I recently got back from a trip to Florida. I was gone for three days, and I packed for fun. Yes, I brought my laptop in case I needed to do a little work in the morning before we set out, but I was there for vacation, not work.
When I got an email from a TV show host I’ve worked with for years asking to do an interview one morning, I immediately found out I was in trouble. I could do the interview by Zoom through my laptop, but I didn’t have a few essentials to look and sound great.
In this episode, I am going to share a few media essentials you should consider putting in your travel bag to always have with you so you can look and sound great doing an interview while on the road.
The video quality of your laptop’s built-in webcam is terrible. Its resolution is probably no better than 720p, but you also have no way to zoom in or out. Instead, get an external webcam that connects to your computer through a USB connection.
External microphone and headphones
Just like the poor video quality, the audio quality of your laptop’s built-in microphone is terrible. too. Use a microphone that connects to your computer through a USB connection. You can get one small enough to travel in a tech case that still sounds great.
I have a Logitech Brio webcam that fits both roles. It has an HD camera with a mic that’s certainly good enough for a quick interview. It’s not a professional sounding mic, but it works for an interview you need to do quickly.
Also, using your computer’s speakers to hear the host can sometimes cause an echo, so using headphones or Air Pods can help.
Adaptors for the webcam and/or microphone.
Most devices have USB-A connections, but newer laptops, like my MacBook Pro, only have USB-C inputs. Make sure you have what you need to use your webcam and microphone. I had my Logitech Brio webcam in my travel tech kit, but I didn’t have a USB-C to USB-A adaptor.
The lighting can be a huge challenge in a hotel room. You don’t want an open window behind you, as you will appear very dark. But the hotel lamps are often not very bright, and they are usually not somewhere useful for the interview.
Buy one or two external lights that clip to your laptop. These are inexpensive, small, and make you look much better than you will with the lighting in the hotel room.
With respect to the lights, look at your appearance before the interview, and make sure there are no mirrors behind you that will reflect those lights.
Ethernet internet or the premium internet from the hotel
The complimentary Wi-Fi in a hotel room can be spotty with an entire hotel’s worth of guests using it. If it’s an option, pay the extra fee that day to get the faster internet. It’s usually more reliable with video signal quality. Better yet, if there is a way to connect the internet directly through ethernet to your computer, do it.
If you aren’t sure your internet is good enough, test your internet upload speed with the Speedtest software. You want an upload speed of 10 MBPS, but ideally, 50 MBPS is better. Here, upload speed is what matters, as your audio and video have to reach the station quickly and cleanly.
Professional clothes to wear
You don’t have to travel with a suit. Just have something that looks like you’re an adult who knows what you’re talking about.
Not only did I not have a suit, I didn’t even have a scrub shirt, like the one I’m wearing now. You can see it if you’re watching the video version of this show. Since I did that interview in a Nike t-shirt (seriously), I learned my lesson. Now I have a scrub shirt in my travel suitcase, and it will stay there so I don’t forget it on any trip.
Work with me to master remote TV interviews
One of the things I do with the clients I work with one-on-one is that you and I decide what types of interviews you should be doing to grow your business. Then we identify exactly what equipment you need – a basic level and a pro level – depending on how many interviews you’ll be doing. Then I teach you how to use them so you can deliver a great interview from anywhere.
Now please remember, that just like my website, my coaching and everywhere else, that I am not giving business, financial, legal, medical or any other kind of advice here. Talk to a professional for advice specific to your situation.
If you want to learn more…if you want more customers, more clients, more patients, you want to make more money, you want to be recognized as THE expert in your industry, or you even want people you don’t even know to come up to you at the gym or in the grocery store, thanking you for helping them, I can help you become a Media PRO.
Sign up for a FREE 30-minute media strategy session with me. We will see where you are and what you’re trying to achieve in your business, and then plan some strategies for you to get more media interviews and appearances to achieve all those goals and far more.
Pick up my FREE eBook – The Media PROS Interview Checklist, offering you a handy reference full of tips to shine in your next media interview or appearance so they keep asking you back, over and over.