You just booked your first live TV media appearance for your publicity campaign! This is exciting! But you’re also starting to feel a twinge of anxiety. The only media experience you’ve had has been over the phone in your pjs. No one was there to inspect you outfit, your makeup, your posture, yikes!
One of the first questions we are asked by our clients when we book them on television, whether it’s local or national, is “Do they do my makeup in the studio?” and “What do I wear? Do they provide me an outfit?” Unless it’s for a national talk show, the answer is almost always going to be (a disappointing) no to makeup and for all shows no to a predetermined outfit.
Since most TV interviews will not provide makeup services, make sure you arrive makeup ready. Don’t be excessive and heavy—wear what’s normal for you, make sure to apply foundation to even out your skin tone (men and women), and get a solid amount of sleep so you don’t look tired or worn-out on air.
Dressing for live television is not as complicated as you may think—before trying on a multitude of outfits, step away from the closet and think about how you want people to see you. How you look for your interview mirrors how you want to be perceived. For example, if you want to be thought of as serious and authoritative, a suit would be your best option; if you want to be seen as funny and warm, a more casual outfit can work.
Some tips on what to wear:
- Dress conservatively—don’t wear clothes that could be distracting.
- Mild patterns, but not striped or vibrantly colored busy ones
- Neutral colors and earth tones
Do not wear:
- White, which makes you look invisible
- Red, which looks fuzzy on camera
- Black, which washes you out
The best way to settle any nerves you may be having (and swat away those butterflies) is to prepare yourself as much as possible beforehand. Sometimes producers will send you the interview questions the day before, sometimes not. When it comes time for the actual interview, stay calm and remember why you’re there—to discuss your new book or idea! You also want to:
- Make sure to define your key message—what do you want to tell the audience?
- Show passion in your subject matter, but don’t be too aggressive
- Be positive
- Remember to practice your answers if you are given the questions beforehand. If not, brainstorm the likely questions and practice answering those.
- Use your publicist as a resource, remember that’s what he/she is there for!
Now that you’re ready, take a deep breath, relax, and smile for the camera!