In today’s #tvtuesday blog post, I’m asking questions to television journalist Bryan Piatt.  He shares some valuable information about what can make you a better TV interview, as well as some tips to keep in mind for when you are being interviewed.

Q: What’s your role at your TV station?

A: I’m currently a producer/reporter for KARE 11 Sunrise, NBC station in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and have also anchored newscasts. In addition, I’m currently the host of the Refresh Network – an online platform nurturing conversations about mental health.

Q: What makes someone a good interview?

A:  I think the biggest thing is to be yourself in the interview. The best interviews that I’ve done are with people who don’t show up with a fixed mindset, but are willing to roll with the flow and see where the conversation goes. Don’t worry so much about trying to memorize certain talking points. Rather – bring your own, unique style to answering the questions and try to remember that an interview is truly just a conversation between you and another person – even though it can feel a little weird at first with cameras around.

Sometimes people feel like they have to morph into another person when the camera starts rolling. Although the camera can have that affect, the more you can bring YOU to the conversation, the better it will be. Don’t feel like you have to use fancy words or anything just because it’s television. Talk like you would to your best friend.

And don’t beat yourself up if you trip up on your words or feel like you didn’t word something exactly like you wanted to. It always feels WAY worse in our own minds.

Q:  What are some tips you can share with people who are going to be interviewed for television?

A:  Talk directly to the person who’s interviewing you. You don’t have to worry about looking at the camera, unless they instruct you to do so.  A lot of people I interview ask what they should do with their hands. I always tell people to do whatever feels most comfortable. Feel free to use them as you would in a normal conversation. And lastly – take a deep breath. I know the bright lights and camera can be a bit nerve-wracking but, go out there and be you.  You’ve got this.

Q:  Which social media platform do you pay the most attention to?

A:  I’m active on most social media channels, but I pay the closest attention to Instagram. Direct messages on there will usually catch my attention the quickest.

Q:  What is the best pitch you’ve ever received and why?

A:  I work on specific types of stories at KARE 11 and when I get a pitch that specifically is catered towards that, it general catches my attention. Be mindful of not making pitches too long. It is really helpful when they are simple and to-the-point.

Follow Bryan on Instagram @bryanpiatt or follow his Refresh Network on Instagram @refreshnet.  You can watch his latest Refresh Network video here.