Tips for doing a TV Skype interview
Skype interviews are the new norm for TV but so many of them are just awful to watch.
Normally as a business leader, professor, researcher, or politician, you have a journalist or cameraman advising you on where to stand and where to look. With Skype you are on your own to a large degree so here are some tips.
As a TV reporter for 30 years, I can tell you that lighting, framing and audio are key. The other mistake people make is not thinking about the background.
The exposure from a television interview where you are promoting your brand, your research or commentating on breaking news is invaluable. Make the most of it by ensuring your Skype studio is set up so that people concentrate on what you are saying and are not distracted by where you are looking or how you look.
The better the lighting the better the video will look. It’s important to remember that computer webcams and smartphone cameras need a lot of light.
An easy solution is a ring light because it provides even light or alternatively place lamps (with shades) on either side of your computer.
Do not look at the screen. Always look at the computer’s camera and NEVER tilt the laptop screen back. If you do that the audience will be looking up your nose and no one wants that.
The webcam should ALWAYS be at eye level.
Computer and smartphone microphones are not the best option for quality audio.
Plug in a separate microphone and remember to go to Skype’s preferences and select that microphone as your audio source. Some TV control rooms will elect to use your phone as the audio source.
DO NOT use a blank wall. In a word it is BORING.
If you have a bookshelf, use that (but try to tidy it).
If you have a cabinet that is the right height, make that your backdrop.
Remember though, if you have personal photos or items that you don’t want the world to see, remove them. And as a last resort, every cameraman will tell you, that in the absence of all else find a pot plant and put that in the back of the shot.
My home study is now doubling as a TV Skype studio and sometimes it can take some off-air trial and error to fine-tune the audio, lighting and set-up, fortunately, that can also all be done via Skype.