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. I work as a coach to both media train and put together a reel for experts who want to do this exact thing! Here are five ways to earn TV time as an expert in your industry:
- 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. Also, a reel doesn’t hurt. Before anyone puts you on the tube, they want to know you can do the job!
- Stand for one thing. Have an opinion about issues… if not, what are you there for?!
- Hire a publicist (like me!) until you make your own relationships 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!