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So has anybody had any experience with this sort of thing. I don’t want to mess it up and I was wondering how or if I can take advantage of this.
Definitly take on Teknorat's advice but it will probably be cut alot if you do it too much. You will find they will usually guide you through the process. Are you leading the subjects or are they. I either case, have a agenda prepared before hand. You can never be too prepared.
From what I am seeing (I have some questions from the interviewer. The agenda?) she already knows where she is going and I am suppose to help her along and help myself in the process.
Am I seeing this right?
Basically, what you need to aim for is a sort of script or outline. If they are asking questions, try to narrow down which questions or subject areas. Just try everything to avoid being put on the spot with a question you can't answer or a subject matter you are not confident in.
Simple statements that sound profound, or quotable statistics, are always good for this purpose. If they edit your interview down for later broadcast, these are the kind of things that won't end up being cut.
Think about all the questions that might come up, and try to have answers for them. Also figure out how to bridge from various questions to the points YOU want to make.
Be prepared for the unexpected, too. My short interview was live, and I was in a different city than the NYC-based host. Thirty seconds in, someone in Atlanta pulled a plug (or tripped over a cable ;)), cutting the connection to NYC. My "window" on the broadcast went blank, and the host scrambled to fill the gap, immediately cutting to a commercial. When they restored the connection and the show resumed a minute later, he ad-libbed some humor about the disconnect and asked me something meant to be funny - needless to say, I hadn't expected this line of conversation, but I managed to reply and throw the conversation back to the host without looking completely foolish. I don't know how you prepare for that kind of thing, but try to be relaxed and confident (or pretend that you are!).
One other thing I wasn't prepared for were the studio lights. I've done news interviews in the past, mostly on location using ambient light or modest supplemental lighting. The studio I was in had a couple of giant banks of lights that were a few steps away from my face and were only slightly less bright than the surface of the Sun. "Look at the camera," the tech instructed. I was pretty sure there was a camera somwhere behind that wall of blinding brilliance, but it was all I could do to keep my eyes open without squinting or shading them with my hand. (I think they were unusually bright to allow balance with daylight from a window behind me.) Even with my conscious effort not to squint, I think I looked a bit squintier than normal.