There are some television news field producers, always in a rush, who take an easy route to supervising the editing of an interview to use on air. They ask the video editor to ‘fast forward’ until the interviewee makes a move – crossing of legs, waving of hands, grimacing or other ‘tell.’ At this point, the producer says “stop and play that bit” and the two sit in comfortable silence while the interviewee says something that is newsworthy, alarming, self-incriminating or merely the brushing away of an errant fly on his/her perspiring forehead.
The moral of this little tale is, “learn how to be a good interviewee’ or sit and stand like a robot in front of the inquiring lens.
One of the skills to learn in becoming a good interview subject and, thereby, a good representative of your organization, is the art of the gesture. For instance stay away from things such as patting your forehead, rubbing your nose or waving your hands in front of your face which makes that part of your interview unusable on air. Don’t give away your inner fears by moving your legs at an inappropriate time. Instead, learn how to mark the parts of the interview you want used on-air with your designed tells – neat crossing of legs, expressive hand gestures below face level, smiles or serious eye contact with off-camera interviewer.
Good media (and speaker) training can cover such physical parts of speaking skills that will buttress your vocal messages. Training will teach you how to sit or stand for an interview so you don’t look terrified of the interviewer or bored with the whole exercise.
Remember, that field producer is looking for anything that may interest or even excite his/her audience. You want to get across the most important points of your message to the huge audience watching television or computer screens. Good gestures can help ensure the wants and needs of you and all producers are in sync no matter how the editing is accomplished.