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  • Writer's picturePeter Murray

In Front of the Camera or Behind it, What makes a Good Television Presenter?

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

Behind the camera, as a producer you need to know what to look for in your talent. If it is you who are doing the presenting, you need to know what producers want.

Sure the talent has to look good, be comfortable in front of a camera and have a personality that people like; but how does a producer know the good from the really good and the really good from the top shelf?

A producer knows his or her show is only going to be as good as the presenter. Presenters can possess a unique voice or be associated with particular topics and they can be instrumental in making the look and feel of the production.

Never wanting to head up a terrible dog and pony show, a presenter will choose carefully and knows not to just show up and read lines.

To figure the role of the presenter in the show itself, ask what do they bring to the show?

What ideas do they have? There needs to be communication and trust on both sides of the camera.

Presenters know the television industry, but they should also have interest in the topic they're presenting - and a good understanding of the audience, too.

A nice presenter who can walk and talk? That’s never enough. Connecting with the audience, that's the thing.

Is it some sort of indescribable work or that empathy that the presenter has? We know it's more than being just believable - anyone can act.

You have probably made a good choice if the presenter is the same on screen as they are in real life. Because more than just asking questions or telling information, the audience wants to understand a little about the presenter themselves.

Just think of the Ellen Degeneres Show or other daytime shows where the audience really engages and knows quite a bit about the presenter.

If the presenter makes you feel like you're the centre of the universe then he or she may have star quality. If they shine in front of the camera and they shine off camera, you know they bring gigantic personalities with them and they take hold of an audience and they look like they belong there.

Can your presenter go from voicing a documentary to emceeing a 300 strong audience at an awards show? Whatever it is, so long as everyone knows what the show is about, what the audience wants, and what the roles of the players are, you can play the match game.

If you are auditioning today, give your best audition. That is a win in itself!

If you aren’t selected, you may be right for the producer at another time. If you're producing and you do your homework, get the face that you want and work as a team for best results.

April 2017

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