by Danielle Andrews Sunkel
Everyone loves weddings, anything about weddings draws viewers in, so it only makes sense that the media calls on wedding planners to answer questions, offer tips and talk about the newest trends. You can be called for a television interview at any time and odds are you will not have much time to prepare, sometimes only a couple of hours.
You know that saying, “The camera adds 10 pounds.” Well its a lie. The camera adds 10% to your body weight. So if you weigh 100 lbs, yes the camera adds 10 lbs, but if you weigh 200 lbs you look 20 lbs heavier!! So unfair. How you dress, stand and even where you put your hands can make you look better on camera.
Here are some important tips on how to look your best on television and video:
Sit or stand up straight. Slouching or getting to comfortable makes you look disinterested and a lot heavier than you are.
You must feel good in your clothes. When you feel good, you look good.
- Wear proper fitting clothes, nothing too big or frumpy.
- Patterns tend to dance on the screen, so stick to solids.
- Colours: Solid black, white and red are no-no’s. Bright colours and jewel tones look great on screen.
- Boots look very strange on men on television.
- A dark top with a longer jacket or vest elongates heavier people. The heavier the person, the longer the lines of their clothing should be.
- If you will be sitting down and wearing a skirt, pay attention to the length of the skirt when you sit. You don’t want to be fidgeting and adjusting during the interview.
- Men if you are wearing a jacket, unbutton at least the bottom button when you sit.
- Your clothing doesn’t have to be expensive or designer (no one will be able to tell), but it must be clean, professional, comfortable and make you feel good.
- Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.
Hair & Make-up
Depending on the show you are on, they may have a hair and make-up person, if they don’t, you must do your own.
- Men, use a blotting paper or some translucent powder so you don’t shine on television, you will just look sweaty.
- Women, you do not look finished or put together if you don’t have on make-up. Sorry you don’t. At the very least put on concealer, mascara and lipstick.
- If you have time, why not get your hair and makeup professionally done? It is a business expense and well worth it.
- Make sure your nails are neat and tidy. Do not go on TV with chipped nail polish.
- If your roots are showing, fix them up!
How to Talk
Speak naturally, in your normal voice. You are not the announcer or a news anchor, so don’t talk like one. Do not rush, and speak clearly. Make sure you have had enough water before hand and if water is there for you don’t be afraid to drink (it’s great if you need to collect your thoughts and you should keep your mouth wet so you can speak properly.)
Dealing with the Microphone
Depending on the program you are being interviewed on, you will have a boom microphone overhead, be wearing a handheld lavaliere mic or holding a handheld microphone. If there is an overhead boom microphone, you can just carry on and not worry about where the microphone is. If you will be wearing the mic, make sure there will be somewhere to clip the microphone or else a stranger might be seeing more of you than you intended so they can hook it to your undergarments. If you will be holding a handheld, make sure it is under your chin about 6 inches from your face. If you put your thumb on your chin and extend your pinky, that is the distance you should hold the mic away from you.
What to do with your eyes
Look at the person you are speaking to, whether it is the interviewer, the audience or the audience at home (the camera). If your eyes are darting around or you are not looking at the person you are speaking to, you look untrustworthy.
Blink naturally, excessive blinking makes you look like you are hiding something, not blinking is unnatural and makes you look a little crazy.
You’ve heard the term, “Make love to the camera!” Probably not the appropriate look you want to portray, but do look at the camera the way you would look at a good friend or loved one. This will make you look more relaxed and approachable.
What to do with your hands
I was a commentor for The Royal Wedding on a Live Morning Show. Later, when I watched the recording I noticed that I held my hands clasped behind my back, in a weird position in the middle of my back, the ENTIRE time. I was mortified, it made me look two football fields wide! I’m a hand talker and I didn’t want to wave my hands around because it is distracting to the viewers. Instead of clasping my hands behind my back, I should have kept my arms slightly bent with my hands open naturally infront of my hips. This is subconscious body language that shows I am engaged, open and trustworthy.
Research, research, research
You don’t want to be caught off guard, so make sure you know the topic inside out.
If you don’t know the answer to something, just say so. You will look foolish and be found out if you give false information. That interview and free publicity could ruin you if you lie.
I know this was a lot of advice and too much to remember all at once, so the biggest take away is “Look good, feel good.”