When you’re set to appear at a televised interview for the first time, you want to make sure you’re ready to face the camera and confidently address questions thrown to you. You also want to take steps to look great on TV because you want to leave a positive impression on your audience.

First impressions matter a lot. According to an article from Inc., you have just 27 seconds to create a first impression. Although you can’t control the timing, you can control how you would appear in front of the camera.

If you’ve been invited to share your comments and insights on TV, follow these seven tips to help you look your best during the show:

  • Remember to Smile

One trick you could do to look welcoming on camera is to keep a mildly pleasant expression at all times. You could smile as you talk unless you’re discussing something with serious implications or going over a negative experience. You don’t have to overexpose your pearly whites, but you should at least keep a half-smile on your face.

If you are going to smile, make sure that your teeth are clean and look presentable. If you have the time, undergo professional teeth whitening treatment to help you smile with confidence.

  • Pay Close Attention to Your Body Language

Since you’re going on the air, you have countless people watching your every move. This means that your audience can pick up unusual gestures and non-verbal cues.

If you’re feeling nervous, do your best not to show it. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer, host or moderator. A few hand gestures are fine, but don’t overuse them. If possible, keep your hands on your lap for the whole duration of the television interview.

Also, avoid awkward body movements for the whole duration of your interview, such as scratching your belly, smelling your armpits and picking your nose. A lot of people are watching you, and any small mistake can be embarrassing.

  • Wear Neat and Comfortable Clothes

Choose clothes that will help you create a positive image and make you feel comfortable. Avoid t-shirts that come with stripes or checks, as the design may distract television viewers. Remember that the focus of the show is the interview, not your attire.

If you’re going to wear accessories, avoid anything that dangles, jangles, glints and distracts. This includes pretty and shiny jewelry, such as long necklaces and colorful but noisy bracelets. When you’re unsure about the accessories you can wear, check with the producer or a member of the TV crew for advice.

  • Refrain from Putting on Excessive Make-up

You don’t need to go to the TV station with a face full of make-up. Most producers will be more than happy to give you a quick once-over when you arrive. So, dial down on the personal make-up, as there will be make-up and styling crew on set who will help make your face look nice and presentable.

  • Speak in a Conversational Manner

When guests become nervous about being on camera, they tense up and speak too fast. Sometimes, the pitch of their voice goes up whenever they become excited about something. What’s worse, they may blurt out words that may not be appropriate for live television. These errors can be highly distracting for the audience.

When the host or moderator is interviewing you, relax, be mindful of your word choices and talk like you’re having a normal conversation with another person.

  • Keep a Cool Head

Being combative on a TV interview is not a good idea. As a guest, your goal is to communicate your message and win over your audience. This can become tricky if you get a question that makes you feel angry or annoyed.

If the host or interviewer ambushes you with a nasty and unprofessional question, stay dignified and answer calmly. Do not stoop to their level by giving a sarcastic or rude answer. Losing your temper or patience will undermine your credibility and make you look defensive – two things that won’t help you when you’re trying to promote a message or brand.

  • Practice in Advance

Doing mock interviews will make you feel at home during the live interview. Practicing can help make you look and stay confident on screen. Ask a friend or a family member for a practice Q&A session. Then, seek feedback and suggestions on how you could improve your responses.

Being a guest on a television interview is your chance to communicate your message to your audience and connect with them. You can do these successfully by practicing your responses and taking the time to work on your physical appearance.