Saturday, November 27th, 2021

The Do’s and Don’ts of TV Appearances

By Narges Nirumvala on Jul 05 2011 • Filed under The Power Communicator

Successful entrepreneurs are prepared for TV Interviews (Photo: Philipp Pilz)One day you get the call – a television news station wants to do an interview with you. You are excited and terrified at the same time, because this is your first television interview. You should be very proud. I’ve been there and it’s an awesome feeling! Here are some tips so you can maximize this opportunity:

Be Prepared.

Perhaps they are calling you because you have positioned yourself as an expert, or because you have a compelling story to share. Either way, be prepared for the types of questions they might ask you. If you have the time, study the style of the journalist who will interview you or even the program itself. Will it be live or recorded? Will they come to you or will you go to their studio? Will you get to review the questions ahead of time?Will you be part of a panel? How long will you have?

Dress The Part.

This is obvious I know, but I still see coaches, consultants and other business people on television looking like they just woke up and put on the first thing they could find! If they don’t do your hair and makeup (and many don’t have the budget for it) then you do it and make sure it’s good. Don’t go ‘au naturel’. Make up is essential on television – trust me, it makes a big difference on camera.

Stay Calm.

Breathe in, breathe out and repeat. I can promise you that you are going to be stressed out by the experience. If it’s your first time on TV you will find all the different lights, cameras and microphones distracting – try to stay focused on your message. I remember my first time – I felt like the bright lights were burning into my skin.

Be Authentic.

I always tell my clients to be authentic. Please don’t try to impress anyone. Once you start worrying about what other people think of you, you lose your focus and it undermines your confidence. Being authentic and relaxed will also help you communicate more clearly.


Have you ever noticed how elected officials smile on camera? If it’s appropriate to your message – smile.  It’s surprisingly hard to do when you’re new to media interviews because there’s so much going on. If you want to come across as the friendly, warm, compassionate person that you are (again we’re being authentic, so don’t pretend to be someone you’re not) you need to smile.

Make Good Eye Contact.

Your eyes need to make contact with the reporter interviewing you (unless they tell you otherwise). Don’t dart your eyes around the room or look up and down. Good eye contact shows strength of character and trust.

Be Confident. 

Confidence ties all the above points together. As I’ve said in previous articles, it has to come from within. Your confidence has to shine through your eyes, your smile and of course your words.  Remember that if it’s a good interview they might call you again!

Being interviewed on television is just another form of public speaking. You have an audience, need to stay on message and use your body language to make a first-rate impression.  Above all, allow yourself to feel good about your accomplishments and enjoy your moment in the spotlight.

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