Media Training Basics: warmth
Warmth is perhaps the most elusive. Some people have it by the bucket-load even if they are not the most polished interviewee. It is worth a lot. If you don’t have it naturally on-air you can try the following things.
- Try smiling more, particularly at the beginning or end of an interview. Even on radio, you can hear a smile.
- Try to be less formal. Often people lack warmth because they think they are required to be very, very serious and correct.
- A trick I have often used is to ask the interviewee to pretend they really like the interviewer. Of course, in reality, they probably hate the presenter and the process but if they can pretend or act ‘attraction’ or ‘affection’ it will come across. Clearly, this could be taken too far and it will be acting. When coaching people we find that once they hit the right tone – and then watch it back on video playback – they can usually find it again. With coaching, it will become their default on-air tone at which point it is ‘job done’.
Getting the tone right is half the battle and will compensate for other missteps in an interview. In the end ‘people buy people’ as the saying goes: so developing a good on-air presence is something worth working on.
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