3 lessons from my first tv appearance

  • Posted on: 11 November 2020
  • By: jessica

A few years ago I got the amazing opportunity to appear on a local morning show, Talk of Alabama. And, y'all, it was so much fun! 

When I first got the email inviting me to appear on tv, my anxiety shot through the roof. "Me? I can't appear on tv. I'm way too nervous. It will be a mess." But, after some encouraging chats with a few close friends, I decided I simply couldn't pass up this opportunity. When I set out to really make a name for myself with a desire to help other female creatives, I knew there would be big, scary opportunities like this. So, I gathered up all my courage and agreed to the spot. And I'm so DANG GLAD I did! 

My first TV appearance taught me so much and I want to share those lessons with you. 

1. You gotta practice

Most of my life I've been a really natural public speaker. I get extremely nervous beforehand, but once I'm up in front of folks, the words come pretty easily. But, when I got the outline with time stamps and guidelines I knew this coulnd't be like other public speaking experiences for me. I had to make sure my timing was right because if I didn't I would miss key points I needed to make. 

2. Make friends with the producer

It might be tempting to fan girl over your favorite weather gal or news anchor, but before you do any of that- find your producer and ask him what he wants and listen carefully. I had the best producer ever and he kept me organized and focused. He was also super encouraging. Making him my top priority as soon as I arrived in the studio paid off in so many ways. 

3. Prepare for the unexpected

I know you can't really prepare specifically for something you aren't expecting, but you can mentally put yourself in a space to go with the flow. On live TV things can change in a split second and you have to adapt quickly. For me that was a 10 second clip of myself alone on camera saying a few words. But, it wasn't part of my script and I knew in that instant I could let it throw me off and fumble over my words, or I could adapt, put on a smile, and do the best I could. To this day, I have no idea what words came out of my mouth during those 10 seconds, but I know the producer was happy and that's all that mattered. 

I hope these lessons help you prepare for your first TV appearance. And if you're wondering, "How do I get asked to be on TV?" The truth is, you don't have to wait to be asked. Do you have an exciting virtual event or workshop coming up? Reach out to your local TV station and pitch the idea. Make sure you let them know how your event will serve the community and be prepared to share tidbits for free during your appearance, but don't wait around to be asked. There's a great big world out there full of possibiliites. Go out and snag the ones you want! 

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