Top Tips To Giving a Great Skype Media Interview via Professor Kelly and the BBC


In our agency’s meeting training workshop, we help clients prepare for every interview eventuality. Increasingly, this includes live video interviews via Skype and Facebook.

A few days ago, Professor Robert Kelly reminded us all how a Skype interview can go awry without the proper planning.

Kelly, who works for Pusan National University and is a regular contributor to broadcast and print news on the topic of US policy in Korea, appeared on BBC World to discuss the impeachment of South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye.

Kelly did a fine job setting the room.

  • A map on the wall created visual interest while reinforcing his area of expertise.
  • Books were stacked on what appeared to be a table behind him.
  • Kelly is well-lit and positioned in the center of the screen.
  • He is sitting far enough back from the camera to make the viewer feel comfortable while making him look professional and fully in frame.

However, Professor Kelly forgot one item on our standard Skype interview checklist:

 Secure Your Location; Lock the Door – Make sure no one interrupts

Surely, we’ve all seen the interview by now and that amazing moment when Kelly’s daughter – quite adorably – sashays into the room and is quickly followed by her little brother in his baby walker. Kelly calmly swatted away at his daughter and she cheerfully and unwittingly knocked over the carefully arranged books, revealing that it was not a table, but rather a bed.

Kelly tried to keep his cool, apologizing for the disruption and attempted to return to the serious subject at hand.

A mere second later, a panicking woman – Kelly’s wife – skids into view at the doorway desperately trying reach the errant children and get them out of the room. In a very funny few seconds, she is seen maneuvering them out of the door and closing it behind them, as viewers heard the wails of a disappointed toddler echoing down the corridor.

Of course, this comedy of errors endeared Professor Kelly to the viewers and made him an instant viral hit online.

But, it also serves as a great reminder of how to prepare for a Skype interview. Here are some of our top tips from Brandware PR’s media training workshop:

Check Your Connection – Test your Wifi connection in advance

Consider Your Background – Keep it simple and branded, if possible

Avoid Bare Walls – Add visual interest, but be relevant to the topic at hand

Secure Your Location; Lock the Door – Make sure no one interrupts

Use Earbuds – You need to be able to hear them clearly

Wear Solid Colors – Busy patterns move and jump on camera

Look Into The Webcam – Look at the viewer; not yourself

Create Space; Sit Back – Don’t get too close to the webcam

Center Yourself – Be sure you are in the center of the screen

Check Your Lighting – Make sure you are well-lit and not in shadow

Turn Off All Notifications – You don’t want your inbox pinging you

Use a Professional Skype Name – “PartyMan69” will be a turn off

For more information or to schedule your own media training, visit Brandware PR.

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