written by Karen Franse
In 1984, Gillette coined a slogan that it used in a very successful series of ads for its Dry Idea deodorant: “Never let them see you sweat.” The ads featured a series of period icons from fashion designer Donna Karan to sports coach Dan Reeves, all offering three tips to viewers that started with “Never something” and all ending with the famous “Never let them see you sweat.”
It’s good advice – particularly when you’re doing a live broadcast interview. If I were going to give you three tips to survive a broadcast interview with your deodorant intact, they would be these:
- Never let yourself be backed into a corner. Tough questions are nothing more than an opportunity to reframe an answer you were already prepared to give.
- Never forget the anecdotes. A good story goes a long way when people try to remember what you said.
- And, of course, never let them see you sweat. This is the hard one. When you’re being interviewed live, unless you’ve had some media training, it comes as second nature to use “placeholders” in your speech that buy you time to think – things like “uuummm” and “uhhh” will detract significantly from your message even if the message is good. If you are not experienced with live broadcast interviews and you have one coming up, get some media training from a professional.
Remember the three “p’s” for a successful interview: Prepare ahead of time; Practice your message; and Pinpoint your weaknesses before you are on the air.
After all, you can’t rely solely on your antiperspirant to keep you sweat-free.
Karen Franse is an account manager at Communication Strategy Group and has over two decades of experience in media strategy and outreach, copywriting, creative services and editorial project management.