Freek Robinson SABCMarketingweb posted an excellent summary of points by Freek Robinson, a long time television presenter in South Africa. He gives the following excellent tips on how to conduct yourself during and interview. And I found this particularly useful as the frequency of my radio and television interviews are consistent and as new projects come about can only increase. What I found is that it really helps to be as relaxed and natural as possible. And in fact being over prepared can be a disservice to you because your mind will try to recall to much information.

For my recent television interview on CNBC Africa, I prepared for a full hour’s worth of conversation in between the business segments and was only on for 5 mins in the end.

Some tips from Freek Robinson:

  • It is better to do an interview live because then it cannot be edited or interfered with.
  • In radio, your voice is all important. Your voice should be calm but with energy.
  • Think of the audience; you are talking to them not the interviewer.
  • An interview is basically a structured conversation. You must plan it but it must be you delivering it as your natural but trained self. Credibility lies in you being your true self. It should not simply be a question and answer session.
  • You are in an interview to deliver a message, irrespective of the questions asked. You have to know in advance what you want to say or you will fail.
  • Before an interview, eat and drink with care i.e. no fizzy drinks, tea or coffee, and don’t consume a big heavy meal that could make you sleepy.
  • Your posture should be straight and open; sit still, and avoid stock phrases like “you know”.
  • Concentrate on talking to one person you know and respect, such as your mother, then it becomes a real personal conversation. This is the recipe for avoiding stage fright.
  • Stay focused, stick to your point and be concise.
  • Beware of the first question – look out for leading questions, statements as questions, multiple questions, the ambush, interruptions, offensive interviews, be aware of where the line of questioning is going. Take control when these are thrown at you.
  • Be honest, acknowledge problems.
  • Don’t argue or lose your temper.
  • You must always try to manipulate the situation that’s best for you. You are not a victim. You are there to deliver a message and should be proud to do so.

2014 edit – The original source is no longer available because it seems Marketingweb website has closed down.