Event report

Conference 2013 - Accessorising for the microphone

Report published 13 August 2013

Accessorising for the microphone – Janet Gover

Report by Rhoda Baxter

Janet did an excellent talk on what to do (and not to do) when being interviewed. Afterwards, there was a chance for a few of us to practise. It was an excellent summary of the topic and made me think about things I would not have considered before. Now, I just need to persuade someone to interview me.

Janet’s tips:

• Do your research – listen to the show beforehand and gauge the tone and target audience.
• Prepare your answers. If possible, find out what you’ll be talking about. Work out what you message is going to be. Don’t overdo the promo.
• Don’t touch the microphone. It picks up all sorts of rustling. So don’t wear jewellery that makes a noise.
• Speak normally during the sound check. Speak a few full sentences.
• Keep an eye on the time.
• Don’t lose your temper. Keep control of your emotions.
• Get your message across. Know what you want to say and say it clearly. If you lose your thread, stop talking.
• Watch the interviewer for guidance.
• Remember the microphone is always live. No swearing.

For TV interviews – bear in mind the same rules as for radio, plus:

• The camera is always on, so don’t do anything embarrassing during the ad breaks. Also, try to look engaged when other people are talking.
• Look at the interviewer, unless you are asked specifically to look at the camera.
• Wear normal make up. If you need special makeup, a makeup person will be on hand to sort it out. Avoid clothes with stripes, checks, fluorescent colours or complex patterns, because they can strobe on camera. Wear something you’re comfortable in. You may need to walk across the studio, so wear shoes you can walk in.
• Be aware of the camera position if you’re wearing a short skirt. Better still, wear a sensible skirt.
• Don’t do a Tom Cruise and jump around suddenly. The camera might lose you (and you’ll look silly).
• If the interview goes bad – unless they’ve said something factually incorrect, live with it.

• (My own personal top tip – don’t be late!)

It's a fact

Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler are considered the third most romantic couple in fiction behind Elizabeth and Mr Darcy and Romeo and Juliet.