Tips to prepare for a spontaneous interview about current events
By Kelly Huston, Deputy Executive Director, California Public Utilities Commission
Are you ready for the spontaneous interview questions brought on by a current national or international disaster? Read on to learn Kelly’s tips on how to get ready for a spontaneous interview about a challenging topic.
Tips to Prepare for a Spontaneous Interview about Current Events
- Find out the type of show (news, opinion, entertainment) and what specific topic they’re interested in exploring
- Ask who else will be interviewed: this helps determine if you’ll be pitted against someone that has an contrary opinion
- Now, ask yourself the very simple question, “Why am I doing this interview?” and answer it honestly to yourself. This helps you focus on the real reason you’re doing it. (ie – I think we need to encourage people to prepare for earthquakes)
- If you have time, read, watch or listen to news broadcasts focusing on the topic and see how they’re covering it. This allows you to focus your responses in a way that “fits in” rather than risking the appearance you’re a detached government worker with no soul
- Develop simple talking points with your message and support them with interesting and relevant facts that will relate to the story they’re covering.
- Practice, practice, practice! I often do it in the car on the way to the interview. I ask myself the questions I think the reporters are going to ask and then answer them out loud so I can refine the message. This works better than you think.
- Relax and realize that you’ll be okay – they can’t reach through the TV and strangle you. They are hoping you’ll say something interesting, even give a unique perspective that will help them make their story interesting to their viewers. On their end, it’s all about ratings and if you’re boring, they’re never asking you back.
To read the unabridged story or for more tips from Kelly Huston, visit www.procommunicator.com/interview-preparation
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