When it comes to dealing with the media, it’s all about impressions made on target audiences. Bad ones can be made very quickly and be long lasting. Good ones can be quick, too, and need to be repeated. One misstep can change good to bad right away.
That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to rehearse before you do an interview. Any type of interview. Print or broadcast. And the more challenging the environment, the greater the need to practice. Here’s an evaluation of a recent case in point.
Marcel Fairbarin is the founder of LED Source. He specializes in lighting. But watch him explain what he does to a business network anchor who’s pretty much in the dark. He fails in his first 16 seconds.
For another 16 seconds, he gets deeper into the weeds…not very enlightening, nor interesting.
Finally, more than 30 seconds into his description, Marcel hits on what a business network audience would want to know; his product provides strong, positive returns.
Another problem with this interview is that Marcel doesn’t appear to have practiced. His inconsistent eye contact and swiveling in his chair are distractions.
It’s not easy relating to a camera. It requires you to personify the camera and address it as if it’s animate and listening to you. You need to maintain eye contact with an unblinking object staring back at you, and appear to be relaxed at the same time.
Bottom line: Before any interview, Practice! Practice! Practice! Make sure you understand the planned environment, and prepare for it!