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If you are in the information marketing field, chances are you’ll be asked to be a interview GUEST. Whether it’s in person to create a product, or over the radio as a guest, you’ll very likely be in this position.

I have done over 2,000 interviews with a wide variety of business leaders. The VAST majority of the folks I’ve interviewed are AWFUL as interview subjects. For many of those folks, it was merely a lack of practice and understanding the basics.

Here are the BASICS YOU need to know:

1. Get comfortable with the format and procedure. No matter what kind of interview you are going to do, you can practice IN ADVANCE of doing it. You may not be able to create EXACTLY the same environment, but you can get pretty close.

If you’re doing a face to face interview to create a product, put something in front of you that simulates a microphone and have a friend do a MOCK interview. If you’re going to be interviewed over the phone for a radio interview, ask a friend to grill you BY PHONE and ask you some tough questions.

Don’t do this just once. Do it a number of times to get as comfortable as possible BEFORE you have to do the ACTUAL gig.

2. Know your 3 MAIN POINTS. I don’t care if you’re a politician or an expert on exotic birds. Have 3 points that you intend to communicate to folks that are listening. Make sure that you get them in at some point during the interview. EVEN IF you have to “shoe-horn” them in. What I mean by this is getting in a point or two without being asked the question that would demand you answer that way.

3. Be short and pithy and ANSWER the QUESTION asked. When asked a question, keep your answers TIGHT. Short and to the point. Make 1000% sure that you answer the question you’ve been asked. There is nothing worse for those of us listening to hear you blabber on for a few minutes and then have the host say: “But, could you answer the question I asked?”

4. Speak clearly and don’t OVER annunciate. You hear this all the time in the “small” markets around the country. If you don’t live in one of the bigger cities, watch the folks who do your local commercials on TV. They will OVER pronounce words to make them clear. It may make them clear, but it sounds completely UNnatural. Don’t do this. Make your speech clear and easy to understand but ALSO make sure you can be understood. I learned this in a 10 week class years ago that was called a “Spokesperson Intensive.”

5. Loosen up! People can hear it when you’re UPTIGHT. My suggestion is to take an improv class. Or, come to The Speaking School. This will help you reduce and in some cases ELIMINATE your nervous tension. You can find improv classes offered virtually anywhere. Including online at Improv For Everyone.

6. Educate first, entertain second, sell third. If you’re getting interviewed, chances are you’re trying to promote (read SELL) something. In order to get maximum benefit, you can’t LOOK LIKE you’re selling. When you do, people won’t buy. People WILL buy when you first give them good information. Educate them, entertain them a bit if possible, but don’t make your PRIMARY goal to SELL. If you do, you’re dead in the water!

Give me your comments. I’d like to hear YOUR experiences!

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