Before a TV Appearance, You Need to Know . . .

May 2007
by Ellen Ratner and Kathie Scarrah

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Ready, Set Talk

Before a TV Appearance, You
Need to Know . . .


by Ellen Ratner and Kathie


·When you
are booking a television interview, ask whether it will be taped or live. It
makes a difference. Interviews are often done live-to-tape, which means the
interview will be treated as if it were live. During commercial breaks, you may
just sit there for the scheduled length of the commercial that will be added in
postproduction. If the interview is taped, ask when it will air to avoid dated
remarks. For example, don’t use words like yesterday or today—say
recently instead.


·If you
are unfamiliar with the show, the person who sets up your interview should give
you briefing materials in advance about the host and the format. Will the host
put you in the hot seat, try to make you look stupid, attempt to make you sound
more knowledgeable than you are, be fair, be honest, have a personal gripe or
personal preference about your issue? If the regular host will not be doing
your interview, seek the same information about the guest host. Also, determine
whether you will be alone on the set with the host. Will other guests be
sitting on the couch before you, or will they be interviewed while you are
sitting there? Learn what you can about the other guests as well as about the host
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