Tuesday Tip-Off: Where to Look During TV Interviews

Where to Look During TV Interviews?

That’s one of the most common questions I get in media training programs. It’s an important one because good eye contact communicates you are comfortable, confident and trustworthy. On the other hand, shifty eyes suggest you are nervous or worse, lying. Remember, your eye movement is magnified on video because the camera is zoomed in on just your face.

What is the answer? It depends on whether you are being interviewed by a reporter who is working with a photographer, one who is both operating the camera and asking questions (they’re called multimedia reporters “MMJs” for short) or if you are connected by Zoom, Teams, Webex, etc. Here are the techniques for each that I teach in my workshops:

Reporter with photographer – Look ONLY at the reporter.

MMJ – Ask where to look. Some reporters will start recording and step to the side of the camera, while others will stay behind it and ask you to talk to the camera or a spot in the distance.

Zoom – Talk directly to the camera, not down at your computer screen or keyboard.

In all instances, don’t let your eyes wander, and be aware of distractions. It’s always good to have a few key message points handy but avoid reading or glancing at them. If you need to use them, pause, look down and prepare your answer. Then, look up at the reporter, camera or designated spot and deliver it with confidence.

Performing on camera – with lots of video practice –  is just one aspect of many topics covered in my media training workshops. Message me to learn how I can help your organization create Superstar Spokespersons.