Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Doug Drew of 602 Communication suggested in today's Shoptalk that more stations may be headed toward solo anchors to save money. He also passed along some solo anchor coaching tips from Gloria Cohn. But this is good advice for my students whether you're solo or co-anchoring:
There are two things to consider: Can the anchor maintain energy throughout the entire show? Can the anchor make each story sound different?
Maintaining energy does not mean talking faster and louder. Varying the reads does not mean merely adjusting the volume and speed. It means learning to effectively use all of the communication skills. When an anchor incorporates all of the tools available, he/she will have a successful show.
The first step to a achieving a positive outcome is this: the anchor must pre-read each story for meaning. Then he/she should choose the communication skill(s) that will enhance the meaning of each story. The communication skills are: pacing, pauses, voice modulation, facial expressions, eye contact and hand gestures.
Every story should sound different. To accomplish this, the anchor must first avoid any patterns like a singsong tone, a monotonous voice and a measured pace. Managing - and varying - vocal pitches is the cure for a singsong tone.
Adding expression and meaning to a word helps prevent a monotone, and well-placed pauses help vary the pace.
Also, at the end of every story, the anchor must change his/her voice as he/she begins the next story. When the talent ends on one note, he/she should begin reading the next story on a different note.
Breaking eye contact with the camera is a technique often used by solo anchors. Since there is no co-anchor to toss to, talent can look down at scripts in between stories. They can also glance down when reading numbers, dates or names.
The one thing to practice is timing. You don't want talent glancing down at the script so quickly that it looks as if they were distracted. The look down should be long enough so that the audience recognizes that the anchor is accessing information.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Sure, you can wait for job openings to be advertised. But the smart job-seeker doesn't start with the HELP WANTED ads. He/she looks first at the "On the Move" or "Names in the News" columns of the trade publications. When someone gets a new job, it usually leaves an opening for their old one.
So, get a jump on your competition. Get your tape and resume for a vacancy to the news director BEFORE the job is even advertised. The ND might be impressed at your enterprise and, at the very least, he/she will remember your early tape.