Tammy’s Media Rules of Engagement:
1. Before the interview (and away from anyone else) hum the full Happy Birthday song three times. This helps drop your voice down an octave and warms up your vocal cords so you reduce the chances of getting a hitch in your voice.
2. Answer the reporter’s question and then stop talking. It might get painful as the silence fills the room around you and the reporter looks like they want you to go on but DON’T. You want them to only have exactly what you want on the air. If you go off script then who knows what will make it on air. Only say what you want the viewers to hear!
3. Don’t use your company’s name in every sentence but pepper it through the interview.
4. Sit in a non-moving chair. NEVER sit in an office chair that can tilt back or rock—you’ll be moving and not even know it. I prefer to stand and if I have to sit, I sit on the edge of a chair since that position makes you sit upright by nature. Lean into the reporter to show interest and enthusiasm.
5. If you use your hands when you talk, feel free to do so but don’t cross your arms, put your hands in your pockets, or hold or steeple your hands together in front of you or your groin. These are all subliminal signals that the person speaking is not to be trusted, that they are being defensive, or they are arrogant.
6. NEVER wear sunglasses! People will not trust what you are saying when they can’t see your eyes.
7. If you are doing the interview outside and it is too bright just let the reporter and videographer know before the interview starts that you are getting blinded and would like move so you can see and aren’t squinting. Don’t worry you won’t offend them, if you ask nice.
8. Always introduce yourself to the reporter and the videographer. Treat the videographer with respect, ask them a few questions, give them your card, etc. They are the person who controls how you look (washed out or healthy) and typically they are also the person who edits the interview!
9. Send a thank you note to the reporter, videographer, and production editor. Thank you notes will garner you a lot of goodwill.