7 Tips to Ace Your TV Segment. Be Ready For Your Moment in the Hot Seat!
Over the past 8 years, I have become a regular media contributor on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, starting a business, mom entrepreneurs, inventing, home-based businesses, marketing and using social media for business. However, it didn't start out that way. I was a Mom, starting a business, and trying to navigate may way with little knowledge or direction.
Over the years, I have made costly mistakes and learned the hard way. After 300+ media interviews on all the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & CNN), I have identified the key steps to acing a broadcast interview every time. My TV segment last week on NBC (pictured here at the news desk in Colorado) inspired me to write this post.
Broadcast media interviews represent a great opportunity to bring life, excitement and awareness about you and your business to hundreds of thousands of people. Unfortunately, live segments are over quickly and most people fail to make the most of this terrific opportunity. The main reason this happens is that live TV (and radio) eliminates the possibility of total control of your message and the ability to make revisions like other forms of marketing. The key to success is to recognize the areas that you can control and focus on them.
SEVEN TIPS TO ACE YOUR TV SEGMENT:
Think First and Then Come Up with your Outfit
Often when we get our first invitation to be on TV, there is so much excitement that we focus our attention on how we'll look (what to wear, nails, hair, etc.) rather than on what we say. THINK carefully about the message you want to share. Identify three main points that will both be interesting to viewers but also benefit your business and don't forget to mention your business name, website, product name or book title. Practice these points out loud over and over again until it feels natural.
Dress the Part
Once you have your message down, dress the part. Spend some time thinking about the show you will be on and the viewers that will be watching. My choice of clothing is quite different for the Wall Street Journal Report in New York than it is for ABC's Sonoran Living Live in Arizona. One is a hard business news program and the other is a soft news/entertainment show. Either way, never wear all white or busy patterns that make it difficult for the TV cameras. Solid colors are best!
Prepare Questions for the TV Host even if They Don't Ask for Them
I have found that if I send questions ahead of the TV segment to the producer, they will be used about 90% of the time. They may change the wording a bit but for the most part they are the same. This will help you relax because you already know the answers to the questions you've created. And, your preparation greatly helps the over-worked producer save time.
One Private Minute with the TV Host that Counts!
In most live interview settings, even when done by remote split-screen, you will have at least a brief moment with the host prior to going live. While most guests respond to the host with a smile and some chit chat, I want you to remember why you are there. Make these seconds count! I have found that sometimes the host has not received the key points about my business or books. Even if they have, I cannot assume he or she has gleaned the most important points. With attention to not sounding overbearing or controlling, I will convey the key points I want to make in one minute. This nearly always increases the accuracy of the host's focus.
For example, for my recent book tour for, Your Million Dollar Dream, I met every TV host with a smile and said, "I wrote this book because so many people are at a crossroads trying to figure out what to do next for work. I'd like to talk about the three approaches to entrepreneurship. I have three quick, great examples. My book hit #1 on Amazon in all three business categories." Then I take a breath and smile again. Nearly every time the TV host directs the conversation based on that one minute summary that I just shared.
Avoid Darting Eyes
If you are being interviewed by a host, look directly at the host and not the camera (unless you are instructed otherwise). If you are feeling nervous, imagine that you are sitting in your living room speaking to a friend. If you are being interviewed remotely, you will be looking into the void of a dark camera lens and you won't be able to see who you are speaking to and this can be a challenge your first time (See news desk photo above. I am looking at a camera not a person). Focus your eyes at the center of the camera and force yourself to be expressive and engaged even though you are not picking up those cues naturally from the host since you can't see him or her. As long as your eyes are on the camera and not darting around you will convey confidence and comfort which is what you want viewers to feel.
Make the Host Look Good
The main concern of most hosts is how they look and sound, not you. Answering a question by beginning with a brief, "that is such an insightful question..." makes the host feel good, builds rapport and leads you into your answer. Only do this once or twice during the segment -- not for every answer -- or it will feel contrived.
Show Your Appreciation on Social Media
After each TV segment (or radio show) jump on to your social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Tell your followers and fans how great the segment was and express your gratitude to the TV show and host for having you as a guest. Often TV shows are posting the video segments on their websites within 24 hours of your segment. If so, grab the link and share that on your social media networks too! Not only will this create good feelings with the TV show but it broadcasts to your followers and fans that you're in the media and further extends the reach of your appearance.
Tamara is offering a NEW MEDIA TRAINING program! Why? Because it's FUN and she has the experience to help you. The program includes two personal sessions with Tamara to help you prepare for TV, Radio & Print media interviews. She will help you identify your key talking points, conduct mock interviews with you, provide a readiness check-list, and offer insider tips that will help you perform your best! To learn more click here and write: I want MEDIA TRAINING with Tamara in the subject heading.
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