Appearing on Television or Radio

Appearing on Television or Radio

Preparation is key to a successful television interview. Most television spots focus on short snapshots rather than in-depth interviews. Follow these additional tips:

  • Speak in conversational tones, using your normal tone and style.
  • Don't use technical jargon. Assume the viewer/listener is completely unfamiliar with the subject matter on which you are speaking.
  • Keep your answers concise. The average sound bite lasts twelve seconds.
  • Use verbal lists to highlight your points, i.e.: "The five key examples are ..."
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Don't look at the camera. Use small gestures to make a point, not big sweeping movements.
  • Wear clothing in which you're comfortable, but keep to your normal professional appearance. Don't create visual distractions with your clothing. Solid clothes or clothes with simple patterns are fine. If seated, don't rock or swivel. If standing, stand still.
  • Please try to mention Penn State Harrisburg in the sound bite to ensure that your affiliation with the University is not edited out of the story.