A few things that started during the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be staying with us, and one of them is the popularity of virtual interviews. As a book publicist will tell you, it's big news for authors promoting their books. It's a far cry from pre-pandemic biases against virtual appearances and demands that authors appear in-studio or by satellite from a local TV station. It means more guests are available to any program and saves authors the time and expense of traveling. Book marketing campaigns now can count on an increased number of video interviews without setting aside a large travel budget.
Authors and thought leaders who want to do their best in virtual interviews are wise to keep several suggestions in mind. One of the first is to make sure the audio quality on your end is excellent. If viewers have difficulty hearing you, the interview will not go well. Headsets and earphones with a built-in microphone are the best way to do it. Also, don't forget to eliminate background noise. If you appear from home, it means ringing telephones, doorbells, and of course your personal electronic devices, which need to be placed on silent. You want to quiet any background noise that could distract.
Before you appear virtually, ask your publicist to confirm the preferred video conferencing app with your media hosts. If it's not one you've used before, try several practice runs with friends and family until you feel comfortable with it. Once the interview is underway, keep your eyes on the webcam, which equates to keeping your eyes on the interviewer. If you look away or at other places on your computer, you'll appear uninterested (or impolite) to those watching. It's also essential to keep your laptop or tablet plugged in during the interview -- it would be embarrassing to have a battery go dead suddenly.
If you haven't done so already, invest in an excellent high-speed internet connection for your home and office. You want a smooth, uninterrupted connection when you're appearing as a virtual interview guest. Anything less and your interview may not go well, looking subpar to the audience watching and reducing your chances of being asked back for a future show. Keep your webcam at eye level. Having it above or below your face creates an awkward angle that's generally unflattering. Last but not least, once you establish the connection, never forget everything you say and do can be seen and heard by others.