How to prepare for TV

21 10 2009

These pointers for anyone going on TV.  I work at a local TV station and watch people with great companies or non-profits to promote.  Some knock it out of the park, while others are a train wreck.  I hope to help anyone who is looking to do their first TV appearance.

Step 1 PRACTICE!!!!!! Nothing is worst than watching someone from bright and cheery with the host before the cameras go on to someone just freezes the second we go on the air.  If possible contact the studio and find out who will be hosting and what questions will be asked. It’s not cheating to do so.

Step 2 Be Prepared. Have a package ready with pictures, props (if necessary) and the points you wish to cover and anything you would like to be shown on a graphic, such as the correct spelling of your name (It happens) to your website, phone number or a brief description of your event.

Step 3 Be Interesting. Think the 4 w’ and 1 h of journalism. Who, What, Why When and How.  As a side note learn the art of the soundbite. Be able to summarize your point in a sentence or two max.

Step 4.  Be Relatable…. you were charming enough to get on TV. Just relax and talk to the host. Don’t worry about looking into the camera, your focus should be talking to the host and answering their questions.

Step 5. Be on TIME!!! If you’re scheduled for a certain time be 10 minutes early.  If you are going to be late CALL!! It’s still possible to be on that days show. If you are the last guest and you’re late don’t count on being on as the director as most likely has filled your spot.  (Take this as the average…always call the studio beforehand to find out their rules.)

Step 6. Be patient. The Control Room is a busy place. A lot happens in there…DO NOT interrupt them unless it is absolutely necessary. Someone will let you know what is going on during a commercial break.  Technical difficulties happen!! DO NOT panic. When on live TV anything happens, just roll with it.

Step 7. Be Presentable. Clean hole less clothes, no swear words  or indecent images. Think of this as a job interview. Even Chelsea Handler asks her losers to dress nice.  Also don’t wear clothes or accessories that make a lot of noise.  Mics pickup everything.

This is just a basic list but you follow these rules you will find that your TV appearance will go a lot easier.