Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Anchoring For Dummies - Listening

Whether you anchor regularly or just fill in, here's something to think about: listen.

Listen to the package that's running. Listen to the soundbite. Listen to your co-anchor, the weather person, the sports person. Try looking at them too. This is important for a number of reasons. You're sitting next to these people. If you were sitting at the kitchen table and someone was talking, you'd be listening, right? You'd make some eye contact too.

This is good for the people talking because now, they're not just relating to the camera, they're talking to you too. This will impact how they deliver.

If you're listening, you're going to avoid a disconnect between something you read with your co-anchor. Let's say there are a couple of weather stories in a row using the word "weather", for example, in the script. Start watching/listening closely for how often the second anchor says "weather" like it wasn't connected to the previous story ("weather" is just an example, this can apply to any well blocked "like" stories). That's not listening.

Also, if you're listening to how your co-anchor finishes , you'll know how to transition into your lead and you'll avoid crutches.

Listen to soundbites. Your tone will (should) naturally complement theirs when you start reading.

Listen to the package. There's time for chit chat after the show. How often do you see awkward cross talk out of a package? Probably a product of goofing around while it was going. Or bad cross talk out of one anchor reading a vo or vosot? If you're listening to what they're saying you're better prepared to react to anything they add.

Yes, anchoring is about reading from the prompter, but listening brings a certain amount of harmony to a news set.

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