This article is the second in Heidi’s Fashion Diary series. Throughout this series, Blogger Babes will be offering glimpses into the life of Heidi Nazarudin, Blogger Babes’ President & Co-Founder and, of course, blogger at the highly successful TheAmbitionista.com. What is it like living the live of a full-time fashion blogger? Is it really all glitz, glamour and gorgeous shoes? Follow along as Heidi reveals all.
For the past few months, I have been traveling all over East Asia for the launch of Blogger Babes Asia in collaboration with Clozette.co, a fashion-geared social network based in Singapore. Starting up the Asian branch of BloggerBabes was no easy task. On top of actually running the launch in multiple cities, I had to do multiple interviews on national media–half of which were broadcasted live!
One of my favorite interviews was with ClozetteTV for the Singapore launch at the beautiful St. Regis Hotel.
For a blogger, getting on TV or other types of broadcast media (i.e. an established web series) is still one of the best ways to gain credibility and demonstrate how media-friendly you are. Therefore, you need to make sure you master the TV interview because it could lead to more exposure and opportunities down the line. Having done this many times over the last couple of years, I found there are some things you can do to make your first TV experience an amazing one–or at least not awkward.
How to Rock a TV Interview with Style
1. Your default “camera face” should be a slight smile. When the camera focuses on you, a non-smiling face can look stern or expressionless, which can quickly turn viewers off. I’ve heard viewers mention how ‘stuck-up’ someone looks on screen when they actually had a very neutral face on.
2. If you’re a naturally calm person in real life (most Asians are naturally more reserved in public), try to act more enthusiastic. A reserved demeanor can read as “dead” or “no personality” on camera. Watch talk shows that cater to your target audience and observe the hosts’ mannerism and energy levels.
3. It’s okay to not know the answer to a question. A good trick is to pivot– turn the conversation towards something you can talk about, Let’s say the interviewer asks you for the best way to blow out your hair… but you don’t have a clue. Instead of saying “I don’t know,” expand to say “I don’t know… but I do know the best way to mask a bad hair day– red lipstick!” Just like in real life, it’s okay to not know the answer, but you have to know how to turn the conversation your way.
4. The pivot technique can also be used when you want to focus on something else. This is especially useful if you’re on a live TV segment, and you’re asked about something you are not comfortable discussing. Let’s say you’re on a fashion talk show, and the interviewer asks you something like, “Do you and your boyfriend think you’re going to get married?” If you want to change the subject, you could laugh and say, “I don’t know yet… We tried taking care of a tropical plant this year and it died.” You can then immediately transition with something like, “Speaking of the tropics, one of the reasons I’m in Asia is to look at the fashion designers in the region, and I am loving the talent here!” See how I changed the subject without being awkward?
5. Prepare 3 to 5 talking points or before the segment on topics you would really like to cover in the interview. As a blogger, I always want to make sure that (a) they know what my blog is about (“So my blog is a fashion and lifestyle blog for working women.”), (b) what kind of brands I want to work with (“I’m here in Kuala Lumpur to explore new brands and companies to work with. I’d love to work with more Malaysian brands.”, and (c) that if they want to reach me, they can follow me on Instagram (“I live on Instagram. Follow me at @TheAmbitionista and say hello!”). My IG handle is always displayed on the TV screen, as I explicitly request this.
6. Practice, practice, practice. It’s perfectly okay to run mock interviews with yourself. I sometimes watch talk shows, and pretend the questions are directed towards me and try to answer them. I also make it a point to participate in small live panels as much as possible to get used to being in front of an audience. Believe or not, I am an introvert by nature, and talking in front of a live audience or being interviewed is something that I had to practice to get used to.
A few more images from the Blogger Babes Asia x Clozette launch:
I hope these tips help you should you come across an opportunity for an interview! Coming up next week: How to survive the craziness that is New York Fashion Week.
Heidi Nazarudin is a former CEO turned fashion & lifestyle blogger, public speaker and event host. She has worked with brands such as Saks 5th Avenue, Armani Cosmetics, Salvatore Ferragamo, Etienne Aigner and many more, and has been featured in the media numerous times. She blogs full-time at TheAmbitionista.com but lives on Instagram @TheAmbitionista. Sometimes, her boyfriend drags her back from the interwebz into real life to walk on the beach in beautiful Santa Monica, where she lives.