Have a sound byte for your TV news interview

I’m 24 and have made just two appearances on TV news, so take this piece of advice as much or as little as you’d like.

But a friend was being interviewed by her local news affiliate and asked for any advice I might have.

I offered her what I thought was most important: have a sound byte ready.

If you know the topic you’re being asked about, prepare 30 at most and nearer to 10-15 words with a punch. Remember that TV interviews are meant to elicit simple answers, so the questions tend to be pretty straightforward. Slide your prepared byte in and move on.

I did this very thing when I was briefly on Philadelphia’s Fox affiliate talking about e-waste. My prepared byte didn’t even make the cut, but, as I’ve been told myself, if you don’t have a point, they’ll find one — and you might not like it.

Generally the advice is the same for any interview: be succinct, be clear and be on point. If you start rambling, that’s when journalists like me might quote you on something you won’t like.