The media are relying more than ever on Zoom and Skype interviews on live broadcasts. It's challenging but not impossible to come across well. The traditional 'down the line' live piece to camera is definitely moving aside to change, once again, the way we consume our media.

Kids in the background, cats throwing up, bad pyjamas and old college photos - what once would have been seen as a potential viral hit is now just par for the course and accepted as the new way of giving an interview remotely. That doesn't mean you should forget being professional though.

We've all seen some really awkward online interviews, but they are becoming a must-have for media outlets large and small. Here are five tips for giving a great online interview and how to make it work for you, and avoid becoming a meme;

Check your surroundings

If you're at home in an office space or your kitchen (please, not your bedroom as we saw one White House staffer do!) - check around for not only personal items that distract the viewer but anything that might lead to easy identification of more than you want to give away. Personal information such as birth date or family members.

You may be in a safe office environment so please make sure you don't have any confidential or sensitive information on the walls.

Watch where you put your camera

You know how distracting it can be to watch someone on their video call when they are looking down into their laptop. You don't want to know that people are looking up your nose instead of concentrating on what you have to say. Try to position the camera slightly above your eye level so that you are inclined to look up. This gives a better perspective of your face and encourages you to speak more clearly.

Use discreet headphones

Using headphones is smarter than trying to use your computer audio, it helps you appear undistracted by background noise (usually dogs barking or kids screaming) but try to get a pair that fits in the ear rather than over the head. This will give you more freedom and you'll appear more natural. A squashed face doesn't do anyone any favours and you'll move your eyes according to the sound in your ears the more covered they are, which can make you look shifty.

Don't use backgrounds

Using fake backgrounds looks terrible not only because we all know you aren't on the beach or in a fancy wine bar or a really expensive office complex, but it also cuts out certain parts of you as you move in and out of the camera angle. It's much better to prepare a tidy and professional area to speak from and if you know you'll be on camera many times over, try getting a pull up banner that's super affordable and helps raise awareness of your brand.

Allow for a delay

With any kind of live broadcast there is always a short delay but when you take into account different internet speeds, the inevitable speaking over someone due to delay can be handled smoothly simply by taking a pause. Not only does it ensure that the conversation flows more freely and you're not losing time on the interviewer having to repeat questions, but you have a moment to truly think before giving an answer.

March 7, 2022

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