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4 Secrets To Becoming A Guest On Top Tv Talk Shows

The phone rings. You hear an authoritative voice say, *Hello, I'm the producer of...Good Morning America or Oprah, or Larry King Live* or any other top talk show, you name it. This is your big moment, the break you've been waiting for. After you catch your breath what do you do?

Producers make an instant assessment of you in thirty seconds--or less. When you get that coveted call from a producer, you aren't just *talking* to him: you're auditioning. You are being screened...

media, media coaching, marketing, publicity, PR

The phone rings. You hear an authoritative voice say, *Hello, I'm the producer of...Good Morning America or Oprah, or Larry King Live* or any other top talk show, you name it. This is your big moment, the break you've been waiting for. After you catch your breath what do you do?

Producers make an instant assessment of you in thirty seconds--or less. When you get that coveted call from a producer, you aren't just *talking* to him: you're auditioning. You are being screened to be accepted or eliminated as a guest on their show. How can you pass the audition?

Secret #1: Ask Before You Speak

Before you even open your mouth to start pitching yourself and your story to the producer, ask them a simple question: *Can you tell me a little bit about the kind of show you envision?* In other words, ask the producer the angle he is planning to take.

Doing so has two advantages. First, it gives you a moment to overcome the shock and to collect your thoughts.

Second, once you hear the producer's reply, you can gear your pitch to the type of information he's seeking. Listen closely to the angle that he's interested in and tailor your points to it. Publicists often use this technique to get their clients booked on shows. They *get* before they *give* - so they are in a good position to tell only the most pertinent information about their client.

Secret #2: Wow the Producers with Brevity

Follow the advice of jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie: *It's not how much you play. It's how much you leave out.* Keep your list of talking points by the phone when you call a producer (or a producer calls you), so you'll be succinct. You will already have rehearsed your points so that they'll sound natural and inviting. Be prepared with several different angles or pitches, different ways to slant your information. *Nobody gets on these shows without a pre- interview,* says publicist Leslie Rossman. *Be a great interview but don't worry about the product you want to sell them because if you're a great guest and you make great TV, they'll want you.*

And keep in mind the words of Robert Frost: *Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.*

Secret #3: Prove You're Not a Nutcase

If you area nutcase on the air, the producer will lose their job. What constitutes a nutcase? You may think it's a positive trait to be enthusiastic (and it is), but anyone who is overly zealous about his passion is considered a nut. Best-selling author and screenwriter Richard Price talks about this phenomenon as *The dangerous thrill of goodness.* He says, *What happens is you can get very excited by your own power to do good.* Don't get carried away by this thrill.

One way to tell if you're being too zealous is that you're hammering your point at top speed with the energy of a locomotive pulling that toot lever non-stop. I remember a man calling me up about how he was single-handedly taking on Starbucks - who, he felt, had done him wrong. He wanted me to promote his cause. While this could have been a great David versus Goliath type story, he was long on emotion and short on facts. Some statistics or figures would have tempered his mania.

But he also never checked in with me to see if he had my interest. By talking loudly and barely pausing for a breath, he appeared to be a man who wouldn't take direction well. His single-mindedness was off- putting, not engaging.

When you're talking to a producer speak for 30 seconds or so and then check in by asking, *Is this the kind of information you're looking for?* Listen for other verbal cues, such as encouraging grunts, or *uh huhs.*

Secret #4: Can You Mark *The Big Point?*

Contributors to the popular radio show *This American Life,* hosted by Ira Glass, have taken to calling the wrap-up epiphany at the end of a story, *The Big Point.* This is the moment that the narrator gives his perspective on the story in an attempt to elevate it from the mundane to the universal.

Another radio personality, Garrison Keillor, is a master at it. He tells long, rambling stories (not good advice for you), then ties up all the story strands in a coherent and satisfying way. As a great guest, you want to illuminate your story with a big standout point that helps the audience see the significance of your story in their world and the world at large. Rather than hitting them over the head with a two-by-four, you want to share your insights with a feather-like touch. By framing your story you alert the producer to the fact that you're a thinker and can contribute great insights and clarity to a story thus increasing its appeal.

