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By Ev McTaggart
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Your e-business has generated enough buzz that your local TV station wants you for the evening news or a talk show? Congratulations! You've arrived.

How do you prepare? Here are a few DOS and DON'Ts.

DON'T, if you are female, wear every bangle you own. The jangling will be picked up by your microphone and will be a) distracting and b) annoying. Ditto for dangling earrings. If you wear even "quiet" jewellery, DON'T play with it on camera.

DON'T skip makeup, even if you are a guy. The days when guests got made up by the makeup department before a TV appearance have gone the way of black and white TV. Even a color camera can make your skin look like a vampire's. DO Blend a little orangey-toned foundation (to combat nasty TV lights) over

your face, into your hairline and way down your neck below your collar line, then dab on a little (remember, guys, little) blush to the cheekbone and blend well. Add a little face powder to set the makeup and keep the shine from your face. Women, you can use a bit more blusher. You can also add natural tinted eye shadows (no bright blue!), eyeliner, mascara, lip liner and lipstick. Just be sure to keep the look natural and to finish with powder. Those lights can be hot, hot, hot.

DON'T wear white or stripes or patterns, as a rule. White will wash you out; stripes and patterns will create distractions. DO wear a solid colour outfit that makes you look good and is appropriate for your profession.

If you need glasses and you own glare resistant lenses, DO wear them.

DO sit up straight. You may slouch at home, but a TV studio isn't the place to repeat bad posture. DON'T fidget. Yes, you're nervous, but if you fidget you'll merely look unprofessional to your viewers. DO keep your hands folded in your lap. Gesturing too much will be an added distraction.

DO look at the interviewer when you speak. DON'T look at the camera, no matter how great the temptation.

DON'T imbibe before your interview, even if you think a glass of wine would calm your nerves. Alcohol can also redden your face and lower your inhibitions. You are trying to sell your product or service or yourself; make the best impression you can.

DON'T advertise. Your interviewer wants good information for the station's viewers, not a blatant commercial for your services. If you are likeable and knowledgeable, viewers will look favourably on your product.

DON'T speak in a monotone, but also DON'T try to place artifical-sounding inflections into your voice. Be natural. DO use normal speaking volume. DON'T raise your voice, as if afraid the microphone won't pick you up.

DO consider all possible questions you may be asked and DO have appropriate answers ready. DON'T answer questions as if you have memorized the answers. Make your answer, even if it's well rehearsed, sound as if you're saying it for the first time. If you need facts and figures, make sure they are well organized so you DON'T have to fumble for them.

If you are being interviewed because of a negative event (say, for instance, your bottled water has tested positive for E.coli contamination), DON'T be belligerent. Be grave, be sympathetic and explain that investigations are under way. DON'T say anything your lawyer can't work with.

DO make sure your microphone is dead before saying anything you wouldn't

want repeated. It may look as if the interview is over, the camera is off you, but your mike may still be live.

And finally, DO have fun, unless the interview follows a negative occurrence. You'll come across as a person the viewers want to know.

Ev McTaggart
( New Phase Press, Inc.--Custom poems, custom children's stories, children's books, freelance PR, freelance writing & more, more, more!

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