Being a Media Star: Tips for Media Appearance Success

Sarah J. Jackson

Guest Blogger

Reporting from Netroots Nation 2012, Providence, RI



Media strategist/trainer Joel Silberman gave a great training at Netroots today titled “Presence and Authenticity: The Key to Being a Media Star.” Below are Silberman’s tips on embodying the charisma required for successful media interviews:

Having charisma onscreen:

  • Visualize being rooted into the ground like a tree, this will help you appear grounded onscreen.
  • Your energy should be big; your aura does not end with your body; visualize radiating your energy and points out into the room around you as you speak, or what Silberman calls, “an energy shower.”
  • Make sure you know where the camera is!
  • Don’t cross your arms across your chest or groin when you speak, this looks defensive and will collapse your posture. Find a neutral position for your hands by your sides and only gesture within the “strike zone” (between your shoulders and waist).
  • Focus your eyes on the person who is interviewing you, or if talking directly to a camera focus your eyes on the lens. Silberman says, “The camera has to be the person you want to sleep with. Right now.”
  • Only project your voice as far as necessary to reach the camera, otherwise you will sound loud (which translates to angry on TV).
  • Follow the three S’s: SMILE; keep it SIMPLE; and hold STILL.
  • There is no such thing as being too polished but you should be careful not to seem slick; if you find yourself simply rehearsing answers you will come across as disingenuous.

Other handy tips:

  • Do yoga! That’s right, the posture, alignment and presence that is taught is yoga are the same as those you need to maintain an impressive onscreen presence.
  • You never have to answer a question you are asked if you don’t feel you can produce a good answer, or if it is off topic. Feel free to use the line, “I really appreciate you saying that, but what we really need to focus on is…”
  • Don’t apologize for what you are saying. Be aware of being so “nice” that you sound as if you are apologizing for your statements. Never begin a sentence with “I’m sorry but…” Coming across stern is better than coming across as if you are unsure of the truth of what you are saying.

Published by sarahjjackson

I'm a scholar of communication studying race, gender, media, and social movements.

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