In public relations, like many other departments and industries, we have several tools in our toolkit that we use to help tell our clients’ stories. A great way to do this is through visual (video) storytelling. Much like a reporter digs for a story, we do the same within our clients’ organizations to find gems of information that we can share with their audiences. Whether you are a PR professional interviewing a client in front of a camera or you’re internally interviewing your colleagues via a video recording, here are five tips to help guide a successful video interview, all while making your subject matter expert feel comfortable and look their absolute best.
- Avoid asking yes or no questions: By giving them open-ended questions, you are giving them the opportunity to tell their story like only they can.
- Prepare your questions in advance, but leave room to explore: It’s always good to be prepared. However, it’s equally important to let the conversation flow organically. You may go into the interview with a clear idea of the story, but through the conversation you may uncover something that piques your interest. Go ahead and explore that topic. Not only will you learn something, but you may find that the new topic is more important to the audience than what you set out to uncover.
- Get the interviewee comfortable: It’s not uncommon for even the most seasoned public speaker to clam up in front of the camera. That’s why it’s important to help them warm up before you get into the meat of your questions. Ask them about their day, what they plan to do over the weekend, pretty much anything to put them at ease.
- Ask your subject to rephrase your question in their response: This makes the video editing process much easier down the line. In most cases, the interviewer (you) will be edited out of the video so you capture only the experts telling their stories. By rephrasing the question in their response, the story will flow better.
- Be quiet: Are you an active listener? Do you say, “mmmhmm” and “right” while people are talking to you? You won’t want that on camera so it’s important to ask your question and then let your interviewee talk. Nodding is a perfect way to show your subject that you’re listening, make them more comfortable and keep the tone friendly.
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