“Lights, Camera, Action!” – The cameras went rolling, so did I without really knowing the crux of it all; my first TV audition for Zee TV with Govinda’s nephew.
Working for radio meant speaking comfortably out of a script in my hand with nobody to see me. A sudden move to TV exposed me to glaring lights and cameras along with an unseen audience watching me intently.
Ah, how I made a conscious effort to look into the camera, turn away from it naturally and talk without fumbles, most importantly without any sheets to read from! Deep down I was nervous as hell.
That was not it! I had to sound conversational, be spontaneous and maintain a certain chemistry. After all, the world would perceive who I am from my appearance, voice, and body language.
I’d come a long way since then and can’t wait to share with you all that I learned from industry experts and my own experience.
One advice, I’ll always remember is that from the legendary radio host Ameen Sayani –“To be a good host you need to imagine that you are talking to a friend. It’s just that one person you are talking to and not an entire audience.”
This piece of advice has helped me in almost all platforms that I’ve worked for. It’s like taking a friend out for coffee and sharing with her the gems of information and knowledge with a crunchy bite into my cookie.
I always address the audience at large and then make it more one-to-one and conversational. With time you get a hang of how to speak, how the camera works with its various angles, you start enjoying the camera and learn to enthrall the audience. I flirt with the camera like he was James Bond with a Martini- shaken not stirred.
Another wonderful experience that happened to me post marriage was when I got to capture the event ‘Celebrating India in Singapore’ for Zee TV. It was a cultural festival spread over a few days, with various events like a literary festival, film festival, painting exhibitions, and fashion shows across different hotels in Singapore. I simply love the Chinese!
It involved interviewing various artists, designers, actors, and other participants who were showcasing Indian heritage and culture. No cuts, no retakes – it was more like live journaling.
We were a small team. At night I would do my homework for the next day and be ready with my own makeup early morning. The camera followed me and I went impromptu conversing with people. Once it was evening, we would relax and enjoy the program telecasted with certain cuts.
This was how I learned to capture a live audience, promptly respond, and further enhance my communication skills.
This was followed by a car show with Times Now at Pragati Maidan. It was yet again another televised car show where I covered a segment for Audi, interviewed various brand ambassadors of Audi and, thereby, discovered various ways to have a tete-a-tete with the audience.
I realized when it comes to speaking to an unseen audience there are a few ‘must haves’. I believe it can be of help as you embark on your television journey.
As an Experienced Host and an Image Lifestyle Coach, here’s what I’ve learnt about the Magic of Three – ABC (Appearance, Behavior, and Communication) can do to wonders to elevate your presentation skills.
The Power of Communication
Brush up on your communication skills so that you can;
- Effortlessly portray your thoughts in words
- Think on the feet and bring spontaneity
- Deliver your words with timely humor
- Present with warmth and care
- Share your humane side
Research and Arouse Curiosity
To be one of the most loved hosts you have to;
- Have an explorative mindset
- Thoroughly research and prepare
- Look into everything logically
- Be spontaneous and improvise
Enliven the Atmosphere
It’s your energy and charisma that will ultimately enliven the audience. So;
- Be passionate and sound authentic
- Captivate and own the room
- Engage and entertain the audience
- Be optimistic and soulfully energetic
Add Compassion to your Voice and Captivate
To arrest the attention of your viewers;
- Dress sharp
- Add a spark of style
- Feel what you speak
- Radiate with love and compassion
Great hosts don’t make it about them but about their audience having a great experience! So Shine your Light!