Ever wondered what it’s like to read from an autocue or how to stand when you’re talking to a camera or what the difficulties might be in co-presenting a program?
I’ve just experienced all of these on a TV Presenter Taster Day with TV Training UK. Our tutor was Simon Davies who has a wealth of experience in children’s TV, shopping channel and acting. He was very informative and gave us the six rules of presenting:
- Anchor yourself to the spot so you don’t wander out of shot.
- Look directly into the lens of the camera.
- Be ready for the countdown. The director will cue you in by counting backwards from five but only actually saying, ‘5, 4’ out loud. The presenter counts ‘3, 2, 1’ silently and then begins.
- Arrange your thoughts in groups of three when preparing to speak – this stops you drying up.
- Be yourself but increase your energy/animation levels by 30% to avoid coming over as ‘flat’.
- Don’t gabble but also, don’t speak too slowly as this comes across as patronising.
The participants on the course were all ages from 17 to 60 and from varied backgrounds. Some wanted to make and present YouTube videos to promote their business, others were performers who wanted another string to their bow and some, like me, thought it would be an interesting experience. A handful of them had instant on-screen charisma and it was obvious they would make good presenters. Simon told me that I came across as ‘intelligent’, which I’m taking as a positive but I don’t expect to be hosting The One Show anytime soon!
My only criticism is that there wasn’t time for us to view our autocue or co-presenting footage during the course. But it was available to purchase as a ‘showreel’ (a showreel is an essential part of a presenter’s c.v.).
If you’re interested in having a go at being a TV presenter, the day cost me around £26 via Amazon Local.
Now, maybe I should go and make a video book trailer …
#1 by charliebritten on May 26, 2015 - 8:39 pm
I’ve often fancied being a radio presenter. I admire the way good radio presenters connect with their (unknown) listeners, like a good friend sitting in your car or your living room. A bit like a good writer really!
#2 by Sally Jenkins on May 27, 2015 - 5:37 pm
I agree, Charlie. Some presenters can chat about nothing but still keep your attention.
#3 by juliathorley on May 27, 2015 - 8:18 am
Interesting stuff, thank you. Not for me: I’m far too shy! I’ve forwarded a link to your post to a couple of friends who have dreams of stardom.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on May 27, 2015 - 5:38 pm
Thanks for passing the link on, Julia. I don’t think you need to be extrovert – all you need is to be able to light up with energy as soon as the camera starts.
#5 by blogaboutwriting on May 27, 2015 - 8:47 am
Sounds like a really interesting day, Sally! Particularly the bit about ‘increasing your animation/energy levels by 30%’! I think it’s probably necessary to do that in any kind of presentation – or teaching – so that one doesn’t appear too ‘flat’ but I’d never really thought about it before. Anyway, good for you for getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new!
#6 by Sally Jenkins on May 27, 2015 - 5:39 pm
Agreed, Helen. Any sort of presentation requires more ‘oomph’ than normal conversation.
#7 by Anne Harvey on May 27, 2015 - 1:44 pm
Sounds absolutely fascinating, Sally! I would love to do something like that and will make sure I check out Amazon local from now on to make sure I don’t miss it.
#8 by Sally Jenkins on May 27, 2015 - 5:40 pm
It’s an interesting experience, Anne. And you learn a lot from watching the other participants.
#9 by vegangoth819 on May 28, 2015 - 10:40 am
I did one of these years ago, the course was run by Trish Adudu who used to do the sport news on channel 5 news back when it first launched. It was a great course, but the showreel i got at the end of it wasn’t all that great. They did include some of the good things i did but they also included the very dodgy Autocue reading ones ( that’s way harder than it looks) It looked very much like i was reading from an autocue lol. Trish actually became my mentor after that day which sounded great but i never heard a peep from her after that day. Awesome experience though, don’t regret it one bit.
#10 by Sally Jenkins on May 28, 2015 - 1:46 pm
Sounds like you had a great time! I liked doing the autocue because I didn’t have to remember what to say. Some of the other participants added there own little touches to the reading and it came over less mechanical.
#11 by susanjanejones on June 5, 2015 - 5:42 pm
You sure do have a go at anything, Sally. I admire that. I’d be a bit shy I think, or the opposite and be too loud. Either wouldn’t be good://??
#12 by Sally Jenkins on June 6, 2015 - 4:30 pm
Shy would be worse I think. But it seemed to me that when the camera started rolling, everyone suddenly came alive, whatever their ‘real’ personality.