by Michael O'Neill
December 17th, 2013

TV interviews can be daunting. Just five seconds of appearing on the screen could turn into a nightmare. Some people love being in front of the camera; some don’t, but regardless there is always room for improvement.

Let’s look at four things you should do to make a stronger impression in front of the camera:

Be a selective dresser. 80% of a TV interview is about the visual – something to appeal to the eyes of the viewers.  It is best to wear simple clothes in the shades of grey, blue and red with very little or even no patterns at all. Avoid stripes as they can cause flicker or camera distortion. White suggests lack of confidence and if the interview is conducted in standing position, buttoning up your suit will bolster the presence of confidence. Avoid wearing excessive accessories, especially jewellery as they may create unwanted sounds and lighting reflections.

Be clear. Defined as “a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense”, TV loves and waits for your sound bites. Keep your sentences short and concise. Avoid saying “uhm”, “eh” or “aah” as it will damage your message. Instead, it is best to give a pause for a few seconds when you need more time to think before speaking. It is also highly recommended to practice answering questions in advance. Try to time your answers because that way you’ll know how to use each minute effectively to convey your messages.

Be well prepared. When you’re doing a studio interview, first thing to do is to arrive early. It is better to wait rather than coming rushing in and risk losing the focus of your interview. Meet the production team and discuss how you will be introduced. When you’re doing a panel discussion, meet the people in your panel to build familiarity.

Be nice. When the interview is taking place at your place or outside studio, the crew will need about 15 minutes to prepare and all you need to do is be patient and facilitate them whenever required. If you only have limited time, do inform them in advance so that they will adjust to your request accordingly. Also be cooperative for when they ask you to do several shots. Lastly, always say thank you.

R. Wahyuningrat is account supervisor, Indonesia, at Weber Shandwick

This article first appeared at Weber Shandwick’s Indonesia website

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