1. Channelling the swan: Calm on the outside, furiously peddling on the inside: Appearing on camera can be deceptive. It looks easy but can be hard even for a professional. The key is to channelize a swan – you may be nervous, but remember the camera doesn’t know that. And can only see you, your body language and what you say. Remember to stay calm and if you don’t know something and it’s a pre-recorded interview, remember, you can always do a second take!
Think you are talking to a friend and ignore the camera and lights.
2. PASTEL SHADES WITH COATS: What you wear for an interview is important. The audience will receive your message but will also look at what you are wearing. Be comfortable, dress smart. Try to avoid checked shirts/ trousers/ skirts. Short skirts, shorts, revealing tops aren’t great for an on-camera interview. Blazers and coats always look nice – darker colours are always better. If you are wearing a white shirt, best to wear a coat over it (white can reflect too much light). Large bows, frills, flowers or any object that may distract are best avoided. Lines, geometric shapes, visually confusing patterns are all problematic because they look confusing/ distracting for a viewer.
3. ACCESSORIES: Avoid shiny, reflective jewellery. They reflect light or create a flaring effect. It is a good idea to choose solid coloured accessories or ones with simple patterns that don’t appear too busy. Simple non-chunky jewellery doesn’t make a noise when you move your head or body. Avoid dangling earrings, which can distract viewers and make a noise when you turn your head. Remove eyeglasses unless your audience won’t recognize you without them. If you must wear them remember to drop your chin a bit to avoid glare and make sure there is no reflection in the lens.
4. LONG ANSWERS: Producers perspire when they hear the words, let’s look at the history of this…or let’s go back in time. Long answers don’t help your cause. Short, crisp, to the point answers do. Express a maximum of 3 ideas per answer and don’t waffle. A 90-second answer is probably enough. (Also, of course, don’t answer in 2 sentences or the absolute worst: monosyllables!)
5. MAKE UP AND BODY LANGUAGE: For women – don’t overdo make up or heavy colours. Foundation and light lipstick shades work well. TV cameras can alter makeup colours slightly because of natural shadows. For men – shave before appearing if you have “5 o’clock shadow” or use a powder close to your skin colour to lessen the appearance of your beard. Please trim your beard and comb your hair. A light powdering on balding heads can prevent shiny spots as well. As for body language – it should ideally be the same when you are leading a meeting or making a presentation – show that you are in-charge but also remember to breathe and smile – look personable.
Most important: Many people think that they can project someone they are not on camera. But the camera is often able to see through this. Best formula is: BE YOURSELF! AND HAVE FUN.