The UK has surpassed its first full week of Government mandated ‘staying at home’ to combat the spread of coronavirus – a novel way of living for the majority of the population. However, everything around us continues to move, including the ever-constant news agenda. With this comes the need for broadcasters to fill interview slots. With restrictions on movement, the likelihood of conducting studio interviews decreases, therefore it’s more likely that you may be asked to conduct an interview with a broadcaster from the comfort of your own home. But what should you know before undertaking a remote interview?
Here are top ten tips to ace a live broadcast interview from home:
- Firstly, let’s talk about appearance. How you look is the first thing the public will see on a televised interview. Avoid busy patterns such as spots and stripes, as this can be distracting for the audience. It’s probably best to also avoid the reindeer onesie – that should only come out in December.
- Similarly, consider your surroundings. Try to keep your background neutral and as tidy as possible. Again, we want to avoid the audience’s eye being caught by what is in frame, rather than the insight that you’re sharing on the topic at hand.
- Set the scene – make sure you’ll be conducting your interview in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed; this will minimise the likelihood of unwanted disruptions during an interview. We all remember that BBC interview in 2017 when the interviewee’s children made a (cute but) surprise appearance – who wouldn’t be flustered on live TV?
- Check your tech! This might seem an obvious one, but it is important. Make sure you’ve got good internet connection; your mic or headset is working; and that there are no issues with sound. This avoids any embarrassment later on, especially if your face is frozen in an awkward expression.
- Practise, practise, practise. This is key before all interviews, especially for those who have less experience in this arena. If you’ve been given the questions ahead of time, rehearse what you would say in front of a mirror so that you don’t have to look down at notes during your interview.
- Remember to look directly into the camera. For most people, it is quite an odd sensation speaking into the lens of a camera, however, this is how the audience would see you in a face-to-face scenario. You don’t want to be remembered for looking down instead of straight ahead for the duration of the interview.
- S-M-I-L-E. Although there will be no one in front of you asking questions, which means no facial cues to react to, remember to smile from time to time. This shows passion and enthusiasm about the discussion and will translate through screens to the end audience who is watching.
- So now you’re midway through your interview and you’ve been asked a difficult question – what do you do? Again, don’t forget you’re being watched. Remain calm and navigate around the question.
- Avoid “um” but do use a phrase like: “That’s an interesting question but I think the key point here is…” You have the power to steer an interviewer back to your key messages.
- Lastly, avoid overly complex terminology, technical words and jargon. Remember your audience consists of a range of individuals from all walks of life, as such anything you explain during the interview should be easily understood by the average man or woman in the street.
With these tips you should be set for broadcasting from your own home. Of course, some of these rules can be broken – if your cute puppy bursts into frame, you may become a viral star.