How Long is Too Long?

In radio or TV interviews, avoid very short or one-word answers, as you will usually sound defensive or unhelpful.  Equally, nobody likes a waffler – so what’s the ideal length of answer?  Usually around 25-30 seconds works out as a good average length in a typical short, sharp 2-3 minute interview on radio or one of the TV news channels. This means there’s enough scope for a genuine conversation with points being batted to and fro, while avoiding the dull monologue. It also greatly decreases the chance that you will be interrupted mid-flow by a follow-up question, or a point being pressed if you don’t appear to be answering the question – because the interviewer can see you are not just talking interminably or going off at a tangent.