Preparation for recording video interviews begins long before the camera rolls!
When I began my book marketing efforts for the first book in my magical adventure series, A Shadow Away, I had no idea what to expect for my first on camera interview. I soon learned that, several days before the actual taping, I needed to decide on a topic for the interview. What questions would I be asked? How should I prepare the best answers for what I wanted to say? How can I remember it all?!
Even after answering many of the same questions multiple times, I found I didn’t want to prepare cookie-cutter answers. I love my book, A Shadow Away. The storyline is an exciting adventure, and the characters have come alive for me. I love to listen in on their conversations, and they are people I enjoy spending time with. So, I want my answers to show my excitement about the story. I draw pictures with words to let readers feel what it’s like to hike through a Brazilian jungle and lose themselves in a magical world of their imagination.
It’s easy for me to do on paper/computer, but how to condense that feeling into thirty-second responses for video? It’s a challenge! Here are 5 ideas to help you prepare for your 15 minutes of fame:
- Especially on TV, it is important to maintain a high level of excitement to capture the audience, and your host. Emphasis on keywords adds interest. Remain poised, because how you present yourself is as important as the words you use to express yourself.
- Make bullet points of topic responses, rather than scripted dialogue. Get the general gist down, then try to let the answers flow. Review the answers you expect to be asked early and often! Take time to get them into your head, so they become automatic.
- On camera, look at your host when you speak. Engage them in your conversation. They are people, too, and appreciate it when you recognize them. Use their name, and be gracious.
- Do some vocal exercises beforehand. When you see actors in movies preparing with “mee mee mee/maa maa maa,” etc., it does help to open your mouth, so you can be understood more clearly when you’re speaking in front of the camera later on.
- Practice loosening up your throat if you have trouble speaking. I spend most of my time in front of a computer, so I can go long periods without speaking at all. I was given very good advice to lower my voice an octave. Doing that really does take the strain off vocal cords!
I will have to take my own advice several more times, because my “Alex Cort Adventures” is scheduled to launch at least 6 books in the series!
Well, there you have it. Really, the hard part is preparing for your interview. The day before, put all you’ve been doing out of your mind, and relax. When interview day comes, briefly run over your thoughts to remember the flow. And when the lights go on, have an interesting conversation with your host. Good Luck!
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