Smile Like You Mean It
Yesterday, while watching the press conference announcing the 2007-2008 Tony Award Nominations, the two MCs, 2007 award winner David Hyde Pierce and Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez, were less then compelling as I was bored watching them. Hyde and Ramirez are professional actors, but didn’t engage the audience and barely looked up from reading the list of nominees/script. I couldn’t help but think they could’ve been more prepared.
Often our clients get ‘nerves’ when in front of the camera. Here are a few tips that we use as PR professionals to help clients be better instructed for the camera.
- Be compelling – Treat the camera as a person and remain ‘eye to eye’ with the camera and the host/interviewer. Sit tall (feet flat, shoulders square, lean forward 20 degrees), being alert and attentive will help clients not look dull on camera.
- Who are you? – Sometimes clients launch right into the news and don’t take time to introduce the company. Acknowledge and answer any questions asked but always try to bridge back to the company’s key messages during your interview.
- Personal Grooming – Stay away from strips and heavy patterns. Blue and brown look great on the camera—don’t wear white. If at a trade show remember to take off lanyards. If possible wear contacts rather than glasses.
- Brain Freeze – Take a deep breath, smile and gather your thoughts. Media outlets tell stories for a living – help them do their job and it will benefit you and your company. Examples, anecdotes and graphics only benefit and communicate your message.
In advance of the interview, roll playing with your client is an integral detail that shouldn’t be overlooked. As a dance instructor once taught me, it is important to “Practice like you’re performing, and perform like you’re practicing.”