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How to Appear Your Best on TV
by Brian Jud

Return to Public Speaking · Print/Mobile-Friendly Version

Television is the glamour medium in the broadcast industry, making you instantly recognizable to millions of people across the country. As you can imagine, there is tremendous competition among people to appear on these shows. Producers can choose from a wide variety of potential guests, and they want to be certain their choice is a good one.

When you arrive at the television studio, you will be shown to a waiting area known as the green room. There, the producer or host will introduce him- or herself to you and discuss the general direction of the show. Soon you will be led to the studio, and someone will show you to your seat.

When your segment starts, the host will introduce you. A segment typically starts with a close-up of the host as you are being introduced. The camera then moves to an establishing shot, showing the viewers how the host and guest are positioned. In moments, the red light on your camera brightens and you're on the air!

There are three major elements that control the way you are perceived by the viewers initially. These are your physical features, clothes and body language:

Physical features. There's not much you can do to change your physical features, but you can work with them. Use makeup to hide or accentuate certain physical features. Most women use makeup regularly and feel comfortable wearing it. If you are not familiar or comfortable with makeup, get assistance from a media trainer or from a sales representative at a local theatrical or cosmetic shop.

Attire. Dress to feel comfortable and create the image you want. Choose clothes that will not distract from your message. People should pay attention to what you say, not what you are wearing.

Choose colors that are best for you, given your hair and skin coloring. In general, dark colors are best for suits, and blue is a safe color. Earth tones and neutral colors work well on television, too. Before you choose your attire for any particular show, watch it or call ahead to find out the background color of the set.

Due to the combination of your general apprehension and hot lights, wearing wool may cause you to perspire more. Most studios are temperature controlled to compensate for the heat given off by the lights, but as Murphy's Law would have it, you will eventually find yourself on a warm set without air conditioning. Keep a handkerchief with you and pat your face dry when the camera is not on you. Do not wipe the perspiration or you will smear your makeup.

Accessories should be simple, non-distracting and quiet. Use them to complement your intended image. Jewelry should be functional, subtle and not so bright as to cause camera problems. Shoes should be shined and free from holes in the bottom. Glasses may be worn if needed to read; however, this is not the time to try your new contact lenses. Keep glasses and pens out of your jacket pocket, or they will distract the viewer from your message.

Body language. There are volumes written about body language and how you project an image through your posture, movements and gestures, intentionally or unintentionally. Since the bulk of your believability is projected visually, you can control your image by manipulating your body language.

Be seated comfortably with your forearms placed on the armrests. Sit toward the front of the chair and lean slightly forward. If you are seated in a large sofa, sit near the front edge so you are not enveloped in it, particularly if you are short.

Use your hands strategically and naturally. Do not use quick, stiff, contrived gestures, but practice making smooth ones that appear spontaneous. Use your hands and arms to reinforce what you are saying. Use your fingers to tick off points or emphasize your agenda items.

Do not look into the camera as you answer the interviewer's questions. You are having a discussion with your host, so focus on his or her eyes. Break contact periodically so you do not lock eyes and stare at the host constantly. Relax, enjoy yourself and you will sell more books when you are on the air.

Find Out More...

Getting on the Air - Brian Jud

Handling TV Interviews, by Vera Marie Badertscher

Help! I'm Going to Be on TV!, by Barbara Florio Graham

The Seven C's of Media Appearances - Brian Jud

Copyright © 2003 Brian Jud
This article may not be reprinted without the author's written permission.

Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader and television host. He is a prolific writer of articles about book publishing and marketing, a syndicated columnist, and a frequent contributor to the Publishers Marketing Association Newsletter. He also hosts the television series The Book Authority, and has appeared on over 500 television and radio shows. Brian is the founder and president of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association, and founder and president of Book Marketing Works, a book-marketing consulting firm (http://www.bookmarketingworks.com/).


Copyright © 2018 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors and may not be reprinted
without the author's written permission, unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor

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