What it Was Like to Talk About My New Career Counseling Website on National Television
I had never been on TV before. So when we got the call that HLN wanted to have a segment on the website, I was both thrilled and nervous -- probably more nervous.
HLN has a morning show called Weekend Express, hosted by Lynn Berry and geared towards younger adults. The subject of choosing a career was consistent with their demographic audience. They wanted me to talk about the career-choosing process and get some testimonials from actual customers who had used the new career counseling website.
The segment taping was set for July 10th, 2014, at 9:30. Concerned about Atlanta traffic, I arrived a whopping 2 hours early and then proceeded to make myself even more nervous. My two customers arrived (Joe Dumford and Ilona Nagy), along with two representatives from my public relations firm, BRAVE PR (Kristin Cowart, owner, and Jennifer Walker, representative/coordinator).
There, we met the producer (Kelly Bowman) and proceeded to make-up. I've never worn make-up before, so that was a new experience for me.
After make-up, I walked Kelly through the www.OccupationProfessor.com new career counseling process at her desk. I was surprised to see that her co-workers were already eating Chinese food for lunch, but they explained to me that they had been at work since about 3 am!
We got the "green light" and went upstairs into a very large (nearly empty) studio, where Weekend Express Host Lynn Berry was on camera, interacting with someone off-camera. An intern was there, along with a few staffers. Lynn alternately talked into the camera and then listened for periods of time. It was very quiet in there. This whole thing seemed surreal.
Joe, Ilona, and I were hooked up with microphones. They summoned me to stand in front of the "magic board" which displays images from Producer Kelly's iPad onto a large screen for the camera.
This was the first time I saw the phrase: "Online 'Dating' For A Job," which I thought was an interesting way to spin the segment. They reassured me that if I stumbled over my words (which seemed highly likely) that we could re-tape it. No problem. A large camera was wheeled into position.
They counted down from 3-2-1 and then Lynn introduced the segment and asked me a question that was a little different from what I anticipated. I could feel my heart beating fast and I was trying NOT to look flustered, but still did anyway. There was a follow-up question and that was basically it. It was quick. I waited for someone to offer a chance to re-tape, but they all seemed fine with how it went. I was surprised.
Part 2 of the segment was an opportunity for the customers (Joe/Ilona), Lynn and I to sit on a couch in a different part of the studio, so that she could ask questions about them and their job search.
We all sat for a few minutes as they got the camera in position. I could tell that Joe/Ilona were as nervous as I had been for the previous segment. I felt more relaxed at this point (not that it showed). As Lynn introduced this part of the segment, she stumbled over a couple of words and so she stopped. She joked that she was going to do the rest of the interview in Mandarin Chinese, which made everyone laugh and broke the tension. Joe is a recent college graduate and a Theater Major in college, and so she asked him about other career possibilities. She asked Ilona why she was seeking career help at this point in life and Ilona explained that she was looking to transition from not-for-profit roles over to the corporate world.
We finished and headed out, re-assured by Kelly that it had gone well and that it would likely air in the August/September time frame, as people are thinking about going back to school. I remember walking out the door wondering how it would look on TV. I secretly hoped that it would air at 3:00 am on a Sunday morning, when nobody would see it.
While driving to Houston, TX for a wedding, I got an email on my phone, saying that the segment was going to air on Sunday, August 3rd in the morning. I was so excited and nervous, but then I realized that I would miss the show since I would be driving back to Atlanta that day.
I began the long drive back to Atlanta at 5:30 am (ugh). Around 8:00 am my phone (which was set on vibrate) started buzzing repeatedly, seemingly nonstop. I pulled over and saw that we were getting lots of new twitter followers, email inquiries about www.OccupationProfessor.com and some new customers as well. I knew that the show must've aired.
The segment aired twice that day and was posted on the HLN website. When I got home that night (13 hours later), I looked up the segment and saw that it was the sixth most shared story on Weekend Express that day, which made me happy.
As I watched the segment, I could still feel the nerves that I had and will be the first to admit that I wasn't very smooth or polished at all. But at least I have my first TV appearance under my belt, and, hopefully, next time around I can be more of "myself."
POSTED: 7-12-2015 at 2:51 PM (EDT)