Our last blog focused on preparing for television interviews and crafting your message. We thought it might be helpful to follow up with a brief post that focuses on how to dress and appear on television. Like it or not, on video the validity of your message is greatly affected by your appearance.
We always tell our clients to dress as conservatively and professionally as possible. Males should wear a suit and tie. Women should dress for the boardroom. Here are a few guidelines when selecting what to wear:
1. Choose solid colors
2. Avoid large prints or patterns and overwhelming ties and scarves
3. Don’t wear high contrast clothes such as black and bright white. Muted colors work better.
4. Avoid bright, chunky jewelry
5. If you wear glasses and contacts, choose contacts for the interview. Glasses will reflect the glare of the lights.
You’ll also want to think about your body language. Media training is a great way to learn proper technique. During media training you will be recorded on video while answering mock interview questions. An expert will review your performance and provide specific feedback on both your verbal and nonverbal communications. You will have a chance to practice what you learned to make sure you are effective and compelling at delivering your message. There is never a doubt which video is the “before” and which is the “after”!
If media training isn’t available, you can help yourself by taking the time to practice these techniques in front of a mirror:
1. Smile a little bit. The camera will make you look more serious. A big smile can look phony.
2. Look at the interviewer if you are in studio. If you are being interviewed remotely, keep your eyes on the camera. This can be difficult, but imagine you are having a conversation with a real person.
3. Lean in while answering questions but avoid expansive hand gestures and fidgeting.
4. Be aware of your posture. Don’t hunch your shoulders or drop your chin.
5. Don’t be too casual in the way you sit. Sit comfortably on the edge of your chair. Avoid crossing your legs or leaning back.
Overall, you want to be warm and friendly, not too formal, and not too casual.
It pays to take time to prepare for television to make your best impression. Give yourself a leg up by planning what you say in advance and thinking about how you’ll look, too.