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How to Conduct a Killer Live Video Interview

by Rebecca Nimon
April 18, 2018

Persuasive, riveting, funny or inspiring. Whatever the purpose of your live video, you want it to have a big effect on your audience.

For an interview-style live video, great content starts with the interviewer. And as the interviewer, it's up to you to lead the discussion in a way that puts your guest at ease and captures your audience's attention.

1. Research

A little background helps you come prepared. Conduct a quick search on LinkedIn and Google so you can tailor your questions to the person's education, background and position. Be sure you know enough about the topic to ask educated questions and adapt to the unexpected when on camera.

2. Outline the questions.

Jot down five to seven questions, depending on the length of the live video. Memorize them so you can have a more natural conversation. When questions flow naturally, the interview has a more relaxed, genuine feel. Have a copy in front of you in case you freeze. You can always ask follow-ups and add thoughts as they occur.

3. Make small talk.

It's never comfortable to be in front of a camera. Showing kindness creates a basis of trust. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. To ease any anxiety, smile and shake hands. Tell your interviewee a little about yourself and ask a few casual questions before you go live.

4. Bring a few essentials for you and your guest.

  • A warm drink or room temperature water (cold water is bad for the throat and voice)
  • Translucent face powder
  • Oil-absorbing wipes

5. Set expectations before going live.

The interviewee feels most nervous right before going live. Talk him through it while the videographer adjusts settings.

  • “Our team is here to make you look good. The lights make you look awesome.”
  • “You and I are just having a conversation. Just talk to me and not the camera.” You can clearly see the change in demeanor as soon as you say this. It’s much easier to talk to a person directly than imagine the audience through the lens of a camera.
  • “The most important thing with live video is to be authentic. So, it’s okay if you’re not perfect. Actually, it’s better. Just keep going if you make a mistake.”
  • If you have any hard-hitting questions he may not want to answer, ask if he’s comfortable answering before going live to avoid awkward moments on-camera.

6. Kick off the live video.

Address the camera to kick off the interview. Briefly share highlights about your interviewee and the purpose of the video. The interviewee will feed off the energy in your introduction and questions, so keep energy high and remain engaged throughout.

7. Ask easy questions first.

Get the interview rolling with simple questions that introduce your interviewee to the live audience.

8. Actively listen.

Avoid interrupting. Wait a couple of seconds between questions to be sure she's finished answering. She’ll mirror engaged and energetic body language, so be present.

9. Reintroduce your guest throughout.

If your interview is going to be more than 20 minutes, be sure to reintroduce your guest throughout the broadcast for anyone who joins midway through.

10. Make comments between questions.

Give the person a chance to breathe and show you genuinely care about what he has to say by responding with your own thoughts. Demonstrate you’re not just checking the questions off your list. Your comments can also reinforce key messages you want to highlight in the video.

11. Interrupt when she’s off topic.

If the interviewee begins to ramble or go off message, interrupt by summing up her last point, making a comment to show you heard her and directing the conversation with another question.

12. Ask follow-up questions and be flexible.

A good interviewer follows her instincts. Ask the questions necessary to get the best story and follow the story wherever it leads.

13. Wait to ask the harder questions.

On average, wait until you’re about ¾ through the interview. You’ll get a feeling for when he's warmed up and relaxed.

14. Ask the best question of all.

“Is there anything else you’d like to say?” Save this question for last. By the end of the interview, the subject trusts you, feels relaxed and is on a roll. This is the point where the interviewee will likely give the best sound bites.

15. Wrap up the live video.

Thank your guest for joining you. Remind the audience of the person’s name and position and sum up the main points or topics. Then end with a call to action.

An effective video grips your audience. It convinces, educates or entertains. A great live interview can be the difference between a dry, talking head and a persuasive video that compels the audience to act. As the interviewer, the difference starts with you.

This article was originally written by WordsFresh and adapted with permission for use here. To view the original article, visit WordsFresh.WordsFresh-logo-Brighter1

About the Author

Rebecca Nimon

Rebecca is a writer and project manager for WordsFresh. She also spent years as a multimedia producer for a video production agency — helping create video content for companies in industries that ranged from tourism to trucking.

All posts by Rebecca N. >

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