One of the challenges you face as an author doing traditional Media, is that often you only have about four minutes for a live TV interview. This is especially true for appearances on newscasts. How can you possibly get your points across in so little time?

The key is preparation.

I’ve worked in TV for 30+ years, have seen thousands of interviews, and have been interviewed by the media many times myself as a parenting author. So I know how an effective interview is structured.

The first thing you need to know is how long your interview is scheduled to last. Be sure to ask the producer about that when you’re booked. I’ve done several of these newscast interviews live on the set, and typically I would have 4 minutes, so let’s use that here:

1.   Take into account the time the interviewer will take to set up your interview and introduce you to the viewers. Now, you don’t control exactly how he or she will set up the segment, but you can provide a succinct Media Bio that when read aloud is around 10-15 seconds. So, figure on roughly :30 for this set up in total. Time remaining: 3:30.

2.   I know from experience that a question plus a well thought out, concise answer can take about 45 seconds. So, that means you have time for about 4 questions and responses. That will take approximately 3:00. If you’re sharing tips, you have time to list them one at a time and provide a concise example for each tip.  Time remaining is :30.

3.   The end of the interview, sometimes called the “outro” should take no more than :30 seconds. Typically you will be thanked for your appearance and often you will be asked where viewers can find your book or get more info about you. If so, you should be ready to provide a CTA (call to action) such as your website address or a social media account that viewers can follow to find more tips and resources. 

You can pack a lot of information into a short time, especially if you’re intentional about what you want to say. Four minutes can change your life, as well as the lives of the viewers you reach with your message. So, maximize those four minutes in the spotlight by being prepared. 

P.S. You know what else can change your life? When a producer calls out of the blue to book you on her show. If you’re ready, that is. Are you? If not, please get my free PDF Media Success Quick Start Guide: Ready for Publicity in 30 Minutes so you won’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!