I spent 18 hours at Amazon on Cyber Monday covering the event for one of my TV network news clients. So many interesting products and so much to talk about for the news shows. On three separate occasions I was asked what it takes to get booked as a spokesperson on TV network news shows. My “go to” answer for those types of questions has always been something along the lines of a lot of persistence, practice, and “that thing”. “That thing” refers to those magical qualities which makes someone a good TV guest; a good sound bite, if you will.
It wasn’t until I left full-time TV news work and entered into the media training and coaching realm when I started to think about those qualities that encompass “that thing”. What does it take to become a “go to” spokesperson or expert ready for network news appearances? Based on my experience, it really boils down to these three elements:
-Knowing your product inside and out and more importantly, the ability to quickly cover information in sound bite form(think ten second or less bullet points).
-Visual presentation. Guests must be able to “show and tell” products or services using in-studio props, video, or still photos.
-A pleasant, friendly, or interesting physical appearance. TV networks want people who engage their audience in some shape or form.
Additionally, you are going to need an audition video which shows you in action.
Of course, there are always exceptions to these rules. Some times TV shows are willing to sacrifice some of these attributes if the product or service is over the top interesting, visual or unique. But those situations are rare. If you want to get booked on TV network news, training and practice are key to getting “that thing”.