Whether on radio or TV, there is no going back with a live interview. If you stumble on your words or need to pause and re-phrase with a pre-recorded interview you can, but with a live interview you just have to keep going!
Given a choice we would always recommend accepting a live interview over a pre-record. It may be more daunting but you’ll get longer on air and if you work a key message or brand mention into the interview it’s not going to get cut out. With a live interview, because you never know how long you’re going to get on air, always try and get your main key message into the first or second answer.
That depends on the question, you say. But you can answer a question then slip a key message in too. We use a technique called ABC:
Acknowledge the question.
Bridge – find a form of words that will help you weave your answer on to a different topic. “What’s really important to us……what I can say is…..”
Change to a subject you really want to talk about.
Pre-recorded interviews are arguably less pressurised than lives, but more challenging in that you have less control about what will go out on-air. The skill here is to weave in your key message multiple times, in the knowledge only one answer will ever get used.
There is one more type of interview that can be both live or pre-recorded, on radio and television; that is a down-the-line interview. In radio, this is often conducted via a mobile or as part of one of our radio days over an ISDN line in our studio. But in TV it often means a spokesperson talking directly into a camera in one studio whilst being interviewed by a journalist in another part of the country. Most spokespeople find this difficult as you have no visual eye to eye contact to gauge when to start or stop talking. Practice for this is highly recommended for obvious reasons. Shout! Communications offer both TV interview training and radio training.