5 Tips to Calm Your Nerves Before a Media Interview
What happens when you’re asked to be interviewed on TV or radio? Your heart starts to race, your palms get sweaty, and your mind goes blank, right? It might seem like there’s no way out of this panic, but there are some things you can do to prepare yourself and calm your nerves before a media interview. In fact, the more often you face the media as an entrepreneur or small business owner, the more comfortable you’ll become. The following five tips will help you prepare for your next interview and walk away feeling confident and prepared.
1) Get Comfortable
If you’re getting ready for your interview, chances are you’re feeling anxious about it. And that’s okay! Don’t let nerves keep you from wanting to get in front of the media—they can also help you be confident in your message. The key is working through your anxiety and coming out on top. Here are some simple ways you can do just that: First, put yourself in a positive state by surrounding yourself with people and things that make you feel good.
2) Know Your Subject Matter
The single best way to calm your nerves is to know your subject matter inside and out. What better time than now? If you're heading into an interview about a book you've written, brush up on it by reading over any relevant portions of your manuscript or notes from interviews or media appearances you've already done. If you're going in for an interview about today's big business news, spend some time doing further research before you meet with your media contact. It can't hurt to have one more source at your fingertips when it comes time for question-and-answer.
3) Prepare Some Fail-Safe General Lines
If you are asked something uncomfortable or something that you don’t know the answer to, come up and memorize a standard line that will work in any situation. It could be as simple as "for more information you can visit our website," or "that's something that we are currently looking into and only time will tell." You can also acknowledge the question and bridge to a topic you know or are more familiar with, for example: "What a good question! That's something we are considering and that's why (insert your prepared talking point)...
4) Prepare For Follow-Up Questions
Getting interviewed on TV, radio or by newspapers is exhilarating. However, interviews in these media often last less than you anticipate and aren’t always comfortable. You want to come across as confident yet warm during your interview—but it can be hard when you’re nervous. To combat nerves before an interview, do your homework and find out who will be interviewing you, including their background and press affiliation if they have one. Then prepare answers for typical follow-up questions, like Why did you create [company]? or How long have you been working in [industry]? It helps establish credibility with journalists because they can verify facts later with their sources.
5) Focus On Them, Not You
If you’re nervous about an upcoming interview, chances are you’re fixating on what you have to say rather than making sure your message is clear. It's easy to get so wrapped up in trying to promote yourself that you forget why they're there—to tell a news story! So remember, it's not about you. Remember to stay focused on their needs and how your work relates back to them.
Here is to growing your name and brand for years to come.