 

More NASCAR racing events are live and exclusive on your television

NASCAR events are now available more than ever on screen. This simply indicates the growing popularity and lack of availability of NASCAR Race tickets. The best solutions at present are buying tickets online to enjoy the game in the stadium

NASCAR Tickets

If you are a diehard follower of auto racing, you know everything about NASCAR and enjoy every bit of it. Even if you are a rookie, fill up your gas tank and get set, go, to the most exciting racing event on the planet. You can enjoy the game sitting at home, as NASCAR events are now available more than ever on screen.

A good number of shows, specifically about drivers, people related to this sport and the racing events are on air. Channels like Fox, Speed, XM144 and MRN are almost devoted to NASCAR racing. TNT, NBC, ESPN and ABC Sports with others too are following the line up.

Drivers, these days, are coming from Wisconsin, Kansas, Washington, Indiana, California, North Carolina and many other states.

They, more than ever before, are on talk shows in this channel and that.

This simply indicates the growing popularity and lack of availability of NASCAR Race tickets.

Fans, those who cannot make it to the stadium, can now enjoy the game more then ever before, with all the actions and backstage dramas live and exclusive on various channels.

However to feel the ever growing heat of the track hardcore fans try to be there in the stadium.

What does it mean when someone thinks of being there?

Getting NASCAR Race tickets at the stadium or from any other place, right before the race will force the fan paying so much above the premium rate that it will literally break his bank. Still, he can never be sure of getting the best available seat.

Moreover, when someone buys scalped tickets, he runs the risk of buying a fake or even being arrested.

The best possible solution at present is buying tickets online that saves time and assures authenticity and no fakes. For a smooth passage to NASCAR racing stadiums, one only needs a mouse touch. A number of ticket brokers offer NASCAR Race tickets online. Here one even has the option to select the preferred seats. If for any reason someone cannot make it to the stadium, he or she can even sell the NASCAR race tickets to these online dealers.

The online dealers even refund money if the event is canceled. If an event is postponed, the tickets are honored for the rescheduled event date.

However, the fan should make sure that their broker is registered with the National Association of Ticket Brokers, the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland, and the Baltimore-Washington corridor Chamber of Commerce. It is better if your broker is a member of the Better Business Bureau Online Reliability Program.

 

7 Tips To Become A Star Tv Guest

How one expert made a splash on CNN'S Paula Zahn Now, and how you can, too

Cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Robert Kotler's New York based publicist, made contact with the Paula Zahn Now program on CNN to schedule an appearance. Here's what happened next.

1. Map out the segment with the producer

*I was referred to one of the *bookers* who did a quick screening and then put me in contact with an associate producer. Over several phone conversations, we worked out the subject m...

media, media coaching, talk show guest, publicity, PR

How one expert made a splash on CNN'S Paula Zahn Now, and how you can, too

Cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Robert Kotler's New York based publicist, made contact with the Paula Zahn Now program on CNN to schedule an appearance. Here's what happened next.

1. Map out the segment with the producer

*I was referred to one of the *bookers* who did a quick screening and then put me in contact with an associate producer. Over several phone conversations, we worked out the subject matter of the 3-4 minute interview.*

NOTE: Once you've passed the *audition* with a booker you're passed to an associate (or other less senior) producer. Often after that first "audition" you must be screened by producers at higher and higher levels. If you're chosen then you begin to create a segment together.

2. Help the producer shape the segment

*The *backbone* of the spot was my recently published book, SECRETS OF A BEVERLY HILLS COSMETIC SURGEON, The Expert's Guide to Safe, Successful Surgery. The associate producer and I had discussed what I consider to be the non-frivolous and important consumer issues of the book, such as how to select a properly trained surgeon and how to be certain that the facility in which the surgery is to be performed is properly credentialed and hence safe. And even the issue of having an anesthesia specialist in the patient's service to assure comfort and safety. Those are the key gems for the consumer-reader-viewer.*

NOTE: Robert choose important issues of concern to Zahn's audience angling his ideas to suit her show. It's up to you to suggest ideas that would make a great segment. Listen to the producer's ideas and don't be shy about gently suggesting alternatives. A pro-active guest who knows his material is prized. Be sensitive though to how attached the producer is to his idea and suggest yours accordingly.

