For becoming a successful news anchor excellent verbal, written, improvisational, and interviewing skills are imperative. These skills are improvable through practise, and this blogpost gives some insights on how to talk like a news anchor.
Practise makes one perfect
A fast way to perfection is by practising more and more. You can start by reading news stories in front of the camera at least a few times a week. Make sure you record your readings, use them for rehearsals, and to get some feedback on language, pronunciation and reading speed. The feedback from your superior or mentor is valuable and basis that, you can make the necessary changes, if applicable.
Moderating speed and enunciation
Some people speak too fast and some too slow. Both are not good if you are a presenter or anchor of video content. If the anchor speaks too slow, audiences will lose interest. On the other, hand if the anchor speaks too fast, it becomes hard for the audience to make sense of what is being spoken. According to research, a professional news anchor reads at a speed of 150 to 175 words per minute. Though you may not need to actually read at that level you train yourself to get close.
Presenters or anchors who read too fast can be trained to enunciate words better. Not only will this help them slow down, but also achieve clarity with every word they speak.
Read like having a conversation
Presenting a show is not the same as reading. Unfortunately, many of us will have a problem in this area. Instead of sounding like you are presenting information, you will most likely sound like reading it. The trick lies in being conversational. Reading sounds too robotic and that can bore people. Make sure to practice the reading as if you are having a conversation with your fans. The best way to do this is by reading out the news, to a friend, in a conversational manner.
Your tone matters most
The presenter’s tone is very important when presenting news or shows. In fact, the tone has a lot to do with communication in general. There is a certain way you say certain things. For instance, you do not use a condescending tone to compliment someone; that just comes off as you being sarcastic and insulting.
Make sure that your content is organised properly and not randomly. Switching from an upbeat story to a serious one can confuse the anchors. Even for professional anchors and reporters, it is very hard to transition from a positive story to a negative one and vice versa. One way to combat such transitions is by inserting a neutral piece in between. This will help anchors the necessary adjustments before they move on to the next topic.
Other important skills for TV News anchor
TV news anchors present the news to a television audience, they must have confidence, composure and polish. They must be able to react and make decisions quickly. Other skills news anchors need to succeed include:
A news anchor’s main job is to communicate the news. They must have strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to speak clearly.
News anchors must work well with a team of journalists and news staff. They must also maintain good relationships with a network of news sources and be able to conduct interviews easily. They also need to interact effectively with the people they interview.
News anchors might be involved in the editing and production of their broadcasts. They should have excellent computer skills and be comfortable using video editing software.
News anchors usually earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Journalism or Broadcast Journalism. Related degrees include English, public relations and political science. Many employers prefer news anchors with journalism degrees because those programs teach valuable skills such as research and interview techniques, ethics, investigative reporting and broadcasting. So you may think about investing your time and money in doing a relevant course in this direction that can eventually enhance your career prospects.
Natalie Wolchover has written a great article about Why Do News Anchors All Talk the Same? on nbcnews.com.