TOA 7-8 2

Today I was on Talk of Alabama discussing our upcoming events The Bloganista Mixer presented by Collage Designer Consignment and The Bloganista Mini-Con presented by Laura Vincent Printing & Design.

I always encourage the writers and bloggers I coach to pitch a segment idea to local TV media. And, not to brag or anything but… after using the tips I give them on how to pitch their idea they usually email me saying “I’M GOING TO BE ON TV!” (Click here to check out those tips.)

But about five minutes after sending that email they send another that reads something like this: “OMG! I’M GOING TO BE ON TV! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?! I CAN’T DO THIS! I’M FREAKING OUT!”

If you’re a few days away from your first TV appearance and you’re having similar anxious thoughts, here are a few tips to help things go smoothly:

Practice, but not too much. Write down five questions you think a reporter might ask based on the topics you presented in your pitch. Now write down your answers to these questions. (Some TV stations will actually request that you do this and ask that you send your questions and answers to their producers.) Read over what you wrote a few times. Now get your spouse, significant other, best friend or blogging or business buddy to interview you using the questions you wrote, but also get them to throw in a few questions that aren’t on your list so you’ll have practice responding to questions off the cuff. WARNING: Don’t try to memorize every word you’ll say. If you do that you’ll sound too rehearsed and come off as inauthentic.

Choose your outfit the night before. You don’t want to feel rushed and frazzled the morning of your big television debut because you couldn’t figure out what to wear. So be sure you have your entire outfit prepped and ready to go the night before your segment. Not sure what to wear? Bright colors are best, but avoid white. Wear something that makes you feel both comfortable and confident. And remember — you have to look the part to get the role. So if you’re going on TV to give tips to aspiring entrepreneurs because you want to be a business coach, you need to look like you run something! If you’re giving fashion tips, that should be obvious the moment you walk on set and you better be the most stylish person in the room.

Arrive early, but not too early. Leave your home and head to the station early enough that you will be on time even if there’s a wreck on the road and you get stuck in traffic. But don’t get there so early that you have 90 minutes to stew in your nervousness before your segment begins.

Make small talk… or not. I’m an extrovert so talking to other people at the station — whether folks who work there or other people waiting to be interviewed — calms me. But the idea of talking to even more strangers may make you want to puke. If that’s the case, head to the restroom for some alone time before your segment. Figure out what works best for you based on your personality. And if you’re a spiritual person be sure to wake up early enough that you can get in your daily spiritual practice. This will also help you feel more centered and calm.

Forget about the cameras. OK, stop laughing. I know this sounds impossible. But try your best to just pretend you’re having a conversation with the person interviewing you and forget that you’re on TV. Most likely your segment is on something that you’re very passionate about, something you probably talk to people about all the time. Just pretend this is another one of those times when someone has shown interest in this passion of yours and wants to know more because actually that’s exactly what this is!

What tips would you offer to folks preparing for their first TV appearance? 

PS – If you’d like to see my segment on today’s Talk of Alabama, the video will be available here for a limited time.

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