TV presenters can do several things, including hosting shows, reading the news, and narrating documentaries. Presenting on television is a fantastic career choice if you are confident and comfortable in front of camera. But it’s not a reliable one!
There’s no specific degree to become a presenter. Sometimes a media-related degree can help add to your skillset. However, companies often like people who have other experience, are passionate about another area of life, and convey their passion to a bigger audience.
Whenever you are ready, you can start searching for television jobs and audition for becoming a presenter!
In this article, we speak with Lisa Toni Burke, presenter, speaker, host, voice-over artist, actor, classically trained singer, science consultant and communications coach. In 2000, she joined Sky News in London, where she became an anchor within a month and stayed there for a decade.
Lisa appeared on several Sky networks through the years, including Sky Sports News, Sky One, Sky Movies, and Sky Promos. Simultaneously, she had interviews, guest appearances, and presented special reports for the BBC, Channel 4 (UK), and Fox News (USA). She even presented travel shows for RTE in Australia and dived with whale sharks whilst pregnant!
For more than 15 years, Lisa sang with the BBC Symphony Chorus,
In her life, she has happily combined all of her interests: public speaking, presenting, and music.
Here are her tips for people starting out in TV presenting:
Become more aware of your communication skills on a daily basis as you interact with people around you, in meetings and on the phone or online meetings. Whilst presenting, you must speak in a clear, consistent tone so others watching can easily understand you.
Practice reading aloud from books as you may need to read from a script or prompter whilst presenting.
When you’re talking to people, show genuine interest in them. Do not let a conversation die; always seek ways to continue talking for a more meaningful discussion. And if you’re not authentic, this will show.
Practice how to pronounce each word, the beauty in the words, the flow of sentences whilst you’re speaking or reading. You will then also avoid stumbling over sentences.
Improve your interviewing and listening skills
A lot of presenters conduct interviews with people on their show, like TV hosts and newscasters. Get in the habit of asking people questions and being genuinely interested in the answers. Avoid interrupting them since it’s rude and unprofessional. Don’t get lost in the conversation; listen well.
You should ask related questions to the people’s responses to gain a deeper understanding of them. Interviewing is all about preparation and listening.
Interviewing isn’t necessarily a requirement for TV presenters; however, if you develop it you will become more versatile and have more job opportunities.
Take the time to get comfortable with a camera
Television presenters don’t just interact with people on set, but they must also interact directly with the camera to reach viewers at home. Install a camera at home or simply use your smartphone, and practice speaking directly to the lens. Engage the camera or phone as if it was another person, a friend, you were conversing with, so you don’t appear boring or uncomfortable.
Take note of how other TV hosts interact with the camera, and then try emulating their style, but don’t fake it – be yourself always.
Adapt if things don’t go according to plan. When you’re presenting on TV, things don’t always work out. You will face technical glitches, you may be on a live broadcast or other people may stray off-script. Be flexible if things don’t turn out the way you expected. In that way, you can respond well to unexpected situations and still appear comfortable.
You should be able to improvise well and comfortably. Feel relaxed in tough situations.
To find out about new opportunities in the industry, network with others. Get to know your co-workers and make meaningful connections with them. If you ask people right away for work, it might sound desperate or pushy. Become true colleagues first, and just be yourself. A memorable impression on someone may cause them to remember you when they have to present opportunities. Learn who to trust.