehearsal – get a media trainer or colleague to test your answers to the negative questions that could come up
  • Don’t rush; if you are going to a studio, try and get there early to get used to room and collect your thoughts
  • Dress; are you comfortable in the outfit? Do your clothes reflect the style and mood of the interviewer/other guests? Avoid wearing anything distracting e.g. jewellery that moves around or intricate patterns on your clothes
  • Make-up; the bright and hot studio lights mean that if you are offered make-up it’s a good idea to accept it
  • The first question; ask what the opening question will be in advance, there’s no promise that it might not change or alter (e.g. if other news has just broken) but it will give you a good sense of how the interview will start
  • Before going on camera; take a few deep breaths to calm the nerves and check how you look in a mirror (you can’t reply on the interviewer to tell you if your collar isn’t straight or hair is sticking up)



  • Distractions; most TV studios are busy places, with people rushing around and equipment stacked everywhere – try to ignore the commotion around you
  • Jargon; use simple language that all viewers will be able to understand – don’t assume the audience will know the acronyms you use day-to-day
  • Body language; if you’re stood for the interview then make sure you’re upright. If you’re sat down then make sure you’re firmly back in the seat. Planting your feet helps give you confidence and stops you swaying but don’t be afraid to use your hands, if that is what you are used to and you want to give some emphasis
  • Smile; unless you’re delivering bad news, show the audience some warmth and personality – you want them to like you
  • Eye-contact; keep looking at the interviewer if you are sitting across from them, if it’s a down-the-line interview, make sure you focus on the camera lens
  • Voice; speaking clearly and slowly enough is essential but as TV tends to flatten the voice, you also need to add extra volume/emphasis into the performance
  • Pauses; taking a breath can help your point sink-in but it will also give you a moment to gather your thoughts – don’t feel you have to fill the airspace if you’ve successfully delivered your messages
  • Parroting; be careful about repeating the journalist’s negatives or language you don’t agree with – reword it in a way you are comfortable with
  • Stick to your agenda; don’t get pulled away from your messages and be firm if you feel you are being pushed to give an answer on a topic you can’t discuss
  • Recording; assume the camera is always on you and don’t move or get up to leave until you are given the ‘all clear’ to do so
  • Enjoy it; studios can be hectic, your adrenalin will be up and you might get a few tricky questions, but remember what a great opportunity this is and embrace it


If you are going to do TV interviews, you need to have the skills and confidence to make them a success. The Bluewood broadcast media training course is perfect to ensure you’re ready to face TV reporters and interviewers. For more information on how we can help please get in touch.


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