By Lisa Elia, Publicist & Expert Media Trainer

MISTAKE # 1. Assuming you’re “a natural” because you’re a good public speaker or you’re good at making your own promotional videos. When you have the pressure of answering questions quickly, it can be much more challenging and can fluster even the most confident people.

TIP: Practice being interviewed by a challenging interviewer. (When I conduct media training sessions, one of the many things I do is to play “jerky reporter” and ask tough questions and then I help you develop answers and strategies to deal with this type of situation in the real world.)

MISTAKE # 2. Providing long answers to questions. Many TV and radio interviews are brief, lasting just a few minutes. So, you have to provide concise, meaningful responses to questions.

TIP: Get your messaging down. Think of answers to the most common questions you think you will get and rehearse them, but not word-for-word; just get the content down. (Messaging is one of the first things I work with clients to develop.

MISTAKE # 3. Not knowing enough about the media outlet and its audience. The more you understand the media outlet you’re being interviewed for, the better able you will be to communicate with the interviewer or host appropriately and provide examples or anecdotes that suit the outlet’s audience.

TIP: Research the media outlet and the interviewer prior to your interview.

MISTAKE #4. Trying to be funny when you’re not. While humor is welcomed in many interviews, don’t try to force it because it won’t come off well.

TIP: Be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Sometimes a straightforward, clear interview is EXACTLY what the outlet wants and EXACTLY what will attract potential clients or speaker bookers or sponsors who may be watching or listening to you.

MISTAKE #5. Being unaware of the camera. You can’t just BE on camera and forget about, although the most polished show hosts and guests make it look that way.

TIP: Ask how much of your body is included in the shot and where the camera operator wants you to look. Sometimes you will be asked to look at the camera, sometimes next to it and sometimes somewhere else. It
varies from show to show.

To hear from them directly at our Meet the Media Day event on October 15, visit

Lisa Elia, CEO and founder of Lisa Elia Public Relations, is a publicist and expert media trainer who has secured placements for clients in major media outlets, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Time Magazine, USA Today, CNN, Redbook, In Style and hundreds of others. She has positioned clients for book deals, endorsement deals, positions as contributing editors to magazines and even their own TV shows.