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1. Listen to the Podcast or Watch the Show

This seems self-explanatory, but I’m always surprised to hear the number of guests who do not research a podcast or show before pitching the host to be a guest on it. Rather when they pitch (and I know this from those who pitch me to be a guest on Janette’s TV and Janette’s TV Podcast), they ask what the format of my podcast and show is, or what kind of show it is, etc.

If you’re accepted to be a guest on any podcast or show, you’re being promoted by that podcast and show and put in front of their audience. That’s an honor! So, do yourself a favor, and take the time to watch or listen to the other kinds of guests the host has had on, what kinds of guest they feature, topics they cover, what the host’s interview style is, what questions they normally ask, and how you might be able to differentiate yourself.


2. Offer a Hook or Angle

Consider your pitch. What’s your unique value proposition? Why does this host even want to have you on their podcast/show, using a precious 30 minutes to an hour of their life talking to you?

If you’re lucky, the host will have invited you to appear on their show. In this case, the host will likely have an idea of what they want you to cover and how it will affect their audience.

If, on the other hand, you’re out there hustlin’ and bustlin’, pitching yourself for a podcast/show appearance (as most entrepreneurs and professionals are), you’ll need to make what you are uniquely qualified to do very clear.


In your pitch letter, try to offer this in two sentences or less, something like this:

I am looking forward to explaining the power that virtual assistants can have on growing a business and getting out of your own way. I’m excited to share some ideas about how your audience can find, hire, and train a VA quickly and efficiently… without losing their minds.

Not only will this impress your host, but it will help them develop questions that you can effectively answer. No one wants to be stumped on a podcast/show interview!


3. Provide Your Bio and Headshot

Whether we like it or not, not all podcast/show hosts are like ME and will have read this blog post and be completely prepared to have you on their podcast/show. Or, they won’t have stellar research skills and won’t be able to find your latest headshot and bio.


To avoid any confusion or any outdated information, offer up your host your latest headshot and a short bio. It will help them introduce you, can be included in show notes, and will save everyone any embarrassment of sharing information that’s no longer accurate.


4. Invest in a Good Microphone or Headset

You’d think this one would be a no-brainer, but again, you’d be surprised at how many people are like, “I want to be on your podcast/show!” And then are like, “Wait, how does the internet work?”


Look, pod and webcasting are generally all done with VOIP tools like Skype or Zencastr, which require a stable internet connection (wired if possible) and a good quality input. Content Creators/Producers like ME can only do so much if you sound muffled, staticky, or if you’re blowing out your microphone.


Now, some of this is on the host to let you know how you sound when you join the podcast/show – which is why I always do a sound check before I push record and provide 90 minutes of PREP On-Camera Training as well as send PDF’s with instructions of how to set-up your back ground, do a Split Screen interview and what to wear on-camera, but a lot of issues are avoidable if you buy a Yeti microphone or a USB headset. Avoid the Bluetooth for best results.

5. Ask What You Can Do

Your best way to be an amazingly ready to be a guest on any podcast or TV show might be to simply ask what your host needs from you. Maybe there are some special recording instructions or tools, a giveaway, or perhaps there are a few questions that they always like to ask (which you should be aware of if you’ve listened or watched a few their previous episodes), or maybe the host needs you to write a short blog post to go in the show notes.


While it is usually up to the guest to make the host’s life easier, I do things in reverse and make my guests lives easier. It starts well in advance of their scheduled Janette’s TV/Janette’s TV Podcast interview shoot date with 90 minutes of Media/On-Camera Training PREP with me where I internalize their message/story, devise timed-out, customized interview questions & answers that cover their sound-bites and talking-points (and can be used over and over again for other podcasts and TV shows), review their body language, voice techniques, image/wardrobe, brand, and much more. So, all they need to do is focus on delivering a freakin’ awesome interview and shining in the spotlight.

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Video offers tremendous potential for your businesses and brand, when it’s done right.

So, as the Executive Producer, Janette Burke Productions and Host/Creator of the award-winning, Janette’s TV and Janette’s TV Podcast, as well as a Media Mentor & Trainer, consider me Your On-Camera-Ready Maven and follow my 4 tips for looking and sounding great on-camera…


1. Delivery.

When speaking on camera, your job is to keep the viewer engaged. If you’re working with a production company, much of the storyline’s pacing depends on editing. But if you’re doing straight-to-camera video blogs on your own, timing is entirely up to you.

Keep your verbal delivery consistent — not too fast, not too slow — and avoid long pauses, keeping in mind that too many “um’s and ah’s” can affect your credibility. Also, to let your personality shine, refrain from a monotone speech pattern. You want to come across as appealing,

welcoming and trustworthy to your viewers, and much of that is expressed via your tone.


2. Body language.

As you well know, body language and facial expression play an incredibly important part in how others perceive you. Your goal should be to appear as natural as possible; relaxed yet professional. If you have a tendency to fidget, keep it under control once the record button has been hit. If you’re being interviewed, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. If you’re going for straight-to-camera delivery, eye contact with the camera means eye contact with the viewer — so don’t let your eyes jump all over the place. In a sit-down interview, stay away from chairs that swivel or rock.

Remember: Shoulders back, chin up and, of course, remember to speak with a smile! Doing these three things will differently affect the energy of your delivery, enhance your posture and overall flow.


3. Wardrobe.

Looking your best is often the key to feeling more confident in front of the camera. And when you’re confident, your delivery and final video product will be optimal.

Choosing appropriate clothing sets the visual stage for your production. Business casual works best in most cases, but it depends on what type of industry you’re in. Wear something you’d wear when working with a client or customer. A realtor would dress differently than a personal trainer, for example.

Before your shoot, experiment with a variety of outfits and colours to determine what makes you feel your best. It’s best to avoid shiny, reflective materials, wearing green, bright colors, bold patterns and thin stripes. Also take into consideration the background to ensure there’s enough contrast with your wardrobe. Of course, make sure your clothes are clean, lint- and wrinkle-free.


4. Hair, Makeup and Accessories.

When styling your hair before your video shoot, style as you normally would in a professional setting. Ensure your hair isn’t covering or likely to fall over your face during the shoot by using a bit of extra hair product, as necessary.

If you wear makeup, it should be applied slightly thicker than everyday wear. But be careful: too much will make you look over done, which you want to avoid. Stick with a natural, yet defined look. Powder is a must and keeping it or blot papers handy during your shoot will be a blessing if working under professional lighting.

Jewellery should be kept minimal and professional — again, whatever you might normally wear when working or meeting with a client or customer. If you wear glasses, it’s best if they are coated to reduce the reflections of video lights. And don’t forget to a final mirror or camera test immediately before recording.


Still in doubt about any of these steps? I offer a complimentary On-Camera Assessment, worth $125 to discuss your on-camera and media marketing needs. Schedule yours today by visiting www.janetteburke.com and always be ready for your close-up!


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Facebook Live, YouTube videos, Instagram Stories — we’re living in the age of video as content king or queen! As a Media Personality, Mentor & Trainer with over 20 years of public & media relations, journalism, producing, broadcasting, and TV hosting experience, Janette knows first-hand that being in front of a camera can be intimidating at first. But with the right amount of skills (or coping mechanisms for some), you will not only look like a natural, but you’ll also connect with your audience more effectively than ever. In this video, she shares her top 7 tips for getting comfortable in front of a camera.

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