Posted by David Oates 4 years, 7 months ago


Going on camera can be nerve-racking and exciting all at the same time. While what you say is important, how you say it and how you appear is arguably just as critical. Small details can make or break a successful and well-communicated interview or segment. Here are five tips that will help you nail your camera debut. 

1. Know what to wear, but more importantly, know what NOT to wear

Certain clothing can be distracting causing someone to focus on too bold of a tie, or a clanking necklace, and take away from the message you are trying to communicate. Pastel color fabrics that are free, and solids look best. More importantly, here are some items you should try to avoid:

Black - too dark and will lose detail (black hole)

White - too bright and will glow (over exposure)

Reds - too harsh on camera (bleeding image)

Weaves/Prints Stripes, Herringbone or any small patterns

Noisy accessories such as dangly earrings and necklaces (they can interfere with lapel microphones)

2. To "make-up" or not to "make-up"

Sometimes a news outlet provides make-up (yes, even for the men), but chances are if it's a local outlet, you're on your own. Something not noticeable in-person, but magnified on camera, is the "shiny" look; this is something you want to avoid. You may want to bring along a translucent "high-def" powder to help curb the shine. You can also check ahead of time what sort of access you will have to these items so you can be prepared if they don't have something in-studio. 

3. Avoid wandering eyes

Look directly at the host unless they ask you to look at a studio monitor for comments or analysis.  Think of it as a one-on-one conversation and focus on the person you're speaking with. If you're addressing the audience directly and asking viewers to attend an event, it's okay to look into the camera. If there are multiple cameras, make sure you look into the right one, or let the production team know ahead of time so they can be ready for you.

4. Don't shift around

Cameras are typically set to frame you in a tight shot. Try not to swivel in your seat or adjust your body position during your interview. Same goes for props. If you're bringing in products to support your segment, point to the product, but don't pick it up. It will be hard for the production team to get a clear camera shot if you're waving it around. 

5. Be enthusiastic

It's ok to be enthusiastic about your subject matter. In fact, it will help engage viewers. A smile goes a long way and translates well on camera. Sometimes "excitement" comes across toned down on camera, so give a little extra. If you're talking about a more serious topic, there is still most likely a way to get a smile in - even if it's a warm, small smile toward the beginning or end. 

Next time you're scheduled to be on TV, keep these five tips in mind to ensure that your interview runs smoothly.


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