Plymouth, MI, USA – December 28, 2020 – Have you ever noticed how some people look great on a Zoom call? What’s their secret? “It’s no accident,” says book publicist Scott Lorenz. “They have the proper lighting, the right location, a good internet connection and they’re wearing the right clothes.”
Lorenz says, “In today’s era of COVID-19, media interviews that were once conducted in a TV studio are now performed on Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. This presents more opportunities for interviews for authors because they don’t have to go to a studio but there are challenges as well.”
Are you ready for your up-close TV interview on ZOOM?
Lorenz, President of Westwind Communications book marketing provides advice to his authors on how to put their best face forward, so they not only capture the interest of the interviewer but the viewing public as well. “My personal Zoom experiences and discussions with several experts in this visual field have allowed me to come up with a quick list of tips to help people crush their next Zoom call.”
“Most of my associates conclude that you don’t have to dress up as much as you usually do. However, your attire should not be down more than one level from what you typically wear in the office. If you normally wear a suit and tie, for example maybe you can lose the tie,” says Lorenz.
Jess Todtfeld, media trainer and former national TV news producer with NBC, ABC, and FOX says, “People should avoid white, black, and red and make sure your clothing is wrinkle-free, remove distracting jewelry, and dress as simply as possible. You want TV viewers to focus on your face and what you say, not your clothes. If you normally wear makeup to work then you’ll need to wear it on a Zoom TV interview too.”
Lorenz reminds authors they are the face of their book and the brand.
Invest in Reliable Internet Connection
“We’ve all seen someone freeze on the screen during a Zoom session. You know what causes this? Nine-five percent of the time it’s a bad Internet connection in your own home or office,” says Lorenz. “To reduce the risk of this happening to you, a reliable internet connection is a must. If you’re in the middle of an interview and your connection freezes, a TV station will stop the interview and go to someone else. A hardline wired connection to your computer vs. WIFI can prevent this issue. In the event you must use WIFI, request that others in your home or office stay off it during your interview.”
Be Mindful of Your Background
“Your background during a Zoom call is important,” says Lorenz. “Do your best to make it visually appealing. Add fresh flowers, a potted plant, a painting or better yet, an enlargement of your book cover on an easel.” “As a book publicist I remind my author clients that people will be able to read book titles so there’s a good chance they’ll notice dust, too many knick knacks and other distractions in the background. Don’t sit in front of horizontal blinds as this confuses the camera and may cause pixilation of the image (vertical blinds are ok). Refrain from virtual backgrounds that come with ZOOM as they create a distortion around your head and body. If you must use one due to a home office in a bedroom or hallway then buy a portable green screen so you can choose a beautiful virtual background that’s free from distortions. You’ll look professional and feel good too,” states Lorenz.
Do you have a ZOOM Room?
TV and radio studios have acoustically padded walls, ceilings and are carpeted. The sound is absorbed and is not ricocheting around giving that ‘hollow’ effect. “If your ZOOM Room is like a racquetball court then you need a new location or to figure out how to deaden the sound bounce with carpet, acoustic tiles etc. Wearing a lapel microphone helps too. This should be needless say but, keep dogs, kids and the neighbor’s lawn mower out of sound range,” says Lorenz.
Pay Attention to the Lighting
“TV loves a well-lit subject,” says Lorenz. “It’s essential that your face is well lit throughout the entire interview. If you’re in a dark room, use a circle light or lamp with a warm glow. Ideally, you’d be in a bright room with minimal windows. Excessive or varying light may cause the camera lens to adjust when you don’t want it to. They only cost $50-100 so just do it. I love mine and it’s really helpful on dark dreary days, late night or early morning interviews or when your spouse may need the living room light for reading!”
Ensure the Camera is at ‘just a smidge below’ Eye Level
Jess Todtfeld says the camera should always be ‘just a smidge below’ eye level with you. “Try your best to look at the camera instead of the screen at all times. Don’t let your eyes wander as this may cause others to believe you’re disinterested or disengaged in the interview. Put a little post-it note near the camera lens on your camera to remind you to ‘look at the camera’ not the screen,” says Todtfeld.
If you are using the camera on an iPhone or other smartphone, place it on a tripod and be sure to turn off the notifications and the ringer or everyone on the call will hear them.
Use the Skype App
Lorenz strongly suggests that for best results when using SKYPE, people should use the SKYPE App and not a browser. “The reality is that the browser accessed version won’t run at optimal speeds and there’s a good chance your screen may freeze. Download the app on your phone or tablet and test it out in advance to make sure it works well. If using a laptop plug it in so you don’t get a surprise if your battery decides to go dead,” says Lorenz.
Opt for Wireless or Wired Earbuds
Speakers on your computer are ok. But, if you want best results, get wireless or wired earbuds. They can enhance your sound quality and help you sound great on camera. If you use wireless earbuds, don’t forget to charge them completely before the interview. “Personally I am not a fan of the earbuds,” says Lorenz, “Just try them and if you like them use them.”
Have a Glass of Water Handy
“We’ve all had dry mouth but it’s especially bad on a TV interview,” says Lorenz. “You can enjoy a number of benefits if you keep a glass of water by your side during your interview. Since talking a lot and being nervous can lead to dry mouth and throat, water can help you keep your vocal cords moist. It can also serve as a prop so if you’re asked a tricky question, you can take a sip of the water and give yourself some extra time to think of a good answer.”
Don’t Forget Pen and Paper
With a pen and paper nearby, you’ll be able to jot down the reporter’s name, questions you may have, and anything that you’d like to remember after the interview. “If you take notes on your computer, you’ll distract the interviewer so doing so the old fashioned way is ideal,” says Lorenz.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Make sure you know how to work ZOOM, SKYPE and Facetime and are comfortable with all of the options. Practice using all of these with friends and family. “Don’t let your big interview on national TV be a flop because of some technical issue you could have avoided,” urges Lorenz.
The Bottom Line: “By following these tips, you can nail your virtual Zoom interview and meet your goals from the comfort of your own home or office,” concludes Lorenz.
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com or contact Lorenz at email@example.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist.
Is there a strategy in naming your book? YES! Check out Scott’s new award winning book for authors called: BOOK TITLE GENERATOR at http://www.BookTitleGenerator.org.