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Tips for Appearing On-camera

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Look good on the screen. Here are a few helpful tips.

If you are anticipating taping a program in the GOV TV studio, the following guidelines are provided to help you and your guests prepare for the taping session.

Studies show viewers judge a person within the first 30 seconds of viewing a program. Use these tips to make that impression favorable.

Clothing

  • Whether dealing with television or personal appearances, your outfit is NOT what you want people to remember about you.
  • White shirts reflect too much light; choose a subtle color like light blue or beige.
  • Choose an outfit that looks good when standing and comfortable when sitting. Remember that cameras are sometimes placed at low levels. Slacks, knee length, or longer skirts are recommended over short skirts.
  • Refrain from wearing distracting trims like large bows or numerous ruffles. Remove pens and eyeglasses from pockets.
  • Avoid small high contrast patterns or lines, like herringbone, as well as bold checks or plaids. Solid colors with a colorful scarf or tie look good.

Color

  • Mild or pastel colors and subtle patterns work best under television lights.
  • Avoid pure white and black clothing, as they make skin tones appear harsh.
  • Bright reds and oranges sometimes "bleed" or smear on television. Avoid them.

Accessories

  • Avoid shiny, reflective jewelry; it reflects light and can damage cameras or create a flaring effect.
  • Choose solid colored accessories or ones with simple patterns that don't appear too busy.
  • Keep jewelry simple so it does not make noise when you move your head or body.
  • Avoid dangling earrings which can distract viewers.

Makeup

  • For Women - foundation and lipstick help to keep you from looking tired or washed out.
  • Don't wear dark, heavy makeup colors; television tends to create its own natural shadows.
  • For Men - shave before appearing if you have "5 o'clock shadow" or use a powder close to your skin color to lessen the appearance of your beard.
  • A light powdering on balding heads can prevent shiny spots.

Body Language

  • SMILE - this makes you look confident and comfortable. Avoid nervous fidgeting with pens, glasses, change, etc.
  • Be aware of your posture. Keep shoulders relaxed and both feet on the floor.
  • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Even if someone else is talking, the camera is still on and you may be showing in the shot.
  • Continue to participate in the conversation by using body language to show your interest.

Graphics and Props

Graphics and/or props can enhance your message but only if they are correctly prepared for television and used properly. Please don't create any graphics or bring any props without first consulting with GOV TV staff.

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