Five On…the lead up to a live interview

1) Beware of careless chatter with the producer on the way to the studio
It’s often a fairly long walk from reception to studio. Keep the conversation banal. Don’t reveal confidential information, doubts about the veracity of your evidence, or whether you are the right person to be doing the interview. I’ve heard all of these over the years.

2) Expect to be kept waiting
It’s always worth checking as soon as you arrive whether the running order is on schedule. Accept (within limits) that a delay is inevitable in live broadcasting – if you let it get to you, you’ll invariably be in the wrong headspace when the interview finally takes place.

3) Assume every microphone is open and every camera is live
You Tube is littered with examples of those whose reputation has been undermined by an ill-thought and off-the-cuff remark meant for closed doors but broadcast to the world.

4) Expect to be ignored by presenters in the lead-up to your interview
Particularly if you are part of a live sequence, programme junctions used to bring guests in and out of studios are often crucial opportunities for presenters to clarify urgent issues with the gallery. Their last priority is to make sure you are feeling at ease in the moments before the red light goes on.

5) Remember what you had for breakfast
This sounds ridiculous but it’s the sort of information you are often asked for by sound engineers who want to gauge the level on your voice. Say more than “toast”. Even if that’s all you had. Make something up – engineers normally need at least a sentence, and in the breakfast context we reckon that means describing the Full English.

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