Performance Coaching for Television News & Sports Talent
When security put the United States Capitol Building on lockdown late one July afternoon, NBC Washington’s Scott McFarlane was on the Live Desk. Little about the situation was known, and the station had no reporters or photographers in the vicinity of the trouble. Calmly and steadily, the veteran reporter began with what he had — a few details, a couple of pool camera images, and above all what he knew about the building and its inhabitants from a decade in the trenches there — and spoke uninterrupted for over 11 minutes.
Here’s the monologue in its entirety.
Note especially how McFarlane mines his own experience to assess the little he does know and expand the narrative while he waits for more. (more…)
“What’s the secret to connecting with an audience?”
When Harvard Business Review put this question to Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame), his answer was as profound and applicable to delivering the news as it is to doing his Vegas magic act.
Here’s a part of what he said:
If someone is talking about their passion — whether it’s horizontal oil drilling, Spanish nurse porn, or stamp collecting — I get sucked in.
People say, “How can I make this particular idea play?” But if they’re phrasing it that way, they haven’t got a chance. It has to be “I have something I desperately want to say. How do I say it?” Then it comes down to mechanics: Are your sentences clear? Are you making eye contact?
One teacher, one time, told me a valuable thing: “No one cares about what you say. They’re looking for an excuse not to listen. So make sure they don’t have one.” And boy, that applies to everything. When you go out on stage, you’ve got two minutes to get the audience thinking “This is important” or “This is grabbing my heart.”
Penn’s advice goes right at the difference between extraordinary talent and merely competent ones. (more…)
Conversations about teasing usually focus on what to say, and organizations spend a ton of time and money working to get the words right. But loads of research has shown that trust and decision-making are driven at least as much (and often, more) by delivery as by content. In other words, if your goal is to inspire viewers to stick around for more, what you say may not be as important as how you say it.
Take a look at this sequence featuring NBC Los Angeles anchor, Chuck Henry.
The impressive — and decisively convincing — element of this tease sequence is not so much what Henry is saying as it is his obvious enthusiasm for what he’s saying. (more…)
Barry has been coaching television news and sports talent at all levels since 1982. Every night around the world, millions of people get their news from anchors and reporters he has trained and consulted.
Tony is an award-winning journalist and a master coach. In addition to his extensive work with news and sports talent, he leads our work with Spanish-language newscasts and coaches MMJs.
Barrett is a performance coach and visual image specialist, She is an especially good resource when improving the look of your team is a priority.
Jenni specializes in the development and care of the speaking voice. Contact her especially when you have concerns or questions about the way your talent sound and read.
Patty is our long-time office manager. When you have an administrative question for us, she'll have an answer.
When you have an immediate need, we can respond faster than ever. When your resources are limited, we can work with your team without incurring travel expense. And if we are visiting your station regularly, we can followup more powerfully than ever before.
All you need on your end is a computer with high-speed internet access and a camera. We take care of the rest.
All of our services are also available of Spanish-language news and sports talent and for the news and sportscasts that they serve. Contact Barry Nash or our Spanish- language coach, Tony Martinez, for more information.
We are a team of coaches who specialize in the training and development of television news, weather and sports talent.
In all cases, our goal is to provide the resources talent need to achieve "Breakthrough Performance" -- delivery that engages the minds and hearts of viewers, demands their attention, and inspires their loyalty.
When performance feedback is a priority on your end, we make it one on ours. Do send us an email, we'll take a look and come back to you confidentially without obligation.
Address : 2410 Farrington Street
Dallas, Texas 75207