10 Tips to Boost Your On-Camera Appeal

Serious about being a real estate TV star? Then follow these tips from HGTV's Frontdoor.com.

August 1, 2008
  1. Tape yourself and have others critique you. Do a mock shoot. Have a friend or colleague film you giving advice to another friend posing as a seller. Focus on one room of a house, point out what is wrong with the room and suggest ways to improve the room. Then review the tape with people you know will be brutally honest. Ask them if they can see you on HGTV and if not, why.
  2. Know how to work the camera. If you're self-hosting a video, look into the camera as if you're speaking to a friend. Make sure you don't look like a deer in headlights. If you're being interviewed for a show like on HGTV, pretend the camera isn't there. Many people stiffen up or act differently when they know they're being filmed. Viewers can tell when you're uncomfortable. The key is to act natural and be yourself.
  3. Milk your personality. Great TV experts and hosts have a dynamic personality that shines through. If you're witty, make sure to highlight it. If you're a straight shooter, play it up for the camera.
  4. Be more enthusiastic than you normally would be. Smile, be energetic and show passion in what you're saying. Even if you feel like you're being too cheesy, err on the side of showing too much enthusiasm. Most on-camera rookies think they're coming off too corny, and while that may be true in real life, it's not when replayed on TV.
  5. Use your body. Don't just stand there. Be animated. Gesture to things as you mention them. Look back and forth between the room and the host/interviewer. Movement engages viewers. But don't move too much that it becomes distracting.
  6. Know your audience. Whether you’re on HGTV, CNBC, a local TV station, or speaking to potential clients, know who will be watching. Research the local market, know what's happening in the national market, and prepare talking points beforehand.
  7. Have a sense of humor. Viewers are drawn to experts who know their stuff and can make them laugh at the same time. But don't confuse bad jokes for good wit.
  8. Speak with authority and conviction. This doesn't mean you have to sound like national news anchor. In fact, people who use a "broadcaster" voice oftentimes sound fake. When you speak, talk slowly and deliberately. Stay on topic and avoid rambling. Get rid of filler phrases like "um," "uh" and "you know."
  9. Talk in sound bytes. In the news business, we look for 15-20 second comments that illustrate the point we want to make. Stay on point and be concise.
  10. Speak in terms people can understand. Avoid using lingo the average person does not understand. Use metaphors or specific examples when appropriate: "In recent weeks, the mortgage rate has been like a roller coaster at Six Flags." If you're asked to explain something complex, like the mortgage crisis, practice talking about it with a sixth-grader and see if he or she gets it.

Copyright 2008. Frontdoor.com/Scripps Networks. All rights reserved.