27th April 2020
Article by RoyceComm
There are some simple things you can be doing right now to improve your spokesperson’s performance on video interviews.
By now it’s obvious that live and pre-record video are going to be a big part of the media mix going forward – they’re cheaper for the networks and audiences have got used to them.
While the basic pillars of media training still stand, it’s worth strengthening your talent with some video call specifics – not just what they will say, but – fairly or not – how they will look and sound. Audiences make very fast judgements about spokespeople, and most of that is based on the visual in the first few seconds of an interview.
There are some low-hanging fruit that can really make a difference in improving that visual, and so improving overall perception.
A stack of books – or better, a proper riser – under the device will bring the camera to eye level. This helps to avoid perspective issues where the viewer is either looking up the nose of the spokesperson, or the spokesperson has to unnaturally tilt their head down.
Finding and testing a simple light source like a desk lamp positioned behind the camera lens will provide a more even light to the face. Natural light is great, but remember that you’re going to be conducting interviews at different times of day and it different weather conditions, so that natural light will vary substantially.
Practice maintaining eyeline with the camera lens. It’s surprisingly difficult; the natural human instinct is to look at the face of your interviewer – on the screen – rather than above the screen at the camera. We’ve found some subjects respond really well to a post-it note next to the lens as a constant reminder.
A clean, professional background is also important. You don’t want the audience trying to read book titles on the shelves behind you when they should be listening to your message.
Consider a refresher on delivery techniques and content, and use ten minute drills every couple of days to cement your current messages. Even the most experienced media spokespeople need to adapt their approach to successfully deliver media interviews. The benefits you will gain from a proper set-up, and then regular interview drills, are worth your time.