Just about everyone wishes they could have the ability to do an amazing job of speaking to or in front of an audience on camera, but the truth is most don’t. In all honesty most people suck at speaking to an audience. But instead of just focusing on the negative, we need to ask ourselves why that is the case?
The reason is pretty simple actually. Most people who get up in front of an audience focus on the small details instead of the big important things. When preparing to either go on-camera or get up on stage, most hosts give themselves a set of mental instructions like:
- Remember to stand up straight
- Don’t move around too much
- Be careful not to use your hands too much
- Don’t let them see you read your notes
- Make sure your tie is straight
- Speak loud, but not too loud
And on and on. But the problem is when they get up and start talking; they’re scared out of their mind because they’ve given themselves this monster list of things to do! Then confusion ensues, nerves start to kick in, and they start sweating and wondering what the heck they’re doing in the first place? The result; they flop, big time. Not because they couldn’t speak, but because they sabotaged themselves before they even started.
The fact is if you focus on petty, trivial and unimportant things like I mentioned above, you’ll fail to concentrate on the things that make a great host. So what is it you should focus on then? Two things:
- Knowledge of what you’re talking about
- The intense passion to share it with others
The real test of a great host is not whether they looked the part or not, but rather did the audience connect with the points they wanted to get across? You can be ugly, you can have a terrible voice and not even have a high school diploma and still be a great host! The key is not to get into the, “Don’t do this and don’t do that” mentality. Hosting TV is not like going to school, so don’t let the trivial stuff keep you from being successful on camera.
As basic and fundamental as this may sound, you need to talk to an audience just like you talk to your best friend on the street. Only a ring announcer or public address announcer should be over-emphasizing their voice to the point where it would sound abnormal in conversation. Everyone else should be concentrating on being “normal.” I always find this funny when I think about it, but the whole education of learning to be on camera is that you’re basically learning how to be yourself all over again.
Most people look at the camera like it’s an alien. They’re terrified to look at it, afraid of what it will do to them and at all costs they avoid it like the plague. However, if the camera were just another person standing in the room, their perspective would change.
Here’s a great example: In today’s super connected and technologically advanced world, Skype is quite the norm. When you get on Skype to talk to your BFF, you’re talking to a camera. But the funny thing is, most of you don’t care because it’s your best friend and you’ve developed trust with them.
That’s what the whole fear of being on-camera is all about, TRUST. You’re terrified of what people will think of you because you don’t know them and you don’t trust how their reactions will make you feel. It’s getting out of your comfort zone and making yourself trust the unknown. That where confidence is born and bred. This is why CONFIDENCE is an absolute must for anyone that gets in front of a camera or an audience. Without confidence, there is no trust, without trust there is fear, and where there is fear, there is failure.
The moral of the story: Don’t worry about what other people are thinking, only about what you think of yourself. Master this and this whole hosting business will be your playground!