Being brilliant on air

Penny Haslam Blog, Coaching & training, Make Yourself a Little Bit Famous, Your visibility

Getting on TV and radio as an expert contributor is something I tackle regularly in my blog, but today we’re going to consider what you might do once you’re actually on air…specifically, how to do a brilliant performance, so you get asked back. 

You’d want to come across as someone who is calm and confident wouldn’t you? Ideally, you’d be clear and concise in what you’re saying. And you’d have some interesting stuff to say.

None of which is terribly easy to pull off and sometimes takes quite a few goes to feel comfy on camera or in front of a live radio mic.

On the red sofa this month

One expert I saw on TV this month was Helen Dewdney, a consumer rights specialist. She was on BBC Breakfast’s red sofa being asked about a new customer satisfaction survey that revealed how well some of the biggest brands in the UK are performing. Helen’s got a lot of experience of talking on camera about how to complain, mostly in pre-recorded settings – so doing a ‘live’ was a bit more of a thrill for her, but she rose to the challenge as you will see here (even when Charlie Stayt pronounced her name wrongly).

Quite a tricky interview really, for no other reason than the questions were all over the place…But Helen demonstrated the hallmarks of a great on-air performance.
So how could you do the same? With these 5 tips you can!

1, Be relaxed

-you can achieve this through body language straight off the bat. Helen sat back with one arm on the sofa as though she was really at home, even though she was probably quite tense. Don’t get too chilled out though, she was also leaning forward and showing enthusiasm.

2, Be animated

Helen used her hands to helps explain things and was facially expressive. Her face matched what she was saying which helped to underline her points. Static performers, who aren’t animated, aren’t quite as watchable or likeable.

3, Be passionate

If you appear disinterested, by being a bit flat (and nerves can do this to us) then viewers will be too. Ignite their enthusiasm! Even when faced with slightly odd questions that were really nothing to do with the survey, Helen remained passionate.

4, Be energised

You can energise your performance by taking some deep breaths before you go on and give it some welly when it comes to responding. Adrenaline can sometimes give you this lift, but some people find nerves takes them down a notch or two. So, identify which way adrenaline affects your communication and compensate.

5, Be clear and concise

Helen was really clear in what she was saying, which was useful for the viewers. Instructions or ‘how to’ information is great, but she was also concise – she didn’t waffle on. Equally she didn’t serve up one word answers, so the tip here is to watch the programme you’ve been invited on to and match the general duration of the answers.

The girl done good, and all of the above is applicable for other types of video. Say you’re asked to be interviewed for work, for the website, bear these five hallmarks in mind and it’ll lift your performance in a jiffy.

And if you want to complain (not about this email, thankyouverymuch), then here are Helen’s resources…

And link to her book How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results