Before I went into business for myself, I was Director of Talent Development for an agency that represented TV news anchors and reporters.
One of my responsibilities was weeding through DVDs of potential clients. Unlike most people, I tried to watch a reporter or anchor’s entire demo reel. (I remembered what it was like trying to get that big break.) But truly, I could tell you within the first five seconds whether someone had a shot at being represented by us.
Today, I find myself looking for many of these same qualities when critiquing the on-camera performances of my clients, especially ones who want to be adopted by the media as experts in their field.
1. “IT” For me, it’s all in the eyes. It’s a charisma and confidence that some people possess.
2. Looks: Is the person attractive? Good looking? In good shape? It all matters. I’d by lying if I said it didn’t.
3. Voice and delivery: Did he sound conversational and natural? Did she know how to “hit” key words in a sentence? Does he have an accent that makes him tough to understand?
4. Live Interviews: Is she good at going live? Can he turn on a dime? Is she good under pressure?
5. Personality: This is especially important if you would like to be a host or want to be the go-to subject matter expert for a news program. Are you personable? Will viewers want to tune in and make you part of their family? Are you warm and welcoming? Are you goofy and funny? They can all work—depending on the job.
If you’ve got all of these things going for you, bookers will be clamoring to get you on their shows.
If you’ve got the first three—you’ll still receive a ton of phone calls.
If you only possess the last two– you’ll likely have a harder time getting booked because it takes a special person to celebrate your talents when you’re lacking in charisma and stunning good looks.