Being interviewed can be intimidating. The reporter is there, pen in hand, ready to write down every word you say. And if you’re lucky, he/she has a voice recorder to capture sound bites possible ammunition to later debunk any claims you make during the interview. If you’re not careful you may feel as though you are in an interrogation room.

This may be your initial reaction to an interview, but the truth of the matter is interviews are conversation-like. And the more prepared you are, the better chance you have of making it more of a conversation rather than an interrogation.

It’s true the reporter will write down a lot of what you say, so use that to your advantage. It is best to have two, maybe three main points you want to get across during the interview. As frequently as conversation allows, return to those key message points throughout the interview. The more you return to those points, the better chance you have getting the reporter to take notice and include them in the article. Repetition is key just make sure you don’t sound like a broken record.

Just remember to keep it conversational. Chose your words carefully; remembering that this is an interview and not mindless chitchat with your drinking buddy. Anything you say can, and will be used. It’s up to you to get your point across clearly and concisely.