On-Camera Success Tips
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
There are many opportunities for retail dietitians to be in front of the camera whether it’s for a
television segment or a Facebook live food demo. This media exposure can help you connect
with existing and potential customers while driving traffic to your stores. Media training,
however, is not typically part of a dietitian’s education, and for most, being in front of a camera
can be a daunting experience. Here are some media training tips to help you feel more
comfortable and ensure success:
Define your topic and key talking points. The most interesting segments are ones that people
can relate to. Define the key messages you are trying to convey and identify 3 main talking
points. For example, you may be talking about how to pack a healthy lunch. Your key points
might be to keep it healthy, keep it safe and keep it fun. Your conversation will then convey
how to do this. Don’t rely on a detailed script, just let your words flow naturally.
Let your food and props help tell the story. Most of your live or taped segments will be
positioned on a table or kitchen counter. Your conversation should flow from one end of the
table to the other and your food/props, placed in order, can trigger your talking points. Using
the lunch packing example above, you may have an insulated lunch bag, an ice pack and a small
thermos to show how to keep food safe.
Dress for success. Generally, you want to avoid wearing stripes or other patterns as they can
create a strange optical effect. Also, don't wear all black, all white or green. Solid colors like
blue, coral, or lilac are good options. Keep the flashy or dangly jewelry at home and stick with
contacts if you can. Glasses can reflect the glare from television studio lights. Finally, with high-
definition televisions as the norm, you'll want to wear makeup to hide flaws in your
complexion. As with your clothing, stick to neutral, muted shades for makeup.
Be yourself. The most successful media segments happen when you act natural and try not to
be overly perfect. The audience wants to feel comfortable with you and connect to the
solutions you are presenting. Interject a brief personal story if appropriate, smile and be
Mind the time. Most media segments on TV last for 3-4 minutes and that can feel like 30
seconds when you are on the air. Facebook live segments are typically a bit longer – 8-10
minutes. Make sure you have practiced your delivery for any on camera appearance so you are
comfortable with the timing.
In summary, by being properly prepared, having succinct talking points, effective props and the
ability to adhere to time constraints you will positively affect your chances of becoming an on-