Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Appearance counts!

Preparing for on-camera interviews

Recently, we devoted some space to tips for successful TV interviews. Demonstrating good verbal and nonverbal communications is important. So is appearance.

Clothing and makeup are also important when it comes to on-camera interviews. You don’t always get advance notice, but if you do, follow these guidelines.

For men:

  • Blues, tans, and grays are best
  • Blue or pastel shirts
For everyone:
  • Appear in an outfit that explains your profession (e.g. teachers, doctors, construction workers, businessmen).
  • Don’t wear sunglasses outside or photogray glasses inside. They make you look as if you're hiding something.
In addition to the rules above, women should observe the following guidelines:

  • Reds, grays and blues are acceptable colors for women.
  • Avoid sexy or frilly outfits.
  • Avoid clunky or glittering jewelry. They are distracting.
  • Don't wear too much lipstick. Use a shade that looks natural.

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Alina said...

Those are very good tips, Deb. Also, my personal recommendation, if you can ask someone which color not to wear. For me, some blue shades are absolute donts :)

Deb S. said...

Good point, Alina. Let me add some additional suggestions.

Conservative colors in various shades of blue and gray are best. Wearing all black to the interview could be viewed as too serious. You might also look as if you're disappearing into a hole. If you do wear black, make sure that there is another color near your face to soften the look. It's OK to wear black slacks or a skirt since you're usually photographed from the waist up.

In addition:

Don’t wear all white. It makes TV lights bounce back onto you.

Don’t wear anything with a small pattern such as pin-stripes, tweed or polka dots. It has a strange effect on TV lights. Men should avoid pinstripe shirts – bring a change of clothes if you’re not sure.

It's also smart to dress within the context of the interview. For instance, if you are being interviewed about the subject of poverty, you don't want to dress in a trendy, expensive outfit. On the other hand, you can get away with wearing something a little more casual if you're talking about a fun, entertaining event.

rama said...

Hullo! Reading this piece, and the one below, - it becmae clear to me: you are there to just help others. Wow! All strength! Best, rama

Georganna Hancock said...

It should be made clear that these tips are not about what looks good on you, it's about what looks good on TV. Imagine wearing a certain blue or green and your body vanishing because that's the color the camera/technology uses for invisibility (like the backdrop behind the weather person.) Sparkly, dangly jewelry can cause flashes as well as detract the eye and attention from people, and don't wear anything that can touch the microphone (if clipped on your clothing). No ruffles, dangly necklaces, fake flowers, etc.

Deb S. said...

Rama: If one visits your sites, it is clear that you are here just to help others. :-)
All strength to you, too, my friend. I am definitely one of your fans.

Georganna: Thanks for the additional information. The TV technology you are referring to, chromakey, is used in special effects when an interview is done in the studio. Blue is the key color. Chromakey is outdated but is still sometimes used when a simple special effects shot is needed. If you're doing a studio interview, it never hurts to ask the producer what colors you should avoid.

Finally (as if we haven't told readers enough already)...

Ladies, avoid wear short skirts, open-toed shoes and mules. Guys, once seated, tuck the bottom of your coat under your rear to reduce bunching at the shoulders.

I think we've covered the basics and then some!

Deb S. said...

BTW, I want to thank Georganna for "coaxing" me to write this post. :-)

Rose said...

I thought my black would make me look smaller since there's suppose to be the thing about tv cameras making you look ten pounds bigger. Thanks for these wonderful tips.