The Television Presenter
The television presenter is the front-person for a program. Their job includes:
- Presenting information and/or opinions.
- Introducing people and elements of the show.
- Interviewing guests.
- Linking between segments of the show.
- Taking part in onscreen activities.
Being a presenter is all about personality. Although presenters must learn a few simple technical skills, what usually makes or breaks a presenter is the ability to project the right type of onscreen personality.
Obviously some presenting roles have specific requirements. For example, a news reader must be able to read an autocue without mistakes, a football presenter must have good game knowledge, a children's presenter must be able to relate well to kids, etc.
Presenters are expected to have the following skills:
- Basic knowledge of television terminology and operating procedures.
- A clear voice.
- Interpersonal skills.
- For studio or OB work