Public Relations Resources: On-Stage Or On-Camera Tips

Public Relations are all about persuasion of perception by the public about you, your company or product, or the cause you represent. Regardless of these variables, you have been tasked with the responsibility to be the face of the PR effort, but you do not want either a shining or a washed-out face, inappropriate clothes or an ill-prepared message. What you want is to be a solid, confident, respectful and believable representative of the cause.

It does not matter if this is a live appearance before an audience or on camera for live or delayed broadcast with or without an audience. For the next 3 to 5 minutes (rarely there will be more time), you and the cause must be a seamless presentation. If this is a first-time experience, there are many pitfalls to avoid. The producer of the event will want you on your best behavior and will want you to succeed; your success is their success as well.

Tips for a stage or camera public relations appearance:

Clothing: choose a suit or dress with solid colors or a heel print rather than a loud pattern. The cut of the fabric should appear loose and comfortable, not a second skin and not a baggy hand-me-down appearance. Tight fitting clothes, short dresses and loud prints will take over the message and will be what is remembered, not unnecessarily you or your message. Do you look like the professional bearing an important message for public consumption, or a performer limited to a one-time shot?

Props: If you are promoting a product or a book, have samples available to display during your presentation and to give to the host and producer, and even to other guests (off stage); they may be a target audience as well. Be prepared to discuss product features and benefits appealing to the public wherever live or watching on TV. If a book is promoted, be ready for commentary on its primary message, plot and characters. If you're the author, sign the books.

Make-up: Even if you are familiar with make-up, stage make-up (with or without a camera) is specifically applied to work with stage and studio lighting, none of which is like normal daylight or artificial room lighting with which you are familiar. Do not refuse make-up. Without it, you will appear washed-out. This was Richard Nixon's mistake in his infamous debt with opposition candidate John Kennedy in 1960. No one will remember you or your product or message; just the blank face that does not promote.

Focus on the host during the interview: Ignore the camera and, for the most part, the audience. Face the host and respond to his / her questions by eye contact. Be yourself, be conversational. After all, if you were not already a calm, relaxed person, someone else would have been chosen to promote the product or policy . Being genuine gives credence to the message.