Performance Coaching for Television News & Sports Talent
In a recent New York Times column, David Brooks describes seventy-something Phillip Leakey as gripped by the sort of “compulsive curiosity” that causes a bay to take something that doesn’t make send and “become instantly absorbed; using all her abilities — taste, smell, force — to figure out how it fits in with the world.”
I wish we could describe more anchors that way. We know talent who are as experienced and polished as any professional on earth. They know how to dress and they know how to move. Their voices are perfectly modulated. They are warm and witty in the cross-talk. They are, in fact, everything you could possibly want on-the-air — except curious. And I just don’t mean politely curious, which is the kind of curiosity showcased in the sanitized, premeditated anchor/reporter exchanges that pepper many newscasts. I mean I-really-need-to-know-and-I-won’t-stop-until-I-get-an-answer curious. I mean getting-to-the-truth-of-this-is-more-important-than-making-sure-everyone-looks-good curious. I mean a need-to-know that’s forceful enough to trump almost every other imperative we assign to the production of newscasts. (more…)
A lot more, it turns out, than you might think. In fact, the scientists that study these things have identified over 100 distinctly human smiles. As a professional communicator, smiling authentically may be one of the most powerful things you can do on the air. In addition to showing how you feel, there are smiles that suggest how attentive you are and smiles that encourage others to open up and talk to you. There are smiles that show understanding and smiles that show approval. There are broad, obvious smiles and much subtler and complex ones.
Perhaps most important: When you smile, people can tell when you mean it (an authentic, “felt” smile) and when you don’t (an “unfelt” and “inauthentic” smile). Here’s how: Both felt and unfelt smiles engage the muscles around the mouth, but felt smiles also involve the muscles around the eyes. When we say that someone has a gleam in their eye, we’re not really describing a quality of the eye itself. We’re describing the impact of using the muscles that surround the eye. The difference can be accurately identified by children as young as 9 years old. (more…)
I’ll never forget one of the times I heard a researcher talk about that thing that separates great talent from good ones. Dallas Cronk, a visionary researcher for Audience Research & Development, was ticking through the list of things that she knew influenced viewer approval: visual image, body language, sound of the voice, teamwork, and community
involvement. Then she pointed out that there was this one thing with the power to trump them all but she could n’t even name it, much less measure it. She called it “the X factor.” All I can really tell you,” she said, “is that some people have it and some people don’t. If we could figure out how to coach that, the world would beat a path to our door.”
Well, times are changing. Previously, we wrote about “honest signals,” the newly measurable qualities that scientists are finding have particular power to capture and hold other’s attention. The research was summarized in How to Light Up A Room: Measuring Charisma and Confidence, an article in Oprah Magazine. If you’re concerned about lighting up the television screen, it’s a must-read. (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