At GATTA we recognize that interviews, specifically corporate video can be tough. Perhaps you prefer to work behind the scenes and now you are being asked to speak on camera. Perhaps you are a leader in the organization who often speaks at events, but now it will be committed to video…..forever. Perhaps you are completely confident in front of the camera, but are stressing about what to say and how it will be perceived.
Being asked to give an interview is a compliment!
Let’s just get that fact out into the open. Recognizing that you have been asked to play spokesperson for your organization, says a lot. That video is a window into the company and everyone who views it is getting a feeling about your company goals, values, and objectives. To be speaking on that behalf means that you are viewed as a good communicator, and a leader. Therefore…..BE YOURSELF. There is no need to try to change your appearance, tone, or vocabulary to speak on your company’s behalf. They chose you for a reason.
Tip #1: The Pre-Interview
One major tip in this regard is to have a pre-interview conversation with your interviewer. This could be the morning of your interview, but ideally it would be in advance. Getting to know your interviewer, their sense of humour, their mannerisms, and their style can help you to feel more at home during the interview. Likewise, the interviewer can get a sense of how best to engage you in conversation. Often in interviews we say “we are just having a conversation”. Well, yes and no. The interviewer certainly wants you to feel that it is just the two of you talking casually. However, in their head they are thinking of how best to guide you and to extract the sound bites that they need for the video. In some cases they have been instructed by a director, producer, or other person on what information they need to obtain for the video to make sense in the finished edit. Therefore, being comfortable with that person is critical. A great interviewer will have skills to help put you ate ease, but you can’t always rely on that.
Tip #2: Ditch the Paper
We see it all of the time. An interviewee comms into the room clutching one or many papers filled with ‘what they need to say’. In some cases they were given a line of questioning ahead of time to write out their thoughts. The intention is good, to give you a chance to prepare and collect your thoughts. During the interview however, the paper can be the #1 reason that the interview goes south or loses its authenticity. You keep glancing at it, rustling it, or just plain going back to it as a crutch. So….ditch the paper. Pro tip: give the paper to the interviewer so they can give the paper a read prior to the interview. Now they know what you are trying to say, how you need things worded, and they can figure out how best to guide you to say the very things on the paper, without the memorizing.
Tip #3: Trust your editor (but still get sign-off)
In most corporate videos, your time will be very short. Sometimes the producers are only looking for a few key lines, but they are interviewing you in case any unexpected wisdom is shared the they can use to tell the story more effectively. Thinking too much about exactly how to phrase each point can lead to a lot of unnecessary starting and stopping, or re-taking. In the end, the editor is simply going to take the best parts, remove the ums, aahs, and pauses, and re-assemble what you said anyways. That is why it is far more important for you to speak freely and comfortably than to try to ‘nail’ a phrase (and looking frazzled in the process) . The purpose of reviewing the video and signing off after you have seen the edit, is so that the editors can make all the necessary technical changes to put you in the best possible light. If you aren’t happy with the end result, then you can tell them why, and what changes you would like made. Remember, this isn’t a live for TV interview. The editor is just as motivated to make you look and sound good, so that they can be rehired.
Interviews are a powerful tool to connect with your clients. They allow viewers to feel that they are getting to know you. The least that your interview feels scripted or ‘produced’, the better. We live in a time where authenticity wins nearly every time. Hire the right professionals to help you with this very important part of your public relations. Contact GATTA today if you would like to book us for your next interview piece, or even as a consult on how to get the interview right.