Blog

  • October 11, 2010

    The Importance of Having the Right Words

    Broadcasting is a highly specialised area, and few people are really comfortable with a tough radio or television interview, no matter how senior and how skilled they are in their specialist fields. That isn’t surprising: exposure to the sharp end of the media is usually infrequent and the studio environment can seem strange and intimidating.

    Any interviewee, however experienced, is dealing with a professional interviewer who is operating very much on his or her home ground. They are masters of all the techniques needed to coerce their guest into giving them a good story. And as we all know, a ‘good’ story in their terms can mean a disastrous one from the interviewee’s point of view.

    Just cast your mind back to a couple of classics: British Rail wasn’t a complete laughing stock until a spokesman came out with that immortal line, “It was the wrong sort of snow”; and Ratners the jewellers didn’t have to change their name until Gerald Ratner described his own products in less than glowing terms!

    So a studio training ‘refresher’ can be a distinct advantage. Recently, one client approached us a few days before the CEO was to appear as a guest on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Unreliable Evidence’ programme, presented by that notoriously sharp inquisitor Clive Anderson. After the programme, the client’s communications manager emailed to say:

  • The Meaning of TV

    Much of the difficulty for anyone faced with a radio or television interview is the factor of uncertainty. What will the studio be like? How will I be treated by the producer and interviewer? How will I look and perform under bright lights? Will I have to wear make-up? Will I noticeably perspire under pressure? How should I deal with any questions I’d rather they hadn’t asked? These are just a few of the issues confronting someone who has never been in a broadcast environment before.

    Those who do have experience can still benefit enormously from practice, constructive criticism, hints and tips. Advice and help on performance, including use of voice and body language, are very much part of the course. It’s surprising how many areas for improvement can be identified by an impartial observer.