By: Mandy Mitchell
I get two questions more often than most from people just entering the TV News business.
The first, and by far the most common, is: When should I hire an agent?
Now that we have gotten that question out of the way I will go to the more practical question I get often: How do I improve my delivery?
Honest and quick answer? Time. Time. Time.
I know you don’t want to hear that. I bet you want some trick that anchors and reporters use to “improve” that aspect of performance. All I can tell you is, after more than a decade of being in front of the camera, the answer is time.
Your delivery develops as you get more comfortable in front of the camera.
There are a couple of tips I can offer as you get these reps.
- Don’t talk in a news voice. One of the best compliments I can get is if someone tells me I “sound just like you do on tv.” That means I am comfortable on air. It means I am talking in a normal voice to the viewer. It means I am not shouting. You don’t have to have some sort of “news voice” to be taken seriously. Just talk to me. Just tell me a story.
- Write like you talk! I am stealing this from the book (which we talked about in this podcast.) If you write like you talk, you are not only writing in a way that will avoid “news speak” like blaze, or shots rang out…you are writing in a way that will be easier to read. When you write things that are easier to read you don’t sound like you are reading.
- Slow down. Chances are, you read too fast. You likely read too fast on the desk and you likely read too fast in the audio booth. You are reading too fast because that’s what happens when you try to inject ENTHUSIASM! and try to have ENERGY! I assure you that you can have enthusiasm and energy without spitting out a million words a minute. Take a deep breath. Tell me a story.