Sunday, January 23, 2011

What NOT to do Before your TV Interview

As smart as some of us think we are, God has a way of allowing us enough rope to either hang ourselves or ... embarrass ourselves into humility.

Take me, for example.  I've been interviewed on television twice before: once when Second Time Around was released in 2009 and once back in around 1989, just before I became president of the New England Chapter of RWA.  On both previous occasions, I was nervous.  Nah, that's not the right word.  Panicked is more like it.  Only in a good and happy sense, of course.

The first two times, I told all my friends and family--well in advance, just when my interview would be aired and how they could view it.  I did the same this time.  Only this time, I also plastered everything all over Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.  You know, like I'm supposed to do:  use social media to market myself and my new book, Taking the Mystery Out of Business.

The first two times, I allowed MORE than enough time to drive to the TV station.  I did the same this time.  Only this time, I made one, teeny, tiny mistake:  I GOT THE DAMNED INTERVIEW TIME WRONG.

As I was pulling off the highway at 6:15 a.m.--two minutes from the TV station and a full fifteen minutes early, mind you, I got a call on my cell phone from the TV producer.  She wanted to know where I was, because I was due at the TV station at 6 a.m.--fifteen minutes BEFORE.  She also wanted to know if I could get there in 5 minutes, which is when my interview was supposed to air.

I said I could get there in 2 minutes - which I did:  Thank God for the early hour and no traffic.  I managed to slip onto the set and get hooked up to the microphone with about 90 seconds to spare.  (No puffing after that sprint, either!)  My interviewer, Monte Turner, leaned over to me and asked, "What kind of business person are you that you're late to your TV interview?"

He was smiling, and said it in a kidding voice but, believe me, I didn't think he was funny.  (He probably wasn't laughing on the inside, either, even though we know each other and have done business together!)  If I'd had time to think about it, I'd would have been mortified.  The humiliation set in after I left the TV studio.

Yeesh!  I'm lucky they didn't tell me to take a hike.  I learned, once again, that no matter how confident you feel, no matter how often you've done something, no matter how much time you think you have, don't take any of that for granted.  These folks were kind enough to give me free publicity and I gave them nothing but an anxiety attack.

Oh, and a couple of free copies of my book.  It's the least I could do, right?

Here's the link to the interview, in case you want to check it out to see if my pounding pulse was really visible:


  1. OK, I know we know one another, etc. so outsiders might read my reaction as being biased but I assure you it's genuine. If I'd been shown that clip and asked which of the two people involved was the TV professional and which the inexperienced late arrival, I'd have chosen you as the professional. You were clear, convincing and unfazed by the fact that the man was shooting non-sequiturs at you, failing to listen sometimes to what you were saying and generally showing little awareness of the topics under discussion. Good job, Linda.

  2. Bill, You made my day! Just another reminder about why our friends are so important. (There's also a story here for another day...)