Video interview checklist: How to nail your media interviews and appearances for thought leadership

Cindy Zuelsdorf

Updated: Jun 29, 2023 · 3 min read

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Cindy Zuelsdorf, founding partner of marketing automation agency Kokoro Marketing, shares her top interview and media appearance tips for small business owners hoping to build their thought leadership presence.

These days, it's so easy to produce a good video and post it almost immediately.

That means doing interviews online or at events is part of the game when it comes to building your brand. Video lets people get to know you and trust you, which is crucial for small business growth.

We all know how important it is to do video interviews and panel appearances, but we get nervous, right? Whether your company is big or small, established or new, you need to be prepared to give a great interview.

If I have an interview to do at a tradeshow or on Zoom, I rely on this list to make sure I do the best possible job. And when my team is helping clients get ready for an interview or appearance, this list is the framework for the preparation.

1. Choose what to say

Knowing what you're going to say in advance is everything. It can feel challenging to figure out what to say during the interview, so let's figure out what to say ahead of time.

  • Memorize an opening and a closing blurb. Knowing how you'll open and close is key and will really change your comfort level.
  • Choose two or three points in the middle. You may not end up using them all, but have a few prepared. You could have a couple of customer stories in mind — remember you can tell a story about a client without sharing their name, if need be. Stories are a great way to get your message across and will be easy for you to remember.
  • Consider what action you want viewers to take after they watch. You could offer something such as a guide, checklist or trial that’s useful to your prospects. A good call to action puts the prospect in your marketing automation system so you can continue the conversation.
  • Avoid the sales pitch. Focus on providing helpful or educational information.

2. Prepare and practice

Practicing works! Here are some key things to think about in preparation.

  • Grab 'em in the first 10 seconds. Say something the viewer cares about in the very first part of the video.
  • Keep it concise.
  • Make sure you prep and do your homework beforehand. You can do an awful lot of damage if you can’t talk about your product or service in a compelling way.
  • Do a few run-throughs with a colleague. Video yourself with your phone and give it a look.

3. Look and sound like a pro

These techniques will ensure your interview or panel appearance is top-notch, especially if the session is recorded on video.

  • Talk with the crew or interviewer in advance. Ask them if you can do another take, if there will be b-roll, and if they want you to look at the camera or look off camera.
  • Plan where you want to do the shoot. Know what’s in the background shot and have something behind you.
  • Hold a few seconds at the end for a nice edit point so you can transition to a call to action and get prospects into your marketing automation system.
  • Want to see which lighting, software and systems Kokoro Marketing uses for videos? Here's the team’s list of favorites

Cindy Zuelsdorf is a Keap Certified Partner and the founding partner of Kokoro Marketing, a marketing automation agency for broadcast media and high-tech companies. Find out more about Kokoro and how automated marketing can start sales conversations at, and text INTERVIEW to +1 530 203 5703 to get Kokoro Marketing’s full video interview and appearance checklist.

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