At times, having a scripted, dramatised, or highly creative format for a video will be the best choice for your goals and audience. However, there will also be situations when the most compelling choice to meet your video requirements will be to have a talking-head interview video.
The ‘prompted interview’ technique is used to produce most talking-head interviews. This results in a simple, yet effective, immediacy of one individual speaking to another one. Since we are social animals, we are accustomed to making sense of our world in this manner.
Tips for Preparing for a Prompted Interview
If you were asked to participate in a video interview, then you might be wondering how to best prepare yourself. The following are some tips to help you on the day of filming so that things will run smoothly.
Don’t Rehearse What You’re Going to Say Ahead of Time
That might sound counter-intuitive and often it is the most high-profile or senior speakers who are tempted the most to rehearse what they are going to say ahead of time but resist this temptation.
Yes, it is true that in numerous situations in life, the best results are often produced by conscientious preparation. However, believe us on this, that this is not one of those times.
Rehearsed interview responses almost always produce wooden results. The speaker sounds and looks stiff and appears unconvincing. Audiences these days are very sensitive to responses that seem inauthentic on video and quite often rehearsed answers will be seen as false.
Trust Your Interviewer
When a promoted interview is in the hands of an experienced video production company, it will unfold in a nice conversational way where the speaker’s responses are spontaneous and natural.
It is very important for you to trust the interviewer. If the questions don’t go the way you had imagined, don’t be thrown off. Simply go with the flow.
What Not to Wear
Do not wear clothing that has random logos or slogans on them. They can confuse and distract the views if they are not consistent with the video’s branding.
Avoid wearing fabrics with busy patterns, checks, stripes, and spots. Sometimes busy detailed patterns can cause an odd effect where the camera produces an image that displays strange wavy patterns across the fabric. This can also happen with blocks of strong red.
Don’t wear jangly jewellery. In our daily conversations, we don’t tend to notice how much noises jangling bracelets, earrings, and necklaces can make when we are gesticulating and talking. Microphones, however, are very sensitive to these noises and pick up every rattle and click.
Don’t Be Too Cautious and Let Go
Prompted interviews are often steered so they cover the necessary messaging. However, they may also produce some real gems of anecdote and insight that no one had anticipated during the pre-production planning process.
Those uncovered aspects of your story are the elements that can really give the video a distinct personality and be especially persuasive or moving. They can provide those small moments that your audience remembers the most.
Take Your Time
When people feel under pressure to give a good performance in front of the camera, they often have a tendency to speak more quickly and become afraid of pauses. The reason they do that is that they don’t want to seem to be at a loss for words. However, it is often slower speakers who make the best impression with viewers.
Remember to Smile
If you smile at the beginning and at the end of everything you say it will help to make the interview much more engaging for viewers.
Research shows that in most countries if you smile, people are a lot more likely to trust you. This means they will be much more inclined to believe the things you say.
Show a Little Emotion
Quite often the strongest footage is captured towards the end of the interview, after the interviewee thinks their job is done and starts to speak freely from their heart.
What might seem like an overly emotional way for you to express yourself during the interview can often appear a lot more subdued on camera than you may think. When you show some genuine passion for what you are talking about it might be just the thing that is needed for your interview to be truly believable and engaging for your audience.