I’m Going on TV; What Do I Wear?

You’ve done your media preparation and practice. You’re well acquainted with your interviewer, you know what questions to anticipate and you have a game plan for your responses. Now the one question that remains is, “What do I wear?” While it may sound vain to focus time and effort on hair and clothing, it really does matter. Television is a visual medium and people are listening with their eyes just as much, if not more so, than they are with their ears.

Remember that you’re representing your company’s brand and first impressions count. Make sure that your attire reflects that. If you have a hip and trendy message, then a traditional navy blue suit isn’t the outfit that is going to convey that message. What does your outfit say about you before you utter a word? Are you traditional and conservative or innovative and edgy?

Regardless of how you want to be perceived, there are a couple musts that should be followed:
•    Avoid small-checkered patterned prints. The camera has a difficult time focusing on the print, making it hard for viewers to look at.

•    Don’t wear large, flashy or clunky jewelry. Oversized jewelry not only overshadow your message, the noise of it can be picked up on your microphone.

•    If you’re wearing a jacket, pull it tight and sit on the back of it. This gives you a much sleeker look and more polished presence.

•    Not sure what color to wear? Stay away from white, unless you’re wearing a colored jacket on top. White tends to wash you out. Instead opt for French blue. There’s a reason why it is the backdrop for nearly all presidential debates. That’s because it looks great on all. 
Now that you’re not worried about your clothes, you can focus on your message.

These tips were authored by Tami Kou, the lead media trainer at LaBreche, a premier brand communications company in Minneapolis, MN. A larger version of this article will be featured in PR News' upcoming Media Training Guidebook, 2008-09 edition. Check back on PRNewsonline.com for updates.