3. Expect the Unexpected

*On the air, the focus of the segment was somewhat different than I had been lead to expect. Paula Zahn, who is as smart, charming, and attractive off camera as on, was a hospitable and engaging interviewer. However, as comfortable as I was made to be, the questioning by Paula got stuck on *which celebrities have had what done.* And, they put up photos of some selected celebs and asked me to comment on them--including ones I had not seen prior.*

NOTE: Always be prepared for the unexpected. This is a frequent tactic of TV shows. If they had told Robert ahead of time what they were planning he may not have agreed to be their expert. Instead they lead him to believe that they would focus on what he considered important issues. To be fair to the show they may have planned to cover what was discussed, but changed their mind at the last minute. Or they may not have had time or didn't feel it was necessary to inform their guest of show changes.

Also, talk show hosts are expert at making you feel comfortable. It's their job to help you be a good guest (relaxed and credible)--as ones who are nervous don't come across well. A typical tactic is to put you at ease and then ask an unexpected question to get a candid response--which often makes for good television. Be ready. You can be candid and still speak to YOUR talking points.

4. Prepare your answers and bridge to them

*While I have had professional coaching on *guesting,* and understood how to redirect the questions, I decided to just *go along* with the trail of questions Paula posed. I could see that this was going to be a *light interview,* not hard news. Not that it was distasteful or unpleasant, but, frankly, it seemed redundant and wasteful of audience time. I felt the public deserves more significant information than yet another review of Joan Rivers' ultra--raised eyebrows or Michael Jackson's nose remnant.

While I did not expect a formal *book review* I felt the viewers would have appreciated knowing how to avoid the bad surgical results that everyone is so familiar with.

As I would have told the viewers, *If presumably smart and wealthy people can have such bad cosmetic surgery, how does the *average citizen* avoid it?* In the end, it was not a particularly informative session--a bit fluffy--and I saw that as an opportunity lost. But, hey, while it says Cable NEWS (italics mine) Network on the door, it is still first and foremost entertainment. Show biz. So, always be cognizant of that, I just rolled with it and enjoyed myself.*

NOTE: The show wanted the sexy celebrity angle, but Robert could have bridged to the information he thought was important with a phrase such as *Mistakes can happen to anyone, including celebrities like Michael Jackson. To prevent these mishaps for yourself you can*...and then he could have delivered the key points he wanted to cover such as the importance of a good anesthesiologist.

5. Follow the host's lead *and* make your points

*Yes, I could have diverted the conversation and tried to say what I thought needed to be said, but one has to weigh the benefit of taking that path and possibly being disfavored by the program and hence not be welcomed back or just going with the flow knowing that just *being there* and having the cover of the book flashed on screen is quite satisfactory for my purposes of promoting the book.*

NOTE: You can satisfy the host and yourself by balancing the information with what the host wants and what you want. If you transition gracefully by taking a few seconds to comment on their question and then a few seconds to focus on your point everyone will be satisfied.

6. Let the host and show promote your product

*Another unanticipated plus of appearing on the program was that during the entire day, the interview segment was promoted heavily and the repetition of my name throughout the day was a bonus that cannot be disregarded. I saw each hourly announcement as a *free advertisement.* I was happy.

Bottom line: Breathing or not breathing, dead or alive, being a guest on a nationally televised interview -- regardless of the quality of the interview--is worthwhile to any author or public figure. And, it is fun and a memorable experience for those of us from outside the media world. The producers liked the segment and, after all, it is their show.*

NOTE: Often times guests are overly promotional in an effort to make the most of their on-air time. You won't be invited back if you plug yourself or your product obviously. Find out ahead of time how your product will be positioned on the show. Let the host do the promoting. Your job is to give great information about the product, service or cause that incites your audience to take action.

BEFORE the show, and at the time your booking is confirmed, ask that your website, 800# etc. be displayed on the screen (this is called a chyron). Realize though, that some shows have policies not to do this. Ask also how your product will be positioned on the show. Always bring your product with you in the event they've lost the one you sent. This will insure that your product will get the publicity that you want. Better yet, if you can create interactive scenes that involve your product that are entertaining and witty you will be a hero.

7. Enjoy the recognition and propose a new segment

*Finally, and probably most importantly, my 87 year old parents thought I *looked very good on TV.* They liked my suit and tie selection. So, everyone was happy!*

NOTE: Make your parents proud. The kind of exposure you receive on national shows is invaluable for credibility -- with your parents, competition, clients, and other national shows. And you can increase your recognition by calling up other talk shows and suggesting a different angle of the topic you just covered. Also, while you're in studio propose another segment with a totally new angle. The time to pitch a segment is right then when everyone is happy with your appearance. Try and get a committed date on the spot.

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