Oprah! Appear on the Oprah Show In 10 Easy Steps
Who wants to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show? Almost everyone.
Ambitious authors, business professionals, and charity
organizations have aspirations to be on the show that’s seen
in 111 countries worldwide. But very few of them make it on
to the show. And once they do their appearance can either be
a bomb or a boon for their business.
A number of my clients have been on the show and had almost
nil happen in terms of fame or fortune. Others, well, their
products and books sold like hotcakes–that’s the dream
isn’t it? How can you be like the successful clients of
You have until 2011 to try, as Oprah has extended her
contract with King World Productions until then. How do you
begin? You don’t need a big name publicity house to get you
on Oprah. But you do need a number of things.
1. Pitch a Hot Topic.
A hot topic is one that everybody is talking about–or
should be. Many people ask me if they should keep sending
the same idea in over and over again if they get no
response. The answer is no. No response means you haven’t
gotten the attention of any of the producers. You can either
come up with another related idea, different angle, or give
a topic you’ve proposed a slight twist.
2. Check out the Upcoming Shows and Regular Features on
to read what Oprah’s producers need now.
Right there on the site they tell you about the shows they
are planning–if they can get the right people for them.
Think carefully about how to word your email to fit exactly
what the producers need. You’d be surprised at how few
people don’t know how to do this. If you can, you’ll stand
out instantly from thousands of other people who ramble and
just jot off a careless note. Take your time. Craft your
Oprah’s producers encourage you to be succinct by limiting
the number of characters you can send to 2000. This is about
150 words or two short paragraphs. One of my clients, a
surgeon, who already had the attention, (and direct phone
number), of one Oprah producer from another topic we
pitched, saw that producers were looking to do a show on
embarrassing medical problems. She immediately sent off a
pitch showing how, as a doctor, she could help people from
literally *dying of embarrassment.* Very smart.
3. Research the Message Boards.
You’ll find out the kind of stories Oprah’s audience want by
checking out which stories are most popular on her site. If
a topic really sticks then Oprah may do a variation of it in
the future as she’s very responsive to her audiences needs.
You don’t even need to read the stories. Just look at the
total number of messages for each subject. Then craft a
pitch geared toward the topic that has high interest.
4. Speak with a Golden Tongue.
Golden tongues are the ones who don’t wag much. They get to
the point–an engaging one–quickly. A producer will verify
that you can keep an audience’s attention by calling you.
During this *audition* she’s testing to see if you can say
something meaningful in 15 second soundbites. If you can’t
you won’t be speaking on the Oprah Show.
When a producer thinks your idea is viable her next step is
to see if you are *mediagenic* which means that you are a
powerfully fascinating person–on camera. She will need to
see a short video of you interacting in a talk show format
(speaking in those 15 second soundbites) and will decide in
about 30 seconds whether you’ll make the cut.
5. Forget Selling.
Of course you want to sell your book, product, service or
cause, but producers don’t care about that. They only care
that they have a great show. And that you don’t turn it into
a commercial. When you’re interviewed you want to keep this
motto in mind: How can I help you have a great show?
6. Tie into This Year’s Show Theme.
The main theme of the year is making your wildest dreams
come true. Really it’s about how YOU can make somebody
else’s dream come true. In other words who are you helping?
Are you a person who has the power to facilitate growth in
others? Have you done something extraordinary that has
benefited an individual or huge group of people?
7. Are You a Do-Gooder?
Well, it’s not enough to be a do-gooder. Every non-profit
and charity in the world thinks that they’re right for
Oprah. And most of them are not. To be right for Oprah you
must have a story that ties into a topic that’s something
that Oprah cares about.
Right now she’s hot on saving the children of Africa. And
she’s pretty single minded about it. She believes that we
(the United States) must help support this third world if we
are to survive ourselves. If you have a cause that serves
children and has an impact on the world at large, then by
all means pitch it. Or, if you have a cause that directly
effects her audience (mostly women) then you must show why
it’s relevant NOW.
8. Suggest a Celebrity Join You on the Show.
This year’s shows are more celebrity driven than previous
years. You don’t need to know the celebrity personally, but
must explain how they are connected to the show segment
you’re proposing. For example, Michael J. Fox has
Parkinsons’ disease. So if you’re pitching how Parkinsons is
afflicting young women in epidemic proportions and propose a
show with Fox, you are moving in the right direction.
9. Make it Visual.
We WATCH TV. We LISTEN to the radio. Since TV is driven by
what we see, producers want exciting visuals that hold the
audience’s interest. These props can be everything from B-
roll (background footage) of you doing something riveting or
surprising or items that illustrate your point. The more
unusual the better. Show us something we haven’t seen
10. Hang in There.
You have until 2011 to come up with an idea that takes hold.
Thinking creatively is one of the strongholds of longevity.
Sure, you want to get on Oprah, but there are lots of other
things that you can do to keep your career careening upward.
Continue to watch the news, read magazines and newspapers,
surf the Internet, visit Oprah’s site often and pay
attention to what Oprah is doing on the show. If you’ve got
your eyes open you’ll be able to pitch a hot topic that will
touch the hearts and minds of the people–and of Oprah soon
enough. Good luck! And keep me posted.
Get more Free Tips, about how to appear on Oprah at: http://www.prsecrets.com. Harrow’s clients, everyone from CEOs to Soccer Moms, have appeared on Oprah, 60 Minutes, GMA, 20/20, Larry King Live, E! CNN, MSN, Montel. Harrow is author of The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on Oprah.