Six Lessons Learned: My First National TV Appearance


Being invited to appear on the Tamron Hall Show was an incredible experience that taught me more than I ever anticipated. The thrill of making my debut on national television came with its challenges, but provided invaluable lessons. Here are six key takeaways that can help you prepare for your moment in the spotlight.

Lesson 1: Prepare Before the Opportunity Comes

Opportunities can pop up out of nowhere, and being prepared before that happens is crucial. I had just four days to get ready for my first-ever TV interview. This experience underscored the importance of always being ready for sudden opportunities, because you never know when they may come.

Practical Tips:

Have a TV-Worthy Outfit Ready: Keep a versatile, camera-friendly outfit in your closet at all times. The best outfit is something that you are comfortable in, a solid color and non-reflective. Opt for bright colors and jewel tones. Stay away from neutrals, white, black, red, green and blue. Yes, that leaves few options, which is why you want to do your shopping now, not the day before.

When selecting an outfit remember that your appearance significantly impacts public perception. Your presentation should match your verbal message and what you represent. To do this think of four words that you want your audience to associate with you or your brand and dress accordingly.


Hone Your Interview Skills: Learn techniques and best practices for being interviewed now and periodically practice answering questions on the spot. If you’re reading this article, congrats you’re already on the right track!

Essentials Checklist: Make a list of must-have items for a TV appearance and what you would need to do to prepare if you were invited for an appearance with short notice.


After our interview at ABC Studios, NYC

Lesson 2: Create and Organize Talking Points

Being prepared isn’t just about looking the part; it's about communicating well. Start by brain-dumping all your ideas and key content onto paper. This helps capture every thought that might be relevant. You’ll want to organize your content into categories and anticipate possible questions that you might be asked.

Next organize your answer to each question to have a beginning, middle and end. If you follow this structure, an experienced host likely won’t cut you off, because they can tell the end is coming. This also gives them insight into where to interject and brings greater ease to the flow of the interview.


In the green room preparing

 Lesson 3: Role-Playing Is a Must

Role-playing is a critical part of preparation. Practicing with unscripted questions sharpens your ability to think on your feet. Use role playing to practice responding to unexpected questions to enhance your adaptability and become more articulate. Record yourself and listen back. Ask if there is a script beforehand and then prepare like there isn’t one. This ensures you are ready for any situation. There are no guarantees that anything will go according to plan.

Time will feel accelerated so it’s easy to feel like you are talking too much. Don’t worry about saying too much; the host will guide the conversation and cut you off when appropriate. Focus on having a natural and engaging conversation.


Lesson 4: You Need a Coach

A media coach can make a significant difference, especially for a national-level appearance. I was fortunate to find an excellent coach who not only provided invaluable guidance for how to prepare and what to expect, but helped me navigate surprises that arose during the process.

Lesson 5: Prioritize Self-Care

Preparing for a TV interview, while exciting was also stressful. Make sure not to neglect yourself while working hard to prepare.

Taking time to prioritize self-care by getting good rest, eating nutrient-packed meals and engaging in exercise, stretching, deep breathing or meditation can go a long way to ensure you are at your best for the big day. While on set, I noticed other show guests using peppermint essential oil, a natural muscle relaxant known for stress reduction. Copaiba oil, magnesium and CBD are also natural options that effectively ease nerves and help with relaxation.


Photo by ABC/Jeff Neira

Lesson 6: Plan Your Travel Carefully

On the way to ABC our train was delayed for hours caused by a fire on the tracks ahead. Thankfully, this happened the day before, not on the day of the interview. Travel logistic details are often overlooked but are incredibly important. Plan your travel carefully to ensure a smooth and timely arrival. If possible, arrive the day before.


My experience on the Tamron Hall Show was an incredible journey that taught me so much. The ABC team was exceptional, and their professionalism made everything run seamlessly. When preparing for your next interview, focus on being ready before the opportunity comes, crafting your talking points, practicing, finding expert guidance, appearance, and careful planning. Remember to smile no matter what. These strategies will help you tackle each unexpected opportunity and moment with confidence and poise.