Being interviewed for an online publication, podcast or any other type of media has a lot of similarities to public speaking; you’ve got to know your audience, prepare what you’ll say and practice, practice, practice. And like public speaking, a media interview can be just as intimidating. But there are things you can do to prepare.
Do your homework.
Know who you’re talking to and their goals for the conversation. You’ll want to tailor the information you give to the audience the reporter serves. Their job is to get interesting, important and useful information to readers, viewers or listeners. Keep the audience members in mind and talk directly to their needs.
Practice, practice, practice.
Think through the difficult, and even the seemingly easy, questions you might be asked. Then, have someone help you practice your answers. It’s even better if they throw in a few questions of their own to keep you on your toes.
Embrace the silence.
Silence is acceptable. Stick to your key messages, and practice so that you aren’t compelled to fill the void of silence after you give your answer.
Give yourself time.
Arrive early. Allow yourself time in the physical or virtual space to be familiar with the surroundings and feel ready.
Be polite to the person interviewing you. Even if you may be in a situation where you can’t or won’t answer all their questions, try to do so in a way that allows you to take the high road and redirect the conversation toward something you can talk about.
Share additional resources, contacts or collateral to validate your points further or be helpful.