When I was working in news, so many people would ask me, “How do you get to be on TV?” First, I would explain to them it’s not as glamorous as it looks. Then, I’d explain the process I went through of school, internships, making a tape, sending it out (hundreds of times), making a new tape, sending it out (hundreds of more times), then bouncing from market to market. It took a lot, but many can bypass all of that. If you are an ‘expert’ in your field and you think you’re good enough to be a panelist on TV – you can do it too. You just need to promote yourself as an expert in your field.
Thanks to my fellow reporter friend Stephanie Tsoflias with Reel Reporting for sharing these five simple tips on how you can get on TV as an expert:
- If you are a doctor, attorney, computer programmer, etc. – pretend you’re talking to 5th graders. These types of experts have a tendency to try to sound smart and they go on too long. Keep it short and simple and speak in normal language.
- You have to practice being on TV before you can get on TV. You can do that with your phone. Pretend you are having a normal conversation.
- Stand for one thing. Have an opinion about issues.
- Hire a public relations person (like me!) until you make your own relationship with assignment desks, reporters, bookers, etc. (I think I have a leg up on working in PR for this reason… I used to be the media!)
- ALWAYS send out an email the minute you hear a story breaking you could be an expert on. It can be as simple as, “I am an expert if you guys are doing a story on such-and-such.” That’s it!