Career: How to prep for a TV segment. <11 tips>

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One of the things you asked for when I polled my Instagram audience was more career how-to's and advice in 2018. Ask and you shall receive!

I just wrapped up my first television appearance of the year. With any luck, I will be doing more to help promote my company, Oak Street Social. TV can be exciting and an adrenaline rush but it can also be nerve-racking and stressful. Does it have to be? The answer is no! 

Today, after having completed dozens of live, unscripted TV segments, I am going to share with you my top tips to keep you as cool as a cucumber. Don't worry, I got you, babe!

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There is no way to perfect unscripted TV but there a few tricks I like to have handy considering I have made the mistakes and learned from them. Isn't that what life is all about?

Just remember, they've selected YOU to talk about your area of expertise. You have value. Now talk passionately about your topic and remember bigger is always better when it comes to television. Except for butts. Big butts are rarely a good thing on TV unless you are Kim Kardashian.

TV Tips for the Newbie:

  1. If "practice makes perfect" in life, think the opposite for television. Yes, you should have a general idea, outline or bullet points for your topic but nothing is worse than coming across ultra scripted and inauthentic. Go with the flow, baby.

  2. Watch the coffee intake. Segments usually tape in the AM so be careful for a case of the jitters. Eat a small breakfast and limit the java. 

  3. Have water handy. There is a natural tendency to get cotton mouth in tandem with nerves. Grab a bottle of water and stay hydrated. Keep it near you during the segment.

  4. Alcohol is not your friend. Whatever you do - do not drink the night before a television appearance. Puffy eyes are a drag and so is a splitting headache!

  5. Go to bed early. I'm talking 9:30pm the night before. I've had call times of 4:30am to 10:00am. Make sure you're bright eyed and busy-tailed.

  6. Shower the night before. This makes getting ready so much easier for me. My hair is dry so that all I have to do is put a little wave in and throw some makeup on all the while balancing two kiddos and morning prep before school. Cut time where you can.

  7. Dress code: stay away from loud patterns. Dress in clothing that makes you feel confident and look your best. Think slimming because the camera adds 10 lbs. Today I wore a black, leather pencil skirt and a white button down. Profesh and flattering on camera. You never know if you will be standing or sitting! 

  8. Don't experiment with new beauty products the night before. Sure, throw on some Crest White Strips but stick to the products you've been using. Rashes and hives are so not fun the morning of. Side note: bring an emergency kit filled with bandaids, tape, mascara, stain remover, deodorant and more for the moments you are in a pinch. It's a lifesaver.

  9. Leave the house early. Prepare for traffic and arrive early so you can prep your notes. There is no producer on earth who enjoys a cram session before the camera rolls. Be respectful.

  10. Bring mints. You can't chew gum while you talk but be courteous to your segment mate. Nuff said.

  11. Last but not least, don't post pics and b-roll from your phone UNLESS you have clearance. You never know if your segment is out scooping the competition. Ask your producer if it's okay to post. They might have strict guidelines so you want to be respectful so that you will be asked back again!

Just remember, you know more about your topic than anyone. It's natural to stumble...to get tripped up on your words...to falter. Take a deep breath, SMILE and start over. We are all human. But most of all, have fun with it! xo

Photography by Rose Photo for Whiskey Thief Tavern