Maximize publicity opportunities with preparation and practice.
(Continued from Sacramento Business Journal Article 8.22.2014)
When it comes to TV interviews, how you look is just as important as what you say. TV is a visual medium, so what you wear, your expression, and how you come across matters. TV is called a “cool medium” because it ‘cools you down.’ If you’ve ever been on the set during a live segment with news anchors, you’ll notice that their energy level goes up 10-fold when the camera is rolling. That’s because if they had a normal conversation or reported as if they were talking with a friend, their audience would fall asleep. TV cools down your expressions and your inflection; therefore, you need to come alive on TV.
Here are three things you can do to look great during your next interview.
Smile. I know this sounds rudimentary, but watch someone who hasn’t been through media training: more often than not, they don’t smile. And if you don’t smile, you come across boring — or worse, mad. Even when you think the camera is not on you, smile. We don’t ask for a full smile at all times, but for TV appearances we teach our clients to maintain a “media smile.” This is a slight upward turn of the mouth. It’s not quite a smile, but it lifts up the face in a way that makes you look more alert, friendly, and appealing to an audience. No matter what the subject matter — happy or sad — a media smile is always essential in coming across positively on TV.
Lean forward. It may feel a little unnatural, but leaning in (or forward) 15 degrees creates the most flattering look for you when sitting. It helps you look more alert, as well. Leaning in provides engagement and helps you look focused. You will look more interested, and your interview will come across more engaging.
Speak up. Remember, this is a cool medium. This means when you talk in your normal voice, you sound fine – in person. But your normal voice translates on television as soft-spoken and not terribly interesting or engaging. Speak up, get excited and if you feel a “little over the top,” you’re doing something right – it means your audience is probably paying attention.
When it comes to TV, be happy, lean in and speak with passion. Do these things, and you just might get a second interview!