A few months ago, I was invited to be part of a program on local television. WTVQ in Lexington, Kentucky hosts a morning show called Good Day Kentucky. Since I was going to partner with the Woodford Humane Society at the book signing of Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell, the marketing director of the animal shelter asked me to join her during her taping.
Naturally, I was flattered. Who could pass up this amazing advertising moment? But deep inside, I was wondering what on earth have I done? I'm terribly shy.
Way back in high school, I actually enjoyed performing in plays and loved being in front of an audience. But fast forward about forty years. Like the other dance classes at Dancers' Studio in Lexington, Kentucky, my ballet class would perform at the annual recital. I knew the routine perfectly. On the day of the performance however, I got stage fright. My feet literally stuck to the floor. We're talking deer-in-the-headlights frozen. Luckily, in what seemed an eternity, I snapped out of it and fell back in line to finish the dance.
Since then, being in front of an audience makes me nervous. But people tell me to relax. They say being on television is no different than having a conversation with a friend. They say it's easy when you talk about what you love.
I love Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell. It's a special book because it shows the value of pet rescue and encourages young kids to solve problems and recognize peer pressure. And that's what I tried to remember when I sat upon the yellow sofa greeted by Troy and Katie. Granted, I was terrified being on live TV, but the experience was worth it because I was able to show people how excited I was about my book.
If you have the chance to be on television to promote your book, go for it. Don't let shyness stand in your way. It's difficult trying to find ways to market your work. Embrace this amazing opportunity.
Tips for preparing for a television spot:
1. Prepare questions for the host ahead of time
2. Practice your responses
3. Stand (or sit ) before a mirror as you practice your responses
4. Arrive early and check in with the the receptionist.
5. Be aware that the host may not follow the script
6. Stay focused and listen
7. Make sure the host mentions the title of your book
8. Look at the host, not the camera
9. Be excited about your book (let it show in your voice)
10. Women: wear a little eye makeup and lipstick
11. Dress comfortably. Wear solid colors, no patterns
12. Try to relax and smile
13. Have someone help you get miked
14. Have fun