Here we are focusing on overcoming nerves when you do an interview with a journalist.
You are prepared, you know your key messages, you’ve worked out how you’ll deal with tricky questions, you look great, and you are ready to go. You get to the TV studios on time, and then it happens. You realize you’ll be the one in front of the microphone or camera. Your palms sweat. Your stomach churns. What are you going to do?
Remember, nerves are perfectly normal. Even the most experienced presenters and actors suffer from stage fright. And be reassured, we never look as nervous as we feel.
Here are eight tips to help you with overcoming nerves in media interviews
- Remind yourself the reason you’re being interviewed is because you know your subject – you are the expert
- Remember, as the expert, you will know more than the reporter.
- Make sure you arrive early at the studio. You don’t need the extra stress of rushing to make your slot.
- Check the programme has your proper name and title. It can throw you if the reporter gets your name wrong, or the caption is wrong.
- Before you start, take a deep breath, get a drink of water, laugh or yawn. (You can’t yawn and be tense at the same time. Even a nervous laugh to yourself will help relieve tension.) Each individual must find his or her own way to deal with nervousness.
- If possible, have an opportunity to chat to the reporter beforehand to establish a rapport (not always possible in live TV interviews). You can use this time to talk about your key messages, or interesting points you’d like to make. They may well then ask you about these during the interview.
- Concentrate on the question you’re being asked. Pause before answering a question just long enough to formulate an outline of the answer.
- Prepare your voice before the interview. Drinks like milk, coffee and coke can coat your throat, affecting your voice. Stick to water. Drinking a cup of lemon and hot water can help to relax your throat.