Recently one of my author clients was featured on FOX News Boston. Before he was interviewed on camera he was nervous but was able to recall the media training that we put him through a few weeks earlier. That, along with a pep talk, and he was good to go.
What about YOU? Are you ready to be interviewed by local or national TV? If you’ve not had media training, believe me it’s too late once you get the call. You may have to get in a car or on a plane within an hour’s notice. It’s too late to get the training then. That’s why you need to be prepared before you get the call.
My experience as a publicist has convinced me that one of the greatest concerns about being interviewed on television is what to wear. For radio or newspaper interviews, fashion doesn’t matter but how you appear is critical for TV. When my clients agree to media coaching, my first choice for them to work with is TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide.
TJ Walker is one of the leading authorities on media training in the world. With more than 20 years of media training experience, Walker has trained thousands of CEOs, authors, and experts, including leading government officials in the United States, European Prime Ministers, and African diplomats.
Here’s a quick list of “What to Wear and Not Wear!” that TJ Walker and other media coaches have developed that I share with you now so you can look terrific for your TV interview.
1. Don’t wear white, black or red. White glows and becomes the most noticeable thing on the TV screen. Black is too harsh and can suck up all the light. Reds “bleed” on camera and are distracting.
2. Pastel shirts work well on TV.
3. The safest color on TV is blue.
4. Don’t wear dangly earrings. They distract.
5. Remove jewelry that moves, makes noise, or could hit your microphone.
6. Be wrinkle-free.
7. Don’t wear stripes, herringbone, small intricate designs, or flashy jewelry. They are hard for a TV camera to pick up on.
8. Don’t wear checks.
9. Dress in a simple, boring manner, unless you are a fashion designer.
10. TV viewers should focus on your face and what you say, not your clothes.
11. Men should have about an inch of their shirt cuff showing.
12. Avoid light colored pants.
13. Wear over-the-calf socks so your skin doesn’t show if you cross your legs.
14. Don’t wear more than one ring per hand.
15. Women shouldn’t wear short skirts if you want people to focus on your message.
16. If you wear a dark shirt, dark suit, and dark tie, you will look like you are auditioning to be a hit man on the “Sopranos.”
17. Vests look stuffy on TV.
18. Don’t wear stripes. They dance around on the screen and are distracting.
19. Avoid hair products that add shine.
20. No visible logos or companies or brands, except for your own company logo.
21. People shouldn’t judge you by your appearance, but they will.
22. If you do or wear anything distracting on TV, people will remember that and nothing you say.
Clothes are the major factor in controlling how you appear to viewers. While appearance is critical for success on television you also must be concerned about the words that come out of your mouth, the knowledge you display, and the self-confidence you demonstrate. Media coaches like TJ Walker and marketing experts like myself will make sure you are fully prepared for your big day!
The bottom line: RELAX, you’ll do fine. The butterflies you’re feeling are what will drive you to do your best! Remember, it’s not like they are going to ask you the square root of 656! They’re asking you about your book, your company, your story which you obviously know. Just follow these helpful tips, talk things over with your publicist and you’ll look as good as you sound.