Media Training Tip #3 -Watch Your Body Language.

Even in positive interview situations, interviewees sometimes look tense or stiff, which can have a big impact on credibility. Before on-camera interviews, if there is time, do some exercises or walk around to relax your body.  Even if you are not going on camera, if you find yourself behind a radio microphone, the key is to take control of your body language and relax.

Have you ever seen a TV show where the person being interviewed is saying one thing but you find yourself doubting their words?  That’s probably because their body language is saying something different.  A former president of the United States lost a significant amount of credibility because of a facial smirk.  A grin which sent a signal of distrust to the world.  Maybe this grin was just a nervous reaction, but either way it significantly reduced the validity of his words.

Even when you are being interviewed by a print reporter, your body language will have an impact.  You must be confident in your message and confident in the way you display yourself.  Your energy and influence, if handled properly, could allow you to direct the interview in a positive manner.

I worked for a CEO (yes its the same CEO who keeps popping up in my blogs) who would conduct phone interviews by removing his shoes and walking around the office in socks.  Great idea for him because he relaxed, OK for the reporter because he could tell the CEO was relaxed. But…when it came time for on-air interviews or in station interviews he could not remove the shoes and he would get tense.  His voice would tense up, his eyes became smaller almost squinting and yes he had a weird grin.  It took years of coaching to make him understand the impact his body language was having on the public’s opinion of his organization.

Always be mindful of your posture and facial reactions.  One bad grin or one squinted eye could cost your company millions.