How to give good broadcast interviews

Here are 10 top tips to help you make the most of any broadcast opportunity:


  1. Be prepared - the best way to ensure you will be prepared for an interview is to put yourself in the journalist’s shoes. What would you want to know on the subject? If you get a chance, ask the interviewer what the first question will be.
  2. Do your research - just because the interviewer may not know much about you, don't make the same mistake.  Understanding the nature of the show you are appearing on will help you target your message correctly.
  3. Write down three bullet points - don't take in copious notes but think of the three most important things you want to say and try to make sure you mention them in the interview. Details, such as facts and figures, should also be jotted down. Practise what you want to say out loud before going on air.
  4. Find out whether it is live or pre-recorded and who the interviewer is - if it’s live, don't concentrate on your voice or on you – concentrate on the topic. If it’s pre-recorded you have nothing to worry about, as any fluffs can be edited out later.
  5. Always speak clearly - take deep breaths before you start and feel free to ask for water. Try to sound interested and engaged - nothing kills a good interview quicker than a monotonous tone of voice.
  6. Think about your appearance - dress smartly if you're being filmed as it will help you look and feel professional. Make sure loose hair is kept back, off the face.
  7. Be aware of your body language - sit up straight, try not to move and keep your hand gestures to a minimum as it can be distracting. Keep your eyes on the interviewer, not the camera.  Be careful not to stare off to the side and up into the air, since both will indicate to the audience that you are not trustworthy. 
  8. Be succint - don't give one-word answers but equally don't talk for more than a minute at a time. It's very boring to hear someone talking without any interjections from the interviewer.
  9. Never lie - be open and honest and be careful of saying anything that isn’t true. Good Public Relations requires integrity.
  10. Remember what you’re there for – the interviewer doesn’t care about your product or company - they're after an interesting guest. By offering useful information or insight you can promote what you want while at the same time satisfying their remit.  Don’t forget you are there because you have something to contribute to the discussion so be confident.