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Tips for TV Appearances
from author April Henry

In my job-job, I deal with the media, sometimes for stories we're trying to "spin" into something positive. At least Lisa's kind of TV exposure is designed to [be] positive.

Here are some tips:

- Dress in solid colors, with non-distracting clothing and accessories. I once had to go out and buy a doctor a different shirt because his narrow striped shirt was creating a moire pattern on the camera.

- Determine what your key messages are. Think about what the questions might be and rehearse your answers.

- Smile as often as is appropriate, and keep good eye contact with the reporter. Don't look into the camera.

- For TV, you probably need to wear more make-up if you generally use light make-up.

- While body language is great -- excessive or repetitive movement is not, such as rocking in a chair, or wild gestures.

- Avoid phrases like "As I mentioned before" or calling the reporter by name. These make it difficult to edit the story.

- If you are filmed as part of a story (rather than being the focus of an interview), the reporter is looking for good, short, emotional sound bites of no more than two to three sentences.

- Bring copies of your book so they can show them in a cut away.

- If you have upcoming readings, bring that information.

I remember the book The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book had a lot of good tips in general and about being on TV in particular (and I bought it after I was published).

Good luck. I've been on good local TV and strange local TV (strange enough that I might use it in a book someday).


April Henry is the Agatha award nominated author of the Claire Montrose mysteries, Circles of Confusion, Square in the Face, and Heart Shaped Box.


 

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