How to Prepare and Deliver Media Interviews (Part 2)

Have you been asked to appear in a media interview? The Public Speaker provides more tips for doing better interviews, from preparation to follow up. Learn these tips to start interviewing like a pro.

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read
Episode #210

Make the Host Look Good

About making the host look good, in my case, when the producer called to do the interview a week before it was schedule, I chose not to correct him at all.  However, if you need to correct the producer or host, do it diplomatically. Often it’s better to just let things go unless the mistake they’ve made has a real negative impact on you or your product.

If you don't sound interesting and dynamic, your listeners will drop out...

Be More Energetic and Friendly

Be more energetic than you normally are. Use the names of the host, and callers and if possible, sincerely compliment them. Speak a little faster. Stand up and smile during your interview. Trisha Ventker, author of Internet Dates from Hell says “…If you don't sound interesting and dynamic, your listeners will drop out and the ratings of that radio show will go down. You run the risk that your interview will be cut short and you’ll never be asked back.” That’s not good. The goal should be to make yourself as interesting and engaging as possible so that the producers ask you back time and time again.

Prepare Tips and Stories

Not only do you need to be energetic, you need to also provide value to the listening audience. You need to provide meaty tips and interesting stories.  Keep in mind your primary goal is to educate and entertain the audience—not to pitch your products or services. 

Prepare tips and stories ahead of time for commonly asked questions. Practice responding in a casual manner. I use Evernote to create notes for each of my topic areas and I have these on the monitor during the interview. As the host asks me questions, I can click on each topic notes and use the outlines as reference if necessary. One word of caution though, if you use notes, just be sure not to read them verbatim; your audience will know if you’re reading from a script. You should strive to sound natural rather than canned.

Provide Value

It is important to actually give concrete information. Don't say “You can find the answer in my book.” Your goal is to provide helpful information and most importantly, to create hunger for more. For example, you might answer like this: “That's an issue for some people. I talk about several approaches in the book. Here's my favorite...” Don’t be afraid to use some of your best or unexpected tips; they are often the ideas that will spur action.

See also: How to Tell Better Stories

Tell stories that talk about clients following your advice and succeeding. Be as vivid, descriptive, and emotional as possible with the stories.  Also, use stories to hint at what you do besides write books.  In my case I try to mention speaking engagements, consulting, training, etc. in examples so that I am indirectly letting the audience know what my services are.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.