With 25 years in television I know a little something about the demands placed on..on air talents. The thing I really got from being a “talent for hire” for so many years and in teaching the process of speaking for the camera is that it’s really a Mind, Mouth and Body connection.
Your body serves as a container for all the energy the mind creates with thoughts, and delivers to the mouth for expression of these thoughts.
Here is the Anatomy of a Great On Camera Host.
- An Uncluttered Mind- Preparation- both before and in between On Camera Performances minimizes stuttering, ums. uhs, and brain stalls. A great host has a well fed brain (protein rich foods) as well as a clear understanding of the content they are presenting.
- Peripheral Vision- A great hosts owns the content, they can be in the moment but also see what’s ahead. A great host is ahead of the words and sees the bullet pointed ideas they are about to present in their peripheral while still being present. The key is to be engaging but have an energetic urgency toward the information you are about to share.
- Flexible Mouth- Verbal mastery is the reason so many radio hosts transition easily into hosting- Ryan Seacrest and Wendy Williams both had years of verbal training doing their radio shows before adjusting their acts for the camera.
- Strong Shoulders- An arched back and shoulders that are settled down and strong (not around your ears) create a container for the energy that will flow. Direct the energy toward your center and up through your eyes and mouth.
- Arms & Hands- A hosts makes use of their hands to help tell the story with subtle gestures. Bent elbows keep the hands ready, and you can clasp them when they are not in use.
- Strong Waist- Create a strong solid center. Very much like a tree trunk the bottom half of your body should be sturdy. The branches of your body (arms head and hands) will sway in the wind as you tell the story.