solid white or black, which on their own can be overpowering on camera.
Solid pastels work best on camera.
Remember you are representing the university. Don’t wear clothes with the insignia of another organization or university.
Refine your message.
Limit your key points to three. Think about them in advance.
Have a few prepared sound bites – 10 seconds is a good length – so there is no room to edit them.
Offer examples that help make your message personal. Telling stories also helps break your conversation into soundbites.
Try not to over-prepare. Never write a script or memorize answers. You will look and sound like a robot. Write down a few key points (three is ideal) in bullet point form. This will help you sound natural and confident.
Talk with the reporter about the interview or panel before it starts. Find out what the questions might be so you can prepare your responses.
Don’t ever tell a reporter not to talk about something. That means you will likely get that question.
When the camera rolls.
Talk to the interviewer (look at him/her) – or, in a panel situation, to the person you mean to address. Eye contact is important.
Avoid looking into the camera. If you can’t look at a person, pick something else to focus on.
Sit if possible; don’t stand.
Talk clearly in short phrases.
Gestures are fine for emphasis, but don’t overdo it.
Try not to talk too fast.
If you get an unexpected question, don’t answer right away. Take a moment and collect your thoughts before you begin. Try not to say “um” or other filler words.
Silent pauses are okay. And if you really do not have an answer, or it is a subject about which you are not familiar, just say so.
Be passionate and truthful.
If you are asked a question that is off topic, try to lead the discussion back on topic. This is called bridging – you bridge to what you want to get across.
Bridging example: “I can’t comment on what Professor Jones has said, [BRIDGE TO] but I have found that in my own research…..”
Don’t worry if you repeat yourself.
Never repeat a reporter’s negative terms or phrasing. You don’t want that to be the clip that appears on TV. Answer with a positive, and bridge to your key points:
Q:“Why has your research failed to …?”
A: “My research has expanded the understanding of…”
Beware the B roll.
If you are asked to “chat” while the cameraman shoots “B” roll (non-interview footage, cutaway shots, etc.), be sure your body language and comments are appropriate.
Be aware that any answers you provide or comments you make during this time can be used on the air.