How to crush a zoom or insta-live interview

In this new day and age of social distancing, so many more things are done virtually. From doctors appointments to working out you can do anything over zoom. So, when a podcast, youtube show or maybe a friend with a large IG following asks you to be a "virtual guest," what do you do?

If you are preparing for a virtual podcast interview, YouTube show, or just a simple IG live interview, here are some of my tips to help you look and feel your best during your virtual interview!

Have extra light

It can be a ring light, a lamp, or professional level studio lighting, but whatever gets a little more light on your face will work. When I interview guests for my zoom interview series, 5-Minute Finds, and they are sitting in a dark room with no light on their faces it’s so hard to get good footage of them and really see their face and their expressions. If you are doing a podcast, a YouTube show, or a FB/IG live the people watching want to see your expressions and what makes you light up and come to life!

Use a mic

If this is possible for you, a mic is extremely helpful. Buying a simple and affordable mic on amazon can make or break an interview! A simple and cheap lapel mic can help the viewers hear you without strain. This also makes it easier on you to feel like you don’t have to yell at your computer screen. However, if you don’t want to use a mic or don’t feel comfortable using a mic, check your surroundings to make sure you are in a quiet location where your computer/phone mic can pic you up easily.

Take advantage of your background

Use your background to your advantage! Having some space between you and a wall is imperative. Sitting directly against a wall can make the view look shallow and doesn’t give you the best context. Sitting in a well-lit room with a wall a few feet behind you is your best bet. And if you are on a podcast or show to highlight something you do or a business you own, why not use your background to display that? I have seen authors display copies of their books behind them, or chefs do interviews in their kitchens or artists sit in front of their paintings. Whatever puts you in the context you want the viewers to see you in is best.

Elevate your computer/phone camera

You know how all those Instagram bloggers always have pictures taken from slightly higher than eye-level? That’s because it is the most flattering angle. Propping your computer camera up on something a few inches higher than your face gives you a much better camera-angle. I am not talking about having it way above you so that all we see is forehead, I just mean a few inches higher than eye-level. For instance, I used to put my computer on a few large books or folders, now I have a decorative box about 8” high that I sits on my table while I film. For an iPhone using some sort of an adjustable-stand to get your phone camera at just the right high works well also. (Side note, I don’t recommend holding your Phone camera, it’s unstable and your arms WILL get tired.)

Personal tip…. Have your notes on something other than your computer screen

If you are interviewing or going live and there will be questions for you to answer, my personal tip is not to have them on the screen where you are filming. If that is your computer, put them on your phone or a notepad, if filming on your phone, put them on your computer screen. Having notes on the same screen where you film is a recipe for disaster. Screens opening and closing, accidentally deleting something, it’s a mess. Plus, if you have them on the same screen the audience will see your eyes moving and it’s obvious that you are reading. I suggest making bullet points and keeping them down from your screen so if you need to look down a moment to see them it comes off naturally.

Thanks for reading and have fun on zoom, IG Live or wherever you are interviewing!

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