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5 Easy Tips to Becoming a Great TV Guest

March 19, 2008

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Ever watch morning TV and think, "Hey, I can do that!" Well the truth is that if you have a book, product, or service to promote to consumers, there is absolutely no reason why you can't appear as a guest on TV!

But what does it take to be a good guest? Here are five simple tips to get you started and help you capitalize on the valuable airtime at your disposal:

1) Don't overdo the makeup, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, both women and men are repeat offenders in this category. There's no need to go to the station with a full face of make-up. You'll find most producers are prepared to give you a quick once-over when you arrive so that you look good for the cameras. Shallow as it may sound, it's hard for viewers to take you seriously if they're too busy zeroing in on a face that's overly made-up.

2) Check your props. As TV is all about visuals (no matter what your topic is) it's likely you'll have some kind of props for your interview. Take stock of them before the interview to make sure they're in good shape with all parts intact. For example, if you're conducting a "how-to" demonstration, ensure your equipment and tools are clean and at the ready. If you'll be using the station's stove for a cooking segment, make sure it works. If your prop is your book, hold it on your lap with an un-tattered front cover facing the audience.

3) Stay seated! When your interview draws to a close and it appears that the camera has stopped focusing on you, don't stand up and take off your microphone! It's the job of the floor manager to remove the mic for you and give you the all-clear to leave. By leaving prematurely, you could run the risk of ruining a perfectly good camera shot and coming off as an unprofessional guest.

4) Speak in a conversational manner. When people get nervous about being on camera, they tend to speak too fast and sometimes tense up—which can be very distracting for the audience. To relieve the nervous tension, you first need to get comfortable. Look around and get familiar with the studio and set. Introduce yourself to the host, producer, and camera crew. Locate where you'll be seated during the interview. Then, when the interview starts, you'll feel less like you're in a strange environment. You'll look more at ease and feel like the ultimate pro!

5) No arguing! Unless you are on a show that thrives on arguing, being combative on a show is not suggested. Your goal as a guest is to win over the audience; something that can be tricky if a question makes you feel angry or combative. If you've been ambushed with a nasty question, remain dignified and answer calmly. Losing your temper won't boost your credibility; plus, it makes you look defensive, which is definitely not the best position to be in when trying to promote your message.

So there you have it! A good solid start in making the most of your time on the air!

Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on publicity for authors for nearly two decades as CEO of Event Management Services, Inc (EMSI). If you would like to receive her free e-book, How to Be a Great Talk Radio Guest, visit emsincorporated.com.

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