Finally your personal branding efforts started to pay off and you got your first invitation to appear on TV.
1. Be on time
Media and TV news channels are pretty much like aviation. High paced environments requiring a lot of discipline. When a cabin crew is late for a briefing before the flight he or she is removed from the flight and another crew member is called out from a standby to cover. With media it is pretty similar. If you are not there, they will not stop the show and wait, but will take next person on their list to call. Punctuality is key in this game. If it is important for you to make a tv appearance you need to make time for it, which can mean rescheduling your calendar and focus only on the preparation for the TV appearance.
When it comes to commenting on the news, the program producers give you sometimes as little as 2 hours to show up in the studio. If you are lucky , you may get more time. The bottom line is that you need to be prepared at all times. During the Aviation Event conference in Strasburg I was asked to give an interview, right before entering the panel discussion. Imagine the pressure:-)
2. Do your homework
When you are building your brand or want to position yourself as an expert in your field, you need to know exactly what are you talking about. I am frequently being invited by news channels to comment on latest developments in the world of aviation.
As soon as I receive the invitation I quickly assess whether I have the right knowledge to comment on a particular news. Once I agree to make the appearance I conduct a quick research. I check international news, consult my friends, colleagues and professionals in aviation to learn their point of view.
When I was commenting on the landing of Emirates A380 in Dusseldorf with a strong cross wind I gathered knowledge from pilots, so when I was live on tv with an experienced pilot and one of the head polish journalists- Piotr Krasko, I felt pretty confident discussing the topic.
3. Make sure you look good
Fine feathers make fine birds. Sad but true. If you want to be perceived as a professional and an expert you need to look like one. For the tv appearance choose modest and elegant clothing in solid colours. Don’t forget about make up. It is a good idea to ask the program makers weather they provide make up artist and hair stylist in their studio. Should that be the case, just arrive at least 30 min in advance and allow to be pampered.
For all other cases, when you need to make your own make up and hair, its good idea to learn this skill. Just like in aviation, grooming is part of cabin crew training and if you are planning to position yourself as an expert, build your personal brand and make tv appearances it is wise to have the skill of doing professional make up.I can recommend wonderful make up artist and a trainer, Berenika Pałkowska, who has frequently helped my out with my looks making me camera and stage ready.
4. Have your pitch ready
When you are dealing with media, you will quickly realize that having your bio well written, your professional photos taken and your pitch ready is a must. The news makers want to know how does your person, your experience and knowledge relate to the topic discussed.
Remember to be brief in your description. 2 – 3 concise and well written sentences will do.
Learn how to prepare and communicate your pitch.
Tv stations are reluctant to put name of your company, especially when you are an owner and hope to get exposure and promotion for free. They will tell you to approach their advertising and promotion department, meaning they want you to pay for mentioning your brand.
5. Show your personality
Obviously you need to adjust your appearance and wording to the type of TV program you are featured on. Breakfast TV is more relaxed than news and allows to develop the topic and tell your personal stories. Make sure you have one ready.
When I was interviewed on polish morning TV show called ” Pytanie na Śniadanie” we talked about the lifestyle of cabin crew and what do they do after they quit flying.
I mentioned that flying for GCC based careers was truly luxurious experience as I was able to rinse my hands in champagne while preparing the cabin for landing. The journalists were stunned and made a joke that they recon offering champagne to economy class passengers is a better idea as they are always waiting for freebies:-)
Always be yourself, stick to the topic discussed, but make sure you appear as a unique personality, which will make it easy to remember you. Make sure you leave a good impression. After the show is over thank for the invitation, shake the hand , smile and leave gracefully.
6. Welcome feedback
Making a live tv appearance takes a lot of little factors to be right. It is hard to control and remember about everything. You need to make sure you say smart things, your clothes and make up is intact, you are looking at the camera and keeping your body well composed and you are relaxed. I know it sounds like a mission impossible. It takes practice. Always be ready to receive feedback, both positive and negative, particularly from people who have more experience in making excellent tv appearances.