The King's Speech


Your clothing communicates your brand, so what do you wear in a TV interview?

Like it or not, you are what you wear and people will make judgments about your organisation based on your attire. So, if you want a winning interview, you need to dress for success.

Fundamentals for the Studio

While pin stripes are great in the business world, in the media world they’re a no-no. Under harsh studio lighting, tight patterns do something called strobing. It looks as though the lines are vibrating, and can be very distracting to the viewers. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you want to draw your audience into your content, rather than have them diverted by your appearance.

While many women like to look flashy on camera, in fact wearing bold or dazzling jewellery can also draw the viewers’ attention from your message, and rather to your jewels. So, it’s best to wear something more conservative like pearls. Heavy or noisy bracelets can also create a jingling noise on the studio desk if you talk with your hands.

If you wear glasses, be very sure that you don’t go into an interview wearing light-sensitive glasses. In just a few seconds under studio lights, you will be sitting in dark-lensed glasses – probably not an appearance you want to portray.

Flatter You Image

Remember that one always looks larger on TV, so if your suit doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. You want to look polished, so invest in an outfit that is tailored to your shape. Tailored suits give a more confident and successful impression. It may be a big investment for your wardrobe, but it’s a small investment for your brand.

Make-Up Matters

According to a study funded by Proctor & Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, women who wear make-up rank higher in competence and trustworthiness. And in another study by the American Economic Review, they earn 30% more than non-make-up wearing colleagues.

So, pull out your brush and mascara, and remember that make-up for on-camera needs to be a lot bolder than every day makeup. To prevent that oily shine under the studio lights, apply a translucent matte powder to your face at the end of your makeup routine.

On-Camera Colours

When going under the studio lights, it’s important to be aware of the affect that lighting has on colour. White blazes or glares, black ages skin by creating shadows and red bleeds on camera, so, while it may be a good colour for a presentation or meeting, it’s not a good colour for the camera sensor.

Colour greatly influences human emotion and interpretation, so wear colours according to your interview. Vibrant colours or pastels are best. Blues create a calming effect; so if you want to appear honest and trustworthy, wear blue. Deep reds or maroons represent passion or power, so if it is a hard-cutting interview, wearing a maroon may work to your advantage.

Colours will also accentuate your features; so if you’ve spent the weekend in the sun, avoid pinks or reds that will highlight your tan. Wearing blues or greens will highlight blue or green eyes. A good outfit would be a navy blue suit with a pastel pink shirt and pastel blue tie.

Getting Mic-ed Up

When you get into the studio, the crew will clip a lapel microphone to your tie, or jacket collar. If you are wearing a button-up shirt, this won’t be a concern; however, if you are wearing a dress or a top without buttons, this will pose a problem.

The microphone wire will have to be dropped down your dress or shirt, which can be awkward in an already stressful situation. So, it is best to wear something with buttons or at least a suit jacket when wearing a dress.

A Woman’s Wardrobe

Women who show more skin are taken less seriously, so if you want to break the glass ceiling, dress more conservatively and perhaps consider the power of the dress suit. If you choose to wear a dress or skirt, be sure to keep your legs crossed – you want to be sure that the viewers don’t have a view up your skirt.

Body Language

While dressing for success is an extremely important component of any interview, nothing is more essential than your audience believing that you are what you portray in your attire. So, ensure that your body language mimics the message your clothes communicate.

How you choose to handle being in the spotlight determines your public image, and ultimately the future of your business.

It is every company’s worst PR nightmare: Imagine waking up to your company’s name slashed across the headlines. So, if this does happen to you, handle the situation delicately, it can either make you or break you.

Media Training

While you may not need to interact with the media at present, you never know what the future may hold, or when you will have to answer to a reporter on camera. So, it is best to be media ready prior to that fateful day. There are a small number of professional reporters and media specialists who offer media training.

Training should consist of a theory segment, teaching you the art of communicating with the media and a tailored media messaging toolkit, as well as a practical segment, placing you in a simulated interview environment, providing you with close guidance and coaching through the interrogation process.

Media Exposure

I always tell my clients that the one thing that sets them apart from the most professional interviewees and regulars on CNBC and other business n

ews channels is practice and experience.

The more time you spend in front of the camera, the more relaxed you will become in the spotlight, allowing you to focus less on your image, and more on the messages you want to reveal.

Your first few interviews are going to be like riding a bike without fairy wheels for the first time, so rather do them now, before you’re a media focus and everyone has their eyes on you.

Crisis Communications

In a crisis, you want to be prepared, so cover your bases now. You should have a current roster of employees with all their after-hour contact details. Crises don’t adhere to work hours.

When a crisis takes place you need to put together a Crisis Communications Team that will decide on what actions need to take place.

The team should comprise of the CEO, the chief of Public Relations, the senior manager from the division in charge of the relevant department, the safety and/or security officer, the organisation Lawyer, and anyone else who might be able to shed some light on the situation. Then, the team then needs to decide on a spokesperso

n (someone who is media trained, calm under pressure, and someone the public can believe and trust).

Tell it all, tell it fast and tell the truth!

Many times organisational lawyers get too involved, as it is their job to minimise costs and legal fees, however, it is better to tell the truth from the beginning, as we all know, the truth always comes out.

The foremost goal is to protect the integrity and reputation of the company, so never ignore the situation, lie or deny your involvement – rather be honest and responsible, by counteracting with a positive message.

If you don’t communicate immediately, you lose your greatest o

pportunity to control events. With the invasion of social media, the first word in cyberspace wins, so ensure that your clients are getting the truth from you, not hearsay via Twitter. E

nsure that your social media platforms are up to date with a captive audience now; you want to ensure that you have followers in order to share the truth if a crisis hits.

If, when the headline is you, you are honest, show integrity and a desire to correct the wrong, as well as illustrate a concern for the public, the loyalty of your customers and employees should be secured, and while not all media exposure is good exposure, handling a crisis correctly, can in fact be a positive media opportunity and put your business on the map.

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The King's Speech offers MCing and event hosting. The King's Speech's Ashlea Evans hosts the Glamit Chi Miss Universe Event in Cape Town, South Africa. South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel Peters was recently crowned Miss Universe 2017 and spreads the message of women empowerment and strength.

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