Looking Good on TV – Part Three (Book Excerpt)

TV viewers will size you up quickly and since television is a visual medium, you (or your client) need to make sure you know the basics and the nuances on how to look good on TV — and it’s not just about delivering your message for the media.

In my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, I cover a lot of topics that are all part of the process to polish on-camera interviews.  Looking Good on TV – Part One of my book excerpt covered the basics of wardrobe guidelines for men and women. Looking Good on TVPart Two delved into the details of what colors work best on television and what colors you need to avoid. Now, Looking Good on TVPart Three is all about patterns and prints that work best and the ones to avoid turning your wardrobe into a fashion disaster on camera along with a few final wardrobe tips that will make all the difference in fine tuning your on-camera appearance.

Prints and Patterns that Work Best On Camera. Without the right wardrobe planning, certain prints and patterns can be very difficult to pull off, for a variety of reasons. So always exercise caution when you think you absolutely have to wear a patterned or print dress, blouse, or slacks.

Tiny print patterns (like flowers) are generally safe and flattering, but large prints can add pounds you don’t have because they create optical illusions. Horizontal patterns are infamous for making a person look wide. Generally, stripes are not a good look on camera and shouldn’t be worn.

Prints and Patterns to Avoid On Camera. Patterns that look great in person don’t always translate well on camera. These patterns include pinstripes, chevron, plaid, fine checks, stripes, herringbone, houndstooth and similar patterns that can cause a moiré effect on camera. Small, repetitive patterns, should be avoided.

The moiré effect is a visual perception that occurs when viewing a set of tiny stripes, dots, or checks that are superimposed on another set of lines or dots, and which seem to actually move back and forth or flicker. It is very distracting and not camera-friendly, so stay away from these patterns.

No Logos or Written Words on Clothing. Wearing a logo implies product or brand endorsement so do not wear any clothing with visible commercial logos, unless it is for your own company.

Accessories and Jewelry. If you know about fashion then you know that accessories and jewelry can really bring your look to life, but less is more when it comes to accessorizing what you wear on camera.

When it comes to jewelry, wearing anything too distracting takes the focus off you and off your message. Avoid wearing shiny jewelry or watches since they can catch the light and cause a glare. Also, women should not wear dangly earrings or more than one ring per hand.

Finally, avoid jingly jewelry (especially bracelets) or accessories since the microphones on set are very sensitive and will appear to magnify that noise, which may make it difficult to understand what you are saying. Remove jewelry that moves, makes noise, or could hit your microphone.

Shoes and Socks. Unless you are certain, never assume that your shoes, socks, or stockings won’t be visible in the shot during your interview. Shoes don’t matter that much when they’re not in the shot, but it’s important to wear ones that are appropriate and which cover your feet. Men should wear over-the-calf socks so that if you cross your legs no skin is visible (as the camera may be capturing you from a low angle).

A good way to ensure that you’re on point regarding your on-camera wardrobe is to study the fashion choices worn by talk show hosts and their guests and then mimic the style that suits you best. Do not go trendy for its own sake, unless the style genuinely flatters you.

You may feel like you really aren’t skilled at fashion styling and if that’s the case you should consider investing in a consultation with an image consultant who specializes in on-camera looks. They can help you put a few winning wardrobe pieces together as your go-to outfits for interviews.

If you follow these guidelines they will not only make you look good (and professional) on television, but your well-planned preparation will contribute to a smooth running production (and earn you positive notice from producers who may one day be interested in re-booking you).

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Copyright © 2017 by Marianne Schwab. Excerpt reprinted with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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