In a world that places ever more increasing value on image and personality, budding entrepreneurs are gradually realizing that, to take their business to the next level, they must be seen and heard.
We caught up with Samantha Johnson, a seasoned television presenter and broadcaster with years of experience under her belt and asked her to give us her best tips to make the camera fall in love with you when being interviewed on television.
I am more used to asking the questions rather than being interviewed myself, but I have picked up a few things that I think help make people feel more comfortable when they are being interviewed.
Maintaining eye contact is a big thing for me, like most people – I believe the eyes are the window to the soul – so if my interviewee has sunglasses on, it feels like they might have something to hide! Obviously if there is a medical reason as to why they need to cover their eyes – then no problem, but in general I’d prefer someone I interview not to have that kind of barrier in front of their eyes, so I feel I have their full attention. That’s when an interview becomes more of a ‘chat’ – you’re both engaged with one another and the tension eases.
It’s also always good to think about your posture. Find a balance. Not too stiff – with your back totally straight – which might seem as if you’re very tense – but then again if you go to the other end of the spectrum and slouch, it could come across like you don’t care. Take pride in your presence.
Your body language speaks volumes. It’s not always about what you say verbally. I can instantly tell if someone is uncomfortable in an interview just by observing his or her body language – just small things like arms folded versus having them resting in an open manner on their laps.
Take your time to answer the question. If you need to take a pause to think about what you want to say, do it. Control your narrative. If you rush it, you’ll probably say something that you wish you hadn’t.
Which flows nicely to my next point…. Think about your pace. Try and speak a touch slower than you normally would. Speak too fast and you might trip over your words. I used to fret that if I spoke too slowly that I sounded like I was on slow-mo, but when you watch yourself back on screen you realize it does wonders. You sound a lot clearer and you are in control.
Continuing on the topic of one’s voice – tone is really important. Think about it like this. If you’re defensive sometimes your voice might go higher, correct? Bring it down a notch. If you go into the interview with your neutral tone, then you have room to express yourself with your voice, and not sound too monotone.
More importantly: be you. If you are being anything but yourself, you’re doing a disservice to you.