A lot has certainly changed in the past year. Most broadcast interviews moved to Zoom, Skype or other virtual platforms as even the anchors and reporters worked remotely. Now with the nationwide vaccine rollout, we may see a return to in-studio and satellite interviews, but virtual interviews will remain an option. No matter where your next CNBC appearance — or any national broadcast interview, for that matter — will be taking place, there are some finer points that will help you nail it. Read about them here and don’t forget to check out the video at the end of this post for a full demonstration of what we mean.
● Make sure your talking points are relevant. Breaking news, individual companies and trending topics like SPACs, cryptomania and politics drive the coverage, so keep that in mind when providing your commentary.
● Be ready to do your research and defend those talking points. For example, if you are discussing individual companies, check what’s going on with them just before your appearance so you’re up on the latest news.
● Consider how you look to viewers. You’ll want to wear solid colors and avoid patterns, sit up straight and look directly into the camera. We’ve become accustomed to staring at other people’s faces over Zoom and maybe even looking at our own faces on the computer screen. But if you want viewers at home to feel like you are engaged with them, you need to look directly into the camera. To avoid bad posture, sit on the front edge of your seat with your feet firmly on the floor. Don’t swivel back and forth in your chair — that’s distracting and sends viewers the signal that you aren’t confident.
● Offer advice. The anchors may ask, “What are you buying?” or “What should I be doing?” Get comfortable with sharing what you and your firm are recommending to clients in regard to the topic you’re discussing, whether it be SPACs, cryptocurrency or the day’s market moves. The highest percentage of CNBC viewers is composed of 30- to 49-year-olds, so keep that age group in mind when providing your guidance.
● Incorporate pithy sound bites that paint a picture. To come up with these sound bites, think to yourself, “How would I describe this to a 5th grader?” That can often help you simplify the concept with a good real-life example that anchors and producers will love. Here are a few examples we like:
“It’s like one of those Jenga games that becomes top-heavy, and if something changes that’s not expected, it could all fall down.”
“Congress could teach Hollywood a thing or two about drama right now.”
“It’s like standing on the train tracks and a train is coming at you. Are you really going to play chicken with it or are you going to jump off the tracks?”
● It’s not just what you say but how you say it. You always want to be energetic and enthusiastic, so viewers are excited to watch you and listen to what you have to say. But upping your energy level does not mean increasing your volume. No one wants to listen to you shout. You can show energy by varying the pitch of your voice and talking with your hands, as you normally would in conversation.
● Speak in a way that gets your message across. Avoid industry jargon and think about your pacing. Many people talk faster when they’re nervous but that speed makes them hard to understand. At the same time, if someone is talking too slowly, it can be difficult to grasp the point they’re trying to make. Act like you’re talking to a friend or family member, so that you remain conversational, use pauses for emphasis and remember to take a breath.
For additional insight, view the video below!