When being interviewed by a TV reporter, look behind you...

When we do TV interview simulations with clients, one of the tips we always touch on is to be aware of the backdrop behind you. TV reporters will often tell you to 'stand right here', positioning you where they think they have the best shot. And often the person being interviewed thinks, "Hey, they're the professional....I guess I'll stand where they want me to."

You have a right (I would suggest an obligation to your employer) to stand wherever you like while being interviewed. Take a quick look behind you. What do you see? Is that something you want to have in the frame as you're speaking? For example, if you're doing an interview at a trade show or conference, it is your company's name/logo behind you or someone else's? Why give free advertising to a competitor? If you're a firefighter talking about how the fire is under control, do you want the viewer to see flames shooting out the windows behind you? Perhaps the image of fire trucks and emergency professionals would convey your message more effectively. You can say to the reporter, "I think I'd be more comfortable standing right here" and then turn so that the desired scene is behind you.

Which brings me to our friend, Sarah Palin. This clip is from a TV interview she gave just before Thanksgiving. It's just over three minutes long. I've watched it twice. And I can't tell you one thing she said. The reason? I was too distracted watching the turkeys behind slaughtered directly behind her. Yes. You read that correctly. Click play if you dare and let this be your constant reminder to take a quick peek over your shoulder before that little red light goes on.