Nine TV Interview Tips and Eight Presentation Tips

By TJ Walker

TV/Media Tips

1. When getting ready for an in-studio radio or TV interview, a producer will often ask you to count to ten for a microphone volume check. Instead say "hi, I'm (your name) and I listen/watch (name of program) every chance I get." First, the whole staff will appreciate your enthusiasm. Second, they might use what you just said as a promo for years to come, giving you a publicity windfall.

2. If a caller on a radio or TV talk show starts trashing you repeatedly and the host doesn't intervene, just start talking in a calm voice. You will drown out the negative message of the caller and yet still appear to be calm.

3. If you are promoting a particular book, company or cause, don't be afraid to mention it by name.

4. When giving out a web site address or phone number, do it twice--slowly.

5. It doesn't matter if your interview is 60 seconds or 60 minutes long. You should communicate everything you need to in the first 30 seconds. Any additional time should be spent expanding your basic points.

6. Apply translucent powder makeup before going on TV. If you don't wear powder on your nose, forehead and face, you will look shiny, oily and plastic.

7. If you are being interviewed by remote and there is a TV monitor next to the camera, don't glance over at it to look at yourself while the interview is going on. You will look shifty-eyed, nervous and weird.

8. During a TV interview, don't look up at the ceiling when you are thinking what to say (you'll look like you are BSing). Look down if you need to look away for a moment. You'll look thoughtful.

9. Nothing is ever 100 percent off the record. Once notes are made, editors, publishers and lawyers can review them.

Speaking/Presentation Tips

1. If you do have to read or glance at notes, move your eyes down, not your entire head.

2. The bigger the audience the bigger your gestures and expressions and movement need to be.

3. If you don't wish to answer questions until the end of your speech, politely and without apology inform the audience.

4. You aren't going to be loved by 100% of the audience. If one person is ignoring you or sleeping, don't obsess over it.

5. Never attempt to go to a live web site during a presentation; you are guaranteed to lose your connection.

6. When possible, ask the banquet manager to serve the dessert and coffee with the meal. That way you won't be interrupted by waiters when giving you're after-dinner speech.

7. It is not overly promotional to tell people how to contact you if they want more information or to ask you more questions. (Be ready to give out a web site address and/or a phone number.)

8. The more often you speak, the less you'll have to think about a list of dos and don'ts.

Media Coach TJ Walker began media training in 1984 and is the media columnist for Investor Relations Magazine ( He publishes the Media Training Worldwide e-zine, where this originally appeared. Sign up at

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