The Pitch Episode 169: Entertain, Educate, Pitch
You might need to go to an open mic for practice. Learn the winning formula for a three-minute TV interview.
Entertain, Educate, Pitch
A TV interview is not a platform to make a straight pitch on your product. In fact, if you do it, you may never be asked back for another interview. Before you make a pitch on a TV interview, entertain and educate. Whenever I’m coaching an expert or client for broadcast interviews, I tell them they have to do three things in three minutes, and in this order: entertain, educate and pitch. A bad interview is one that starts out with a pitch. You should never do this or you will not be asked back. A boring interview is one that starts out with a ton of facts and information. Producers always fear this, which is why, especially when I’m pitching someone with an impressive resume, they always ask for clips of other interviews that the expert has conducted. They are not checking to see how brilliant the person is; they could see that on paper. Rather they are checking to see if the expert is lively, fun, engaging, quick, down-to-earth, relatable and knows how to answer questions, not just give lectures. I’ve had national television producers ready to book medical experts I’ve pitched based on topic and expertise, but then see a clip they don’t like and it doesn’t go through. Some of the reasons why they tell me they pass is because that the expert is too flat, low energy or stuffy. “The Pitch” challenge today: work on your entertainment value. If you are not naturally charismatic, take an acting class, try stand-up comedy or test out your humor with a group of friends in social settings. The warm up to a pitch for a TV interview is critical to how much time you will ultimately get and how engaged the anchors will be with your material. If you do a good job of entertaining and educating, then most media will not mind allowing your pitch at the end, as long as it’s not overly commercial, because you’ve earned the spotlight.
How can you strengthen the skill you are weaker at?
Where are some places and spaces you can practice these three skills in social settings to test out the balance of your entertaining, educating and pitching?