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You Finally Landed that TV Interview! Now What? A Guest Blog by Jay Townsend


Welcome to First Thursday! On the first Thursday of each month, Corporate Speech Solutions features an expert that has a skill or expertise that will enhance your professional skill set. Today, we’re joined by Jay Townsend, a political consultant who specializes in helping people to hone their unique message and communicate it in the most effective way possible. Today, he joins us with a guest blog about how to make the most of a television interview. Any public appearance is an excellent opportunity to get the word out about your business, but if you aren’t able to communicate your message effectively, it can easily become a wasted opportunity. Read on and learn how you can make the most of this valuable exposure.

You Finally Landed that TV Interview. Now What?

by Jay Townsend

Television interviews can bring you clients, enhance your brand, sell your books, and increase your profits. And for that reason, those in any business should relish the opportunity to appear on television to discuss their product or service.

TV interviews also carry risk. They can quickly ruin a reputation and destroy a career.

Making the most of an invitation to appear on television is 90% preparation.

  1. Decide the central point of what you want your audience to remember from your interview. If you are the author of a book, the audience needs to know the title, where to buy it, and what they will get out of it if they read it. If you are in a service industry, be prepared to clearly explain in one short sentence how your service enhances profits, saves money or enhances someone’s quality of life.
  1. Make sure you know the setting of the interview. Will you be seated? Standing at a table? Closeted in a room by yourself while you are asked questions through an earpiece? Standing somewhere in a parking lot? How long will you be on the air? Is it live or taped?
  1. What is the format? Is it a one-on-one exchange with an interviewer? Or are you exchanging views with someone who might have a different point of view? Or are you part of a panel where there will be a free exchange of opinions?
  1. Who is doing the interview? It is imperative that you know their style, how they have conducted other interviews, the kinds of questions they usually ask, whether they interrupt their guests with questions or allow them to talk freely.
  1. Once you know the style of the interviewer, hire someone or ask a friend to rehearse with you so that you have answers to every conceivable question, and just as important, so that you become adept at steering every question back to your central point.

Seasoned football players know the rules of the game, and spend hours watching footage of the opposing team before game day. By the same token, you cannot properly prepare, and you will not be at your best if you don’t know the setting, the rules of engagement, the personalities and the way your host plays the game.

Jay Townsend advises public figures on the art of television and radio interviews. He has helped prepare scores of Executives, Governors, Senators, members of Congress and Presidential candidates for debates, interviews and public appearances. Learn more at jaytownsend.com.

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