You’ve landed a television interview. That’s a great opportunity to tell your story and represent your company. That’s a big job to do in just a few minutes. Keep in mind, the average news story runs under two minutes. But if you do it right, you can help build your company’s name recognition and your credibility.

Preparation is a must for any television interview. The audience you’re trying to reach is overloaded with information. Think of the hundreds of messages they see each day online, in print, and on the air. How are you going to get through?

The key is to develop your message in advance of your interview. Think of the two or three most important points that are critical to communicate. Your message must be simple, distinctive, and relevant to your audience. It should be memorable and evoke an emotional response.

Once you know what you are going to say, make sure you have several different ways to say it. Craft several sound bites to support each point.

If you haven’t gone through media training, be sure to do several “practice” interviews in advance of the real one. As you think about how you’re going to deliver your message, keep these suggestions in mind:

  1. Simple is better. Small words are great.
  2. Brevity is better, too. Use short sentences.
  3. Reinforce your credibility by giving specific examples, citing studies, or sharing personal experiences.
  4. Consistency matters. You have to repeat your message more than once for it to stick.
  5. Ask a question to make a point.
  6. Raise a flag to the audience that you are about to say something important. “What you want to remember is…” or “This is really important…” or “At the end of the day, the key point is…”.

Successful spokespeople find a way to do more than just answer the reporter’s questions. They also answer with their message. Repetition of your important messages is critical. Planning and practicing your message in advance is the best thing you can do to achieve success.

Lastly, here are just a few words of caution. Use the hosts name sparingly, if at all, unless you truly know the person. Make sure you understand a question before you answer it. Don’t repeat a negative, rather, replace it with your message. Lastly, stay positive and calm. Smile. Good luck!