How to Prepare for Your First TV Appearance
I’m somewhat hesitant to share my first TV appearance because it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I’m probably being overly self-critical. I keep seeing the areas where I made little mistakes or could have done better. But I need to get over myself. I mean, how cool is it that I was able to be on TV?! I wanted to share the story with you because it was a lot of fun. Despite my hesitations, I am pretty proud of my first TV appearance performance.
A New York PR company contacted me and asked if I would be interested in hosting a 3-minute segment about how to create a chic tailgate. the segment would air on a local Arizona TV show called Your Life A to Z. Given that I had just written a blog post about how to upgrade your tailgate eats, I thought this was a great fit.
I was pretty darn excited to receive this email. This is the first time I’ve done an on-air segment with speaking responsibilities. About 10 years ago, I modeled winter clothes on a local morning show when I was with FORD models, but I haven’t done any TV since then. If you’re a blogger like me or another person given the opportunity to do an on-air TV appearance, here are my tips to ensure it goes smoothly.
How to Prepare Your Script for a TV Appearance
Besides being excited about the TV spot, I was also pretty stoked to receive the products I would represent. I love to cook and I also love to entertain. So, it was fun to learn about new products and also practice creative ways to talk about products without seeming like a straight sales person.
To prepare for the TV appearance, I would suggest you create a script. My husband helped me develop a story line to go along with all of the products. I memorized the story so that I always had something to go back to if I was thrown off or forgot some of the small details about each of the items. For example, the host of my segment and I practiced when I first got there. We walked through the products and the general points I was trying to convey. Then when the cameras turned on, her starting point changed significantly from what we had practiced. Because I had already developed a story, it was easy to redirect the conversation back to my talking points.
What to Wear for a TV Appearance
To prepare for the segment, I prioritized finding the perfect outfit and also ensuring my makeup would be TV ready. I decided to wear a bright pinkish-purple wrap dress because the jewel tone worked well against my olive skin, the v-neck is elongating, and I prefer short sleeve dresses over sleeveless for a bit of extra coverage. I also chose a solid color because prints can be really distracting on TV. The wrap dress is also great because it creates an hourglass figure, defining and showing off a smaller waist line.
Generally, I love to wear bold necklaces, but my PR friend suggested I choose a more subtle piece. Too much shine is not good on TV. I chose a pretty simple necklace, a bangle bracelet, and some small stud earrings.
Since the table covered the bottom half of my body, my shoes weren’t important for this segment. However, if you are going to be sitting with the host, you definitely want to think about your shoe chose. I purposely chose kitten heel sandals because I wanted to be comfortable on the set. I also chose simple shoes to not distract too much from the rest of my look. If I were doing a fashion segment, I would likely up the style factor of my look, especially statement shoes and jewelry. Since my segment was about food products and cooking appliances, it was more appropriate to keep my outfit simpler.
How to Do Your Makeup for a TV Appearance
One thing I worried a lot about was how to do my makeup to be TV-ready. I chose to hire a professional makeup artist and hair stylist to prep my look. She went very heavy on the foundation, used airbrushing for a flawless look. She also used a smoky brown on my eyes and added individual lashes to add length. I loved how real the lashes looked. In the past when I had my makeup done as a model, the full sets of lashes always looked so fake. She placed individual lashes and they really look fabulous. I asked her to add more blush to the look, as I like to show off my cheek bones. She added a really dark purple lip, but it was too much so I asked her to choose a lighter color.
Although I really loved her overall effort, I think the makeup was a tad too heavy and my hair wasn’t quite how I like to style it. In the future, I would do my own hair and makeup, taking into account a heavier hand to adjust for the TV cameras. If you do want to hire a professional hair and makeup artist, I would highly suggest you do a test-run with him/her before your TV appearance. I didn’t do that, and I think it was a mistake. If we had done a test-run, I would have been better able to describe how I like my hair to look and what colors of makeup work best on me (i.e. I prefer warmer coral colors vs. cooler colors like she chose).
I hope these tips help your first TV appearance go smoothly. It was so much fun discussing upscale tailgating and now I have the bug to do it again! I hope I have more opportunities to improve my TV presentation skills in the future.