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Kathryn Bertine: A [media] tour de force in Sacramento

POSTED BY marika ON July 20, 2010

If you live in Sacramento, the name Kathryn Bertine might ring a bell. She’s an Olympic hopeful cyclist, a former pro figure skater (see All the Sunday’s Yet to Come) and ESPN’s 2008 Olympic experiment, which she wrote about in her book As Good As Gold: One Woman, 9 Sports, 10 Countries, and a Two-Year Quest to Make the Summer Olympics (May 2010).

Kathryn recently hit Sacramento’s Fleet Feet to sign books at their Summer Triathlon Party. She received a warm welcome from Sacramento media, including Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Press, “Good Day Sacramento” (CBS), “Sacramento & Company” News 10 (ABC) and NBC Sacramento.

Thanks Sacramento, we love you too!

Authors new to morning television appearances can take a few pointers from Kathryn’s visit with our friends at “Good Day Sacramento” —

  1. Note the interview length. Most in-studio interviews are 2-4 minutes max, so you should be prepared to get your point across quickly. The brevity and pace of television calls for some preparation too. In most instances, your friendly book publicist will likely prepare 4-6 speaking points and relay them to you and the producer. In fact, publicists often do a lot of behind-the-scenes prepping for TV segments — it is time well-spent when the interview airs with fancy graphics and awesome visuals. We don’t mind the extra legwork if it means our client gets a extra face time and the book gets some on-air love too.
  2. Relax and be yourself. Kathryn came in normal training garb (there are enough talking heads in suits, no?) and came across as approachable and at ease. The conversational tone of the interview makes her both engaging and endearing to viewers. Yes, your wardrobe (casual, business, athletic, monkey suit, etc.) should match the tone of your message. So have fun with your look, but follow these general style rules: be classic and modern, and wear properly-fitted, well-crafted clothes that are [ding ding ding- most importantly] age-appropriate.
  3. Go with the flow. Although you may be tempted to try to control the conversation, it isn’t good form to hijack the discussion. Come prepared with sound bytes and don’t be afraid to tell your story via a tangential approach. Pay attention to how the host tosses the story. If you think you’re going on television to discuss your totally interesting personal experience, don’t be taken aback when the host wants to talk goal-setting or something more evergreen. Take advantage of the opportunity to relate broader story angles to your own expertise, with expert subtlety of course.

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