A successful TV series need great talent and a great format. So screentests are crucial to the process. Make yours a good one and chances are you'll get through to the next stage of the development process. Here are a few tips that will help.
1. Look like your photo. That's the person they're expecting to see.
2. As you're going to be filmed, wear colours & clothes that flatter you and make you stand out.
3. Prepare! Define your USP and understand the market. (Read Steps 1 & 2 of my '10 Steps to Becoming a TV Expert). The production company might not know exactly what they're looking for. So make sure you give them a clear idea of what you do and how you do it. Remember, they'll be thinking from a TV point of view. How will what you do look on TV? Think of examples of people you've worked with & things you've done. Paint the picture & get across your passion.
4. If they like you, your half hour chat will probably get edited down to a one minute taster tape which they'll show to the commissioner. So have a few one-liners/key points up your sleeve. And remember to pause at the end of each one so the editor can cut it in.
5. Increase your energy by 50-100%. Get across your passion. Really switch it on. And engage your body: lean forward, use your hands and SMILE! Remember that in any screentest you'll be up against many other experts like you. And once the 'expertise' box is ticked, it's all down to personality.
6. There's a huge difference between coming across as passionate and coming across as desperate. Make sure you're the former!
7. Practice. Digital cameras and mobile phones all have filming options. Get a friend to ask you a few questions about what you do and see what you look like on camera.