If you've ever sat and watched television and looked at the presenters and thought, "I could do that".....well, the truth is, you can, and in some respects, it's easier than ever before. This is exactly what I thought over 20 years ago when circa 1995, I started to think that my skills as a trainee teacher could be put to use elsewhere, as they were not dissimilar to the confidence and public speaking ability needed to be a good television and video presenter.
I am under no illusion that my background in teaching, coaching and ski instructing and the interchangeable skills that gave me, has helped me with every presenting job I've done over the last 17 or so years working as a freelance television, corporate and live event presenter. That's not going to be the case for everyone though, and here's where the importance of getting some form of TV presenter training comes in.
With that in mind, here are my top tips for getting you on the right road today.
1) Be Yourself.
You may have watched other successful presenters and seen how they do it, what they look and sound like and what works for them, but 'they' are not 'you'. You have to be yourself, as this is what make you unique and this is what people will want to see. Producers and decision makers, like refreshing, vibrant and individual talent. They would rather see a great version of you than a poor imitation of someone else.
2) It's all about DIY.
'Do it Yourself' refers to fixing things around the home, but it could also just as easily apply to making television and video content, now that almost everyone has affordable access to a video camera and editing software on their phone. You can now film yourself and make some highly professional edits with only the most basic equipment and understanding. Offer to become the face of your company for internal videos, commentate on your sons football match, or make videos about gardening, DIY or whatever interests you, that you can upload to YouTube, Vimeo or your own blog. What ever you want to do, you can start doing it and you don't need to wait for anyone else.
3) Everyone is an expert on something.
We all have interests and experience in something and this is what you must focus on, in creating who you are. Make you own videos and write articles that link to you, on what interests you, whether it's sport health and exercise, property, DIY, cooking or making model aeroplanes. Becoming an expert will put you in good standing as a guest or expert presenter on your specialist subject and it will definitely open doors.
4) Go digital !
Creating a persona or following online, is now essential if you want to be found as a presenter. Whenever we want to know or find something out, we turn to Google and the same is true of presenters. So help people find you by creating an online digital breadcrumb trail, based around your area of expertise that leads back to you. And if when people find you, there's a great video of you talking about what they want to know about, then you're already winning!
5) Practice, Practice, Practice.
Putting yourself in the same environment over and over again, will normalise a situation that could otherwise be nerve wracking, and this is especially true of TV presenting. The more time you spend in front of a camera talking the better. Get used to the sound of our own voice and learn what it feels like to be the only voice you can hear when all eyes are on you. Take opportunities to stand up and talk in front of a group and be proactive at feeling nervous but overcoming this through repetition.
Presenter training is a great way to get you started and will put you in these situations alongside other people with similar ideas and dreams to you, and this is a great environment to build your skills in and to motivate you...so what are you waiting for? ....The time is now !