media prep master the media

How Body Language Sabotaged the Media Interview

man standing with arms folded

June 9, 2015

Who’s that speaking? Is it you or your body? In a media interview, you have to worry about what you say, but you also have to be aware of your body language. Studies have shown that as much as 90 per cent of communication is non-verbal. Whether you like it or not, people judge you on a number of levels. And, your body language can directly affect how you are received and whether your message is believed by the audience.

What is your body saying?

People make assessments based on your body language. Are you confident? honest? trustworthy? credible? Make sure you give the impression you want to give.

Body language is often interpreted negatively.

  • Rigid posture can suggest fear so try to relax.
  • Putting one arm over the back of the chair can suggest you’re too relaxed and the subject matter isn’t that important to you.
  • If you slouch, you can appear uninterested or lacking in confidence.
  • If you tilt your head too much, you can look puzzled and unsure.
  • Crossing your legs and ankles at the same time like a pretzel can make you seem insecure.
  • Crossed arms can suggest a closed mind. They can also make you appear defensive.

Do you look nervous?

Repeated mannerisms such as pushing back eyeglasses, pulling on a beard and moving hair away from your face or twirling the ends can all make you look nervous. Shifting from one foot to the other when you’re standing or bouncing one foot when you’re sitting with your legs crossed can also be a dead give away. If you fidget in any way, you’ll look nervous.

Important for both broadcast and print.

Positive body language is critical for TV and video interviews, but your body language can also be a factor in face to face print interviews. The reporter who is sitting across from you can also interpret your body language. If they pick up on something negative, it could possibly affect the questions, the whole direction of the interview or even the way in which the final story is written.

Body language can undermine your message.

You can be saying all the right things, but if your facial expression is inappropriate or your body language isn’t in sync… or if it’s saying something altogether different…you could be sabotaging your interview.

media prep master the media

Irene Bakaric


(905) 616-0660