You’ve just been invited for a remote guest TV appearance, but what do you need to know? Well, we’ve got you covered! Here are 8 tips to make sure your TV appearance is a success…
1. Lighting is important!
It’s no secret, lighting is difficult yet extremely important. However, there are very simple steps that you can follow to ensure you look as best as possible on-air!
Light sources that are directly above or behind you will cause a ‘wash-out’ effect. Try not to position yourself in front of a window or with a light source directly behind or above you. Light your face from the front using a lamp, or even better, a dedicated face ring light which can be picked up at a very reasonable price.
Lighting is a key factor in making your shot look good. Spending sufficient time on perfecting your lighting will result in an extremely professional looking shot.
2. Eliminate any background noise
Background noise during your appearance can severely distract viewers; something that is fairly easy to resolve ahead of time. Turn off any fans or alarms, close doors and windows, and simply eliminate anything that causes consistent or sudden noise. Also consider disconnecting or putting mobiles into do not disturb or sleep mode.
If possible, invest in a directional microphone that will reduce background noise and provide clear audio. This could be a shotgun microphone or studio microphone, these will take your audio to the next level!
3. Dress and position appropriately
It may be surprising, but what you wear is also very important. Where possible, try to dress neutral and avoid anything with lots of patterns or brand logos – these will take attention away from you. Take cue from newscasters or presenters who always dress in solid, bright colours.
Also very appropriate is the positioning within the shot. Set the camera on your PC/mobile at or just above eye level, you want to be looking directly at or up into it. If you’re using a laptop or mobile, a useful tip to achieve this is to use heavy books or other substantial materials to lift your camera to eye level.
Use the ‘rule of thirds’ method, a rule used by photographers, to position yourself within the shot. To achieve this, mentally divide the shot into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. You want to position your eyes roughly on the top line, while also leaving some headroom above your head, as shown here:
4. Wear headphones or earphones
By simply wearing headphones or earphones, your audio can improve significantly.
Sometimes you will come across a remote guest appearance that sounds like an echo, this is often down to not using a headset and having audio constantly looping. Echo, or reverb, can completely ruin your tv appearance, and is extremely easy to fix with the use of a headset.
Consider using headphones or an earpiece when possible. Even something minimal like Apple AirPods will help immensely!
5. Get the most out of your device
You may have every tip perfected, but you do not want to be let down by your device. There are a number of different things you can do to ensure you get the most out of your laptop, PC or mobile.
Network is an extremely important aspect to consider. Where possible, try to use a network cable (Ethernet) directly from your router to your laptop, PC or mobile. Perhaps you don’t have a network cable or are too far from the router – don’t worry! A strong wireless or mobile connection can suffice. However it is best to try achieve full signal strength, this can be achieved by moving closer to your Wi-Fi router. If you are using a mobile connection (3G, 4G or 5G), try to position yourself near a window.
If you’re on a home or shared internet, try to disconnect any other devices connected to the same network connection. Consider other computers, mobiles, tablets, game consoles, smart TVs, streaming devices, etc. If applicable, pause any high-bandwidth activities such as movie streaming, downloading music, file sharing and cloud services. Disconnecting other devices will reduce the load, interference and congestion on your router.
The amount of applications running on your device can also affect your device performance. Try to close as many unused applications as possible. Completing this will reduce the number of background activities and result in significantly better device performance and network usage.
Lastly, ensure that your device has sufficient battery/charge. If possible, connect your device to a power source for the duration of your appearance – you do not want to disconnect due to your battery dying!
6. Consider your background
It is very important to consider your background. You may think that having a complex background will add depth to your appearance, however this actually has the opposite effect.
Generally, it is best to keep your background as clear as possible. Try to clear anything that may draw attention away from yourself. This could be furniture, paintings or decorations – less is more!
Aim for a background that is clean and simple, even if it means having to move your position to another room.
7. Testing 1, 2, 3…
With all of the above steps completed, it’s time to test, test and test again!
Not only will it allow you to test any changes you have made, but it will help you to feel more comfortable with your new setup.
One useful tip is to use the inbuilt camera application on your laptop, PC or mobile. Simply record yourself for several minutes, then re-watch to check your audio, lighting, background and other aspects are up to scratch.
8. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Quicklink?
You may be invited to use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or other consumer-grade video conferencing platforms, however these platforms can heavily compress video and audio quality which may result in a poor quality appearance. Suggest to use a professional remote guest solution, such as Quicklink Studio (ST55) which will allow you to appear in the highest-quality possible.
Quicklink’s remote guest solutions offer levels of quality that is unachievable using consumer-grade video conferencing or meeting platforms, and is used by the world’s leading brands, including; BBC, Aljazeera, CNN, NBC Universal, Bloomberg, CBS and more!