7 Keys to On-Camera Interviewing

Congratulations! If you’re doing a Customer Story Interview, you’re on Step 3, the final “prep step”!

Whether or not you have been directed to this page to help prepare to showcase your nonprofit in a #Changemakers interview, these 7 Keys to On-Camera Interviewing will make you the best interviewee you can possibly be. It’s important to cast the best light on your organization and its mission when you are interviewed about how you started your world-changing nonprofit.

AND REMEMBER – Yippiekiyay has an informal and fun attitude and we hope you can share that spirit by relaxing and having fun during your talk with our staff. Our customer journey interviews generally take about 20 minutes. If you prefer to learn via video, here’s a video with CEO, Christian LeFer running through the 7 Keys (otherwise, scroll down below this video for the 7 Keys, transcribed):

1. Be Enthusiastic!
Most people nowadays are watching and listening to interviews on their tiny smartphone screens, so it actually helps if you sit up, speak up, gesture, and use facial expressions in a way that’s a bit more exaggerated than you normally might – you’d sure have to if you were ACTUALLY stuck inside someone’s iPhone!

2. Keep it Simple
The best thing you can do in any interview is keep your ideas simple, and to answer in one or two short sentences. What makes it easier on the viewer (and your nonprofit’s potential donor) is if you can come up with a way to explain your ideas as simply as possible.

You’re not trying to get ALL the information across, just enough to have the viewer find you and your cause interesting. They are more likely to follow up if they are left wanting more information instead of hearing so much they “tune out”.

3. Be Prepared
This may sound obvious, like something your parent or teacher said to you, but it may help to prepare by closing your eyes and visualizing the discussion going really well, or by preparing some answers ahead of time and rehearsing some answers.

And having your “Elevator Pitch” down in this awesome 1 sentence format never hurts, either….
“We help ___________________ (the community you serve) by providing __________________(your nonprofit’s general activity or service) so they experience __________________(the result you aim to achieve).”

Want to go big and cast the vision about why this is important? Just add, “…so that __________ (describe how the world will look different)”.

4. Take Your Time
A several-second pause is perfectly fine. There’s no rush, and unless you are on a “live” video feed, you can always start an answer over, to recover from a stutter or misplaced word. This will also help you avoid “filler words” (such as “Um”, “Uh”, “So”, “Yeah” or “Well” – typically appearing at the beginning of each sentence) which can make a great interview sound like amateur hour.

5. Listen
Listen to the actual question before you answer. You may think you know what’s going to be asked, but one word can change the entire meaning of a question. This also helps you keep from starting your answer before the question ends, which can create headaches in video post-production.

6. Don’t Get Something Stuck In Your Head
We all go into interviews with some idea of what we want to say and how we want to say it. We sometimes get catch-phrases or sound bites stuck in our head and then we look for the perfect opportunity to use them. Unless we know the questions ahead of time, it’s doubtful we’ll be able to use these sound bites effectively. Let the interview flow naturally and something insightful is sure to come out.

7. Ask for Clarification
Don’t be afraid to ask a reporter or interviewer to clarify or to repeat question. You may be able to relax even better if you verbally repeat the question back to the interviewer in your own words, so you can speak from the heart more naturally by really soaking in the question
Thank you, and get ready to bring your awesome nonprofit to the interwebs!