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Tips for Performing on Television

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Television is the glamour medium in the broadcast industry, making you instantly recognizable to millions of
people across the country. As you can imagine, there is tremendous competition among people to appear on these
shows. Producers can choose from a wide variety of potential guests, and they want to be certain their choice
is a good one.

When you arrive at the television studio, you will be shown to a waiting area known as the Green Room. Once
you’re there, the producer or host will introduce him- or herself to you and discuss the general direction of
the show. Soon you will be led to the studio, and someone will show you to your seat.

When your segment starts, the host will introduce you. A segment typically begins with a close-up of the
host as he or she provides your background. The camera then moves to an establishing shot, showing the viewers
how the host and guest are positioned. In moments, the red light on your camera brightens and you’re on the

Delivering Your Message
There are three major elements that control the way you are perceived by the viewers initially. These are
your physical features, clothes, and body language.

Physical Appearance: There’s not much you can do to change your physical features, but you can work with
them. Use makeup to hide or accentuate certain physical features. Most women use makeup regularly and feel
comfortable wearing it. If you are not familiar or comfortable with makeup, get assistance from a media trainer
or from a sales representative at a local theatrical or cosmetic shop.

Clothes: Dress to feel comfortable and to create the image you want. Choose clothes that will not distract
from your message. People should pay attention to what you say, not what you’re wearing.

Select colors that are best for you, given your hair and skin coloring. In general, dark colors are best
for suits, and blue is a safe color. Earth tones and neutral colors work well on television too. Before you
choose your attire for any particular show, watch the program or call ahead to find out the background color of
the set.

Due to the combination of your general apprehension and hot lights, wearing wool may cause you to perspire
more. Most studios are temperature controlled to compensate for the heat given off by the lights, but as
Murphy’s Law would have it, you will eventually find yourself on a warm set without air conditioning. Keep a
handkerchief with you and pat your face dry when the camera is not on you. Do not wipe the perspiration or you
will smear your makeup.

Accessories should be simple and nondistracting. Use them to complement your intended image. Jewelry should
be functional, subtle, and not so bright as to cause camera problems. Shoes should be shined and free from
holes in the bottom. Glasses may be worn if needed to read, however this is not the time to try your new
contact lenses. Keep glasses and pens out of your jacket pocket, or they will distract the viewer from your

Body Language: There are volumes written about body language and how you project an image through your
posture, movements, and gestures-both intentionally or unintentionally. Since the bulk of your believability is
projected visually, you can control your image by manipulating your body language.

Be seated comfortably with your forearms placed on the arm rests. Sit toward the front of the chair and
lean slightly forward. If you are seated in a large sofa, sit near the front edge so you are not enveloped in
it, particularly if you are short.

Use your hands strategically and naturally. Do not use quick, stiff, contrived gestures, but practice
making smooth ones that appear spontaneous. Use your hands and arms to reinforce what you are saying. Use your
fingers to tick off points or emphasize your agenda items.

Do not look into the camera as you answer the interviewer’s questions. You are having a discussion with
your host, so focus on his or her eyes. Break contact periodically so you do not lock eyes and stare at the
host constantly. Relax, enjoy yourself, and you will sell more books when you are on the air.

Brian Jud is a book-marketing consultant, media trainer, and author of the video “You’re On The Air” and its
two companion guides “Perpetual Promotion” and “It’s Show Time.” He is the host of the weekly television show”The Book Authority.” Contact Jud at PO Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; phone 800/562-4357; fax 203/267-1387; or
e-mail: bjauthor@tiac.net. His Web address is http://www.publishingdirections.com.

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