By Susan Tomai, Founder, Oratorio
In Oratorio’s media training sessions we always interview our clients on camera (even if we’re preparing them for a telephone or radio interview), and we shoot them in a wider frame than in most typical TV interviews. Why? We need to see what the clients are doing with their hands in order to assess their overall image. Ultimately their on-camera performance should be a confident combination of compelling messages, comfortable eye contact, expressive gestures when speaking, and steady hands when listening to the question.
Often in the early stages of a media training session the answers may be spot-on and confident, but they’re contradicted by wringing of hands, pulling on cuffs, fiddling with rings, or squeezing fists so tightly that it looks as though the reporter might be about to get punched.
Gestures convey a great deal of information – in some cases, even more than words. So when you’re listening to the question, let your hands rest calmly on your knees (not in the tentative-looking clasped-hands “prayer meeting” position). Then when you begin speaking, bring them up between your solar plexus and your chin for gesturing. This conveys confidence and will keep your audience focused on your important messages.