One of the great parts of putting yourself out there, is that people take notice. And part of people taking notice, is doing interviews.
Yesterday I was interviewed for our national broadcaster, CBC, about a brand new short documentary I directed.
(It’s called “Book of Love” and is seeing it’s world debut later tonight. Woo!)
On the interview day, I got myself ready and headed out the door. I hopped in the car, listened to my fave radio station, and drove down to where the interview was being held.
Once there I chatted with my executive producer, got an herbal tea, met the filming team, got mic’d up and then rocked the interview.
Afterwards, I thought, that was sooo easy. Time to share some of my tricks with my tribe!
So without further ado, here are my top 3 tips…
ONE – Choose one clear, connected goal
This will be different for everyone and you’ll need to play around to find the ones that work best for you. But if your goal is to “not be nervous”, you’re setting yourself up for a tough interview. The goal here is to help you focus on things you connect to more strongly than your fear.
For example, for yesterday’s interview, my goal was to be a clear and compassionate voice for the couple I made the film about. That was plenty of motivation for me and it really helped me to speak from my heart and to have a real conversation with the woman interviewing me.
So consider things that may help you to focus in on your goal rather than your nerves. Maybe your goal is to help people feel understood, to brighten someone’s day, to empower the people listening etc.
TWO – Use the other person
Often times, when people are in front of the camera, their inner-critic chimes in and says: “This interview is ALL ABOUT YOU, Better not MESS THIS UP.”
You can feel millions of viewers watching your every move; judging every word you say.
The sweat starts to trickle down your forehead…
Let’s back things up a bit. Doing interviews – whether you’re the interviewer or interviewee – is that at it’s core, all we’re talking about here is having a delightful conversation with another human being.
It’s as simple as that.
Once you can wrap your head and your heart around that concept, it takes away a LOT of pressure.
And one great thing about doing interviews is that it takes two to tango. Take this opportunity to have a real conversation with a real person.
If you can, chat with them a bit before you get started about little things (i.e. not the content of your interview). Connect to them about the weather, music, the weekend, kids, dogs, anything. No need to start without a mini warm-up.
During the interview, it’s okay to look that person in the eye, to engage with them, to make them laugh, cry, connect.
As much as possible, simply have your conversation.
THREE – Practice
If you’re familiar with how I roll, “practice” will be a word that you’re familiar with, when it comes to being on-camera and making videos. It is the NUMBER ONE favour that you can do for yourself.
If you’ve got an interview coming up (even if you don’t), try some practice interviews with a friend. Turn on a camera and try it out. Hop on Skype and rock it.
The key here is that these are simply to exercise the muscle. Don’t wait until game day to work out your interviewing skills. Start now.
Doing these no pressure test runs will help alleviate your nerves one step at a time.
The key is to make sure that you have some form of camera rolling.
BONUS TIP – Put the fun into your prep
Treat your interview like a lovely outing that you’re going on. Play music while you’re getting ready, picture the fun you’ll have chatting with your newest friend!
Okay, it’s time to implement what you’ve learned today. Leave a comment below and tell me:
- One clear, connected goal you could use in your next interview.
- One way you can use the other person.
- Say YES and commit to doing ONE practice interview this week.
I can’t wait to hear from you below!
And as always…
Sarah Michelle Brown
Your Virtual Video Director