Setting Yourself Up for Success on TV

Have you ever watched the news and wondered how various networks find their guests and experts on topics? Many bookers and producers are scrambling each day to find the right fit for their shows and it can be a stressful and chaotic process–especially since the news never sleeps.

This is where communications firms come in handy because there’s a plethora of organizations and individuals at their fingertips that serve as a valuable resource to the bookers and producers trying to fill each segment of the show. For example, let’s say Congress is debating the budget and is in the midst of a shut down. If a producer needs an economist or someone with Hill experience who knows the budgeting process, firms can proactively pitch the network in order to secure an interview with their client experts.

The news business, while ever changing, is relatively consistent. Producers and bookers are looking for individuals who are articulate, conversational, and comfortable in front of a camera, who can offer a unique angle for their viewers and set them apart from other networks who are bound to be covering the same topics.

These are some of the tips we give our clients to make sure they are television ready:

Review topline talking points on subject matter.

  • Allows the guest to familiarize themselves and leaves less room for a “gotcha” moment
  • Builds confidence in the guest as an expert in their field

Don’t use industry jargon.

  • Talking in plain speak helps the guest to appear relatable to a broad audience

SMILE.

  • While it may seem unnatural, it loosens the guest up and makes them look less rigid

Avoid filler words, such as “um,” “like,” and “you know.”

  • This is probably the hardest thing to remember, but it’s an important one!

Look directly into the camera if doing an interview from a remote location. 

Check IFB (earpiece) to make sure you can hear the hosts, if doing an interview from a remote location.

  • There’s nothing worse than being asked a question on national television and not actually hearing it; make sure a guest knows to check and double check
  • If the IFB slips out during the interview, it’s 100% okay for the guest to put it back it—just don’t appear frantic and maintain composure

PRACTICE and PREPARE.

  • Practice makes perfect and will inevitably make any guest feel more comfortable and relaxed