Being a guest on a TV talk show or radio program is a great way to build credibility as an expert in an industry. However, it's not as easy as many experts make it look, especially those who are well seasoned in how to interview with the television media.
Generally, this is how it works: An expert like an online entrepreneur, influencer, or possibly a non-fiction book author hires a publicist and then that publicist may succeed in booking a coveted TV interview for their client to promote their brand, product, or service.
What most of the clients don't understand is getting booked on a TV interview is the first step and what happens next determines if a client gains the credibility they're looking to achieve with an engaging on-camera interview or dismantles it all together if they are not prepared.
Unfortunately, many publicists will only help a client prepare with very basic media training and according to Marianne Schwab, a former national network TV talk show producer, "Some publicists do an amazing job of prepping their clients for an interview but so many do not and drop the ball. When I was working on Live daily talk shows, I'd work directly with expert guests to develop the interview segment into our show's version of infotainment. Guests only have about four-to-five minutes to nail their topic or demo and my job was on the line if each segment wasn't the best it could be or if a guest was a flop."
Media coaching, also known as media training, is a valuable service that is available and essential for experts who are just starting out to get booked as guests on talk shows. Depending on the coach, they not only help clients maximize the time they have for the interview by dialing in a targeted yet engaging message, but they also prepare them to look confident on-camera. Here are three key things to know about media coaching before a scheduled TV talk show interview:
1. Experts Make Interviewing Look Easy. The biggest secret TV viewers may not know is that even the most experienced on-camera experts prepare and rehearse for every single TV interview. Schwab says, "Think of it this way, professional baseball players don't show up for the World Series like they're there for batting practice. They spend thousands of hours preparing for the big game under the guidance of their coach. TV interviews work the same way - you don't just show up and wait for the questions to be thrown at you when you can prepare responses in advance."
2. Avoid Looking Like Bambi in Headlights. Media coaching is essential to learn the skills of mastering your message and time constraints of a TV interview, handling nerves, and according to Schwab, "You only have one chance to get it right when it comes to a talk show appearance and that’s where media coaching comes in. Knowing what to say when you get a curveball question so that you have a response and not a reaction is key to an on-camera delivery with poise and polish."
3. Skipping Media Coaching is a Recipe for an On-Camera Disaster. As a producer, Marianne Schwab's number one goal is to make sure that when her clients get in front of the camera that they look and do their best. "Every expert that I’ve ever worked with for TV appearances invests time in preparing for each and every interview so that when the red light on the studio camera goes on, they look like they’re making it up on the spot, but what most people don’t know is that they spent hours making it look effortless. If you skip media coaching, you’re gambling with your reputation since you could derail your credibility and all you’ve worked so hard for when landing a TV interview," she concludes.
Marianne Schwab has worked as a producer for over 25 years in New York and Los Angeles. Sheis currently the Executive Producer of CMP Media Cafe where she works with clients to develop compelling media hooks and story angles that get them TV and radio interviews in today's complicated media environment. She has created an online training that shares her insider secrets to promoting a business on TV talk shows and details the types of guests producers love to book as guests.