A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be on Fox Business’ Willis Report. Gerri (the host) wanted to interview me for a live segment about not saving enough for retirement. Her producer had stumbled upon one of my US News “On Retirement” articles.
At first, I thought “no way am I going to do this. I will totally embarrass myself.” But, thanks to some encouragement from Mrs. PT, I decided to go for it. I replied to the producer and learned that I would be doing a 5 to 6 minute segment towards the end of Gerri’s show the following week. While I was relieved I had some time to prepare, I knew I wouldn’t get much sleep for a week.
I spent the next few days preparing like crazy. I researched clips of Gerri’s show, TV interview tips, and I even contacted Liz Weston who shared some excellent advice for being in front of the camera. I prepared for my segment by breaking down my 5 points into “talking points”, 30 to 45 second snippets of information.
I also spent the next few days preparing blog posts on each of my talking points. That way I could expand my knowledge of each of the points and be prepared for any follow up questions. This is why I wrote on social security, inflation, retirement estimates, and college expenses the last 2 weeks. In addition to this, I recorded a podcast about retirement savings with my friend Austin of Foreigner’s Finances.
I also searched through Gerri Willis’ 5 Tips articles from back in her CNN/Money days. I stumbled upon a piece she wrote on retirement, and absorbed it to gauge her thoughts on the subject.
Finally, to borrow a sports term, I practiced like I was going to play. I spent a lot of time giving my talking points to the camera, the blank wall, Mrs. PT, and just about anyone who would listen. Going into the segment, I felt confident and prepared.
On the day of the show, I arrived at the Fox Business Network affiliate location here in Dallas. I sat through 40 minutes of the show and then was asked to step into the camera room. By the way, if you’re doing one of these remote live segments, you don’t get to see who you’re talking to. I stared at a camera and listened to Gerri in my ear piece. Made it pretty difficult. But I survived. Here’s the final product (excuse the poor quality, as it’s merely a bootleg from the TV):
After the show, I received a couple of emails with questions about retirement. One, concerning finding a local CFP, I’d like to possibly share here on the blog. Hopefully my segment hit home with a couple more viewers and they’re able to take some nugget away from my talking points and save more for retirement. That’s what I kept telling myself throughout this whole process. If I could just help a few people, give them something they didn’t know before, then, regardless of the “um’s and ah’s” or misteps, I could walk away from the experience knowing I didn’t fail.