Besides the requirement of a clear and understandable language in TV there is an obvious difference: The audience is able to see you. So there are several factors like body language, facial expression and gestures. The key rule is to stay authentic. Relax, don’t be stiff and use your natural body language. Use examples or pictures to illustrate your saying and don’t be afraid to correct the interviewer in case of misunderstandings.

Natural body language

  • try to relax and be as natural as you can
  • don’t restrict your body language but do not gesticulate excessively
  • don’t be stiff
  • control your breathing and stay calm
  • don’t give the permission that you would rather run away (stepping back and forth, fiddling with objects, backing away from a microphone)
  • raise your head, don’t talk ‘into’ yourself
  • look at the interviewer, not at the camera or the audience

Use examples or pictures

  • try to explain your work in simple words and if appropriate use a clever analogy to capture the imagination of the listener, for example; bacteria or virus are like a Trojan horse hiding inside the human body waiting to be released to create havoc
  • use allegories or simple comparisons
  • use examples with local affiliations (in our city xx people suffer from that disease every year …)
  • for print media, suggest illustrations for the story

Use an understandable language, the golden rule

  • explain your project like you would explain it to your parents or a friend

Don’t be afraid to correct

  • if you feel the journalist doesn’t understand what you are saying, then it is like likely that the audience has the same problem
  • make your point clear and don’t hesitate to be redundant, repeat in different but simple words what you were saying
  • if you feel you have been misunderstood make clear what kind of misunderstanding it is and rephrase your comment
  • if at all possible, ask to see the report beforehand. This is often possible with print media and gives you a chance to correct errors
  • ask if you get to be quoted or if they only want background information

Print Media

In taking with journalists of print media, you have a big advantage. You have quite a lot time to explain what you want to say. This task can be more like a conversation with the journalist. The ideal situation is an Email-Interview.

  • Suggest illustrations for the story
  • Suggest other people to talk to in order to get a complete picture
  • Check that the journalist has all the names, addresses etc. correctly down
  • If you use examples try to find local ones
  • Ask if you get to be quoted (or only are asked for background information)
  • If you have the choice of proofing the text before publishing, it’s perfect (Interviews by email offer control options)

Source:  gaisberg communications