Performance Coaching for Television News & Sports Talent
This presentation by CNN’s Tom Foreman is a master class in live delivery. Though here he enjoys the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, the dynamics that distinguish his performance are applicable to almost any live situation in studio or out — and especially to one that involves relating to a screen or objects behind you.
What to Watch
Watch the piece once to get the gist of it, and then study Foreman with the sound turned down so that you can focus on the ways that he gestures and moves.
He is working without a stick mic. Few things are as important as being free to move and gesture. Research has shown that expressive people are liked and trusted more than people who are not expressive. When you gesture, you use more facial expression, your speech tends to be more conversational, your memory is better and you even use language more creatively. You will almost always communicate more effectively when your hands are free to support what you are saying.
He is relaxed and moving below the waist. Even if you are having to stay on a mark, you’ll look most comfortable standing if you relax your knees and allow yourself to shift your weight from time to time — just as you would in conversation at a party or a meeting. In fact, one of the most important keys to looking comfortable when you are standing is allowing yourself to relax and move below the waist.
He works consistently in the direction of his point-of-focus. Notice how he leans toward the image behind him as he discusses it, and how he leans toward the camera when he is addressing viewers or Jake Tapper. When people want to show we are interested in something or to demand attention, we move toward our point-of-focus. Foreman embodies his interest in the screen and in the conversation by moving toward them.
He is comfortable breaking eye contact and turning away from the camera. This enables him to use the images behind him dynamically, as opposed to having them there as background to his posing.
He takes time to see the things he is describing. He’s not just pointing at them. He’s seeing them and using them, even though it means looking away from the camera. Because he is actively engaged helping us understand something, the fact that he is looking away does not break his fundamental connection with the audience.
He embodies his analogy. He doesn’t just describe the movement of the garden hose. He acts it out.
He is comfortable with large, open gestures. Research has shown that when your body language is open and expansive you feel more confident and others experience you as more powerful.
When he’s not gesturing, he varies what he does with his hands. Sometimes he clasps them, sometimes he holds them at his sides, and sometimes he puts them in his pockets. The key, as with other aspects of delivery, is variety.
Altogether, Foreman is physically at ease and dynamic in a way appropriate to almost any live situation or venue.
Next post, we’ll look at how he follows through on it all vocally.
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.
Jonathan is a veteran newsroom manager and coach. He understands how much performance depends on the people who support it, and he works as effectively with producers and writers as he does with talent.
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