As an entrepreneur, getting the word out about your enterprise and even about yourself will be crucial to your success. One of the best ways to do this is by getting the media to pay attention! If you are successful and managed to get invited to a TV interview, this short guide will help you prepare for it.

Before you meet the press

Research: A good journalist will do research on topics relevant to you and your enterprise before they speak with you on phone, radio or TV, so you need to be prepared for the hard questions. Make sure you dig deep on the issues in your sector, get all sides of the issue, and take a position which represents your interest as an entrepreneur.

Know the Journalist: You must understand that journalists are each unique in their mindsets and interests. You can never tell the motive of the interview, so never go for an interview without proper research on the previous work of the journalist. This will help you to get their style of interviewing as well as other information before you sit on that set.

Dress your Business: When I was a teenager, my mother would always say ‘dressing is magic’. Your business is regulated by a sector and there is always a 'specific look' for each sector, regardless of your country. If you are an engineer, dress like an engineer. If you are a banker, dress like a banker and if you are a farmer, dress like a modern farmer. Every business has got a dress sense – find yours and own it.

During the interview

Relax: It is normal to feel a bit nervous while being interviewed, but being calm and charasmatic will ensure that those nerves don’t show at all. Breathe normally and smile.

Use stories: Share stories based on personal experience. This will enhance your interview and bring your idea to life for the public, who will be emotionally engaged as well.

Don’t use jargon: Not everyone will have the same in-depth knowledge of your sector as you do, so keep your words simple, but truthful. Express passion in every statement you make.

Sales Pitch: When you are on TV, you have an audience. Take this opportunity to really make the sale. Think about what action you want your audience to take after the interview is over. Do you want them to go to your website? Do you want them to join a cause? Make it very clear to them how they can take action for the next steps.

After the interview

The questions may be over, but your relationship with the reporter has just begun and you should proceed accordingly, if you are to remain in their good graces in the future. 

As a responsible entrepreneur, do not forget to thank the reporter. Leave the door (relationship) open and keep updating the journalist periodically.

Remember, nothing is once–off! Whenever you find yourself around a journalist, take the opportunity to sell yourself to investors, stakeholders and prospects. Remain consistent, because people are watching!

By: Bimbola Adewole, host of The Job Show Africa

Photo credit: Andr3w A/ Flickr

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