by Brian Jud
Television is the glamour medium in the broadcast industry, making you instantly recognizable to millions of people across the country. But appearing on the air does not guarantee book sales. There are three major elements that control the way you are perceived by the viewers: your physical features, clothes and body language:
1. There’s not much you can do to change your physical features, but you can work with them. Use makeup to hide or accentuate certain physical features. Most women use makeup regularly and feel comfortable wearing it. If you are not familiar or comfortable with makeup, get assistance from a media trainer or from a sales representative at a local theatrical or cosmetic shop.
2. Dress to feel comfortable and create the image you want. Choose clothes that will not distract from your message. People should pay attention to what you say, not what you are wearing.
Choose colors that are best for you, given your hair and skin coloring. In general, dark colors are best for suits, and blue is a safe color. Earth tones and neutral colors work well on television, too. Before you choose your attire for any particular show, watch it or call ahead to find out the background color of the set.
Accessories should be simple, non-distracting and quiet. Use them to complement your intended image. Jewelry should be functional, subtle and not so bright as to cause camera problems. Glasses may be worn if needed to read.
3. There are volumes written about body language and how you project an image through your posture, movements and gestures -- intentionally or unintentionally.
Here are a few tips.
Be seated comfortably with your forearms placed on the armrests. Sit toward the front of the chair and lean slightly forward. If you are seated in a large sofa, sit near the front edge so you are not enveloped in it, particularly if you are short.
Use your hands strategically and naturally. Do not use quick, stiff, contrived gestures, but practice making smooth ones that appear spontaneous. Use your hands and arms to reinforce what you are saying. Do not look into the camera as you answer the interviewer’s questions. You are having a discussion with your host, so focus on his or her eyes.
Relax, enjoy yourself and you will sell more books when you are on the air.
Brian Jud is host of the television show, The Book Authority, a media coach and author of the media-training video program, You’re On The Air. Brian also hosts Book Central Station, where you can find rated lists of suppliers to help you write, publish, and market your books.