If you’ve ever spent a weekend in Artists Alley, you’ve seen Comics Podcasters walking the aisles looking for interesting projects and people.
Podcasters, Bloggers and even Comics Journalists will interview undiscovered artists just because their work looks cool or because the pitch for their comic was great.
These opportunities have proven invaluable to Lora in her career as an indie comics creator. She has developed genuine friendships with members of the Comics Press and they are the ones that she calls whenever she has an important announcement about her comic.
The problem is, if you’re ever approached by a member of the Comics Press, they’ll ask you about your comic or your experience at the show and you’ll have about one minute to answer.
So how do you respond?
We’ll give you 3 tips that will help you make a strong impression in the first 60 seconds of an interview.
And at the end, we’ll tell you about an upcoming opportunity for some of you to be on OUR comics podcast!
Artists Alley Interviews: Lead With Your 15 Second Pitch.
Chris recently posted a video about The Common Flaws Of A Comic-Con Pitch here on the site. The discussion in the comments among our community of ‘Wingerz’ generated some mind-blowing results.
We recommend that you check out the video, the comments and download our FREE Cheat Sheet that walks you through the process of designing a great Comic-Con Pitch.
It will help you find the human point of view and engage your story’s universal human emotions in those listening.
You need to prepare a pitch that is about one or two sentences long.
Hook their emotions. Don’t confuse the interviewer, his audience and yourself by pitching off-the-cuff.
Artists Alley Interviews: Turn On The Charm.
This is no time to be self-concious, nervous or shy.
You can freak out when the interview is over.
Don’t expect the interviewer to pull you out of your shell.
If you’ve already shelled-out the bucks for a Comic-Con booth don’t waste anyone’s time by shirking responsibility.
HERE’S THE SECRET: The podcaster or journalist is looking to you to make his show or article interesting. Help him out.
He just listened to TEN other artists before you drone on and on with vague and confusing tangents about their “sci-fi thrillers” and confusing ‘movie mash-ups’ like “It’s Joe Vs. The Volcano meets Star Wars meets Pride and Prejudice” …whatever that means.
HERE’S YOUR CHANCE: Surprise him. Not just with your interesting, engaging pitch, but with your interesting, engaging person.
Entertain for a minute and perhaps he’ll stick around for two. Feeling nervous about trying to “entertain”? Just stick to your prepared pitch. We’ll talk about your well-prepared anecdote in just a minute.
If the interviewer gets chatty, just remember that the most interesting thing about you is YOU. Let your geek flag fly. …it is a difficult challenge so have some grace for yourself.
You are both there for the same reason. So share your unbridled passion for a minute. If all you do is geek-out together and connect in that way, he might invite you to be a guest on his show.
Artists Alley Interviews: Tell A True Story About The Con.
People remember stories.
It’s harder to remember ideas or concepts. Have you ever tried to communicate a concept and then realized that “So-and-so said it much better.” Your brain has a harder time retaining the details of an abstract concept.
But retelling a story is so much easier, isn’t it?
Human beings learn, teach and communicate through stories.
The “A led to B led to C which resulted in D” quality of stories makes them much easier to recall and repeat.
This is true for interviews in Artists Alley too.
If the interviewer asks, “How is your show so far?” and you say…
“I’m having fun, there are a lot of great costumes. Maybe sales will pick up this afternoon.”
…you’ve still said nothing. Nothing memorable, at least. And it’s nothing the other ten artists haven’t already said.
Instead, pick a moment in the show that stood out to you, and retell that story. Practice it. Write it down, edit it and read it back to yourself, if you have to.
Here’s an example of a story that will stick:
“I’m having a great time! An incredible thing happened on my way into the show this morning. I was juggling my cart, my portfolio and my coffee when all my prints all slid out of the case onto the floor. In a panic, I tried to catch them and in the process I dropped my coffee cup!
As my coffee was about to splatter all over my prints, someone swept in out of nowhere, caught my coffee cup and saved my prints! When I looked up to thank my hero, I was shocked to discover that it was Stan Lee himself! He gathered up my prints and escorted me the whole way to my table, prints in-hand. Unbelievable. I’ll never forget it!”
Okay, before we start any rumors about Stan Lee, we must make it clear that this is a completely fabricated tale. Although Stan Lee might not have rescued a hundred dollars worth of your merchandise, something interesting has happened to you.
But even if your story from the Con is not as dramatic as the geek-fantasy we just made up, it doesn’t matter. You were hooked the minute the prints fell out of the case, right? The Stan Lee part was just the cherry on top.
It’s a story with a universal human emotion. …the “My dog ate my homework” emotion. That’s the same kind of universal human emotion that you must find for your Comic-Con pitch.
If you can’t think of an anecdote from the Con, then make one happen. We don’t mean you should lie or falsely contrive something. If you take action and reach out to others, stories will happen. Just seek out the universal human emotion and tell your stories with that in mind.
Spend as much time preparing as you need in order to feel comfortable. Prepare a 15 second pitch and a memorable anecdote so you have confidence under pressure.
The point is, if you’re prepared, you won’t get paralyzed.
Whatever happens, try to bring your A-game every time but get comfortable with failing. Just shake it off and get back in the game right away if you drop the ball.
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What are some other ways you could make a memorable, true story “happen” at a Con?[ this post was co-authored by Lora Innes and Chris Oatley ]