Great Interview Tips For Nollywood Stars

Have you noticed how uncomfortable most of our Nollywood celebrities are during a media chat or interview?


Well, I have. And I can categorically tell you some of the biggest offenders (Genevieve, Rita Dominic, Tonto Dike, Stella Damasus)…. For people who are constantly in front of a camera, it is ironic to see them fumble on live TV and interviews. A few have been able to mask this awkwardness with not so funny jokes (like Kate Henshaw), others constantly play with their hair to divert attention to something else.

Just yesterday, I watched Ivie Okujaye on the Spot (Ebonylive) with Ebuka, Zainab and Lamide. Anyone who watches the show will tell you how informal and fun the program is. The trio of Ebuka, Zainab and Lamide basically hangout on the couch and talk about topical issues with a fresh edge and a dash of wit. So their guests are usually celebs who would typically contribute to the discourse in a fun way. You know, nothing serious. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw Ivie totally self conscious on the show and she stuttered quite a number of times like a frightened child.

I also found her answer to the resemblance between herself and Genevieve Nnaji “too serious and rehearsed”.


Not to dwell on Ivie alone, Genevieve, herself is the queen of awkward interviews. Sometimes, I fear that she might pass out during a media chat. The “girl” constantly seems “troubled” during interviews. And then there is Rita Dominic, who shows a cocktail of emotions during interviews. She’s never too sure whether it’s time to smile, laugh or feign tears or a surprised look. Stella Damasus on the other hand gives out way too much information during interviews. For some reason there’s never quite a distinction between her personal life and her professional life. The former always gets in the way and she ends up saying more than she should.

Then we have Tonto who would be a reporter’s nightmare as she constantly spews ignorance from her lips; Tonto needs to read more and speak less. Quite a number of people find Omotola entertaining during interviews. I disagree. I think she is just as uncomfortable, but she masks it and thus, appears/sounds conceited.


How then should these celebs conduct themselves during interviews?
See these great tips below:

#Prepare: Whether you are giving a pre-recorded telephone interview for two minutes or appearing on a live show for an hour, it is essential to properly prepare for your media appearance. Make sure you are clear about your subject and think carefully about the key messages you want to convey. Concentrate on three points that you want to get across. Ask who will be interviewing you and if you will be appearing with any other guests, so you can research their backgrounds.

# Be yourself. Behind that star is a great and unique personality. Don’t be afraid to show or express it. Laugh if it’s funny. Stop giving cliche answers like… The hardest part of being a celeb is privacy bla bla bla… Or that you’re an actor not an actress. Just stop the cliches. Give your fans something fresh and new.

#Breathe: Take a nice deep breath before you speak. Your breathing and speaking rate should be steady and calm so you have time to think about what you are saying. This will help to avoid those awkward “ums”, “ems” and “ahs”. Try not to interrupt the presenter or other guests. Hand gestures can help you make your point, but try not to use them excessively. Smile and be yourself.

#Get a Media trainer (maybe even your worst media critic): There is no substitute for getting good media training from a team of experienced professionals. If you are serious about wanting to raise your public profile, then it is well worth investing in. Media trainers will talk through issues such as interview techniques and put you through practice interviews to camera which you can play back and learn from.

Thank me Later.

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