By Roz Morris, Managing Director, TV News London Ltd
When you’re watching an interview on video or on TV you expect the people talking to know what they’re doing. You may not think at all about their eyeline – where they’re looking – but you will always notice if they get it wrong.
The point is that if people are looking in the wrong place, at the wrong angle, you can’t help noticing it. You will think something is a bit strange and unprofessional about their delivery. You will wonder why they are looking in the wrong place and why they don’t seem to know how to look at the correct angle.
And – most important of all – you won’t be listening to them. Why? Because the wrong eyeline is very distracting. It stops you concentrating on what people are saying. Correct eyeline isn’t an optional extra. Eyeline is everything in terms of gaining and holding your audience’s attention.
So, when you have to give a video or TV interview, remember the two simple basic rules:
EYELINE RULE ONE – If you have an interviewer sitting opposite you, then you must look at them and nothing else – throughout the interview.
EYELINE RULE TWO – If you don’t have an interviewer with you and you have to talk to the camera, you must look at the camera and nothing else – throughout the interview.
It’s a fixed gaze and it’s very unnatural. It’s not like normal life where, when we talk to people, we can look away at times. However – for on-screen interviews, if you look away, it breaks the spell of attention with your audience.
It may look easy when experienced spokespeople talk in videos or in TV interviews, but it’s not a natural mode of communication. You have to practice it so that you can come across as the expert you are in your videos and your TV interviews.
And your best way of practicing and learning correctly is to come on one of our media training courses. Because if you don’t, you’ll make basic mistakes and people will think you’re less professional than you are. Also you will be disappointed and feel that you could have done better.
At TV News London we can give you expert media training for making your own online video statements and also for giving effective professional broadcast interviews.
To find out more watch Roz’s video below or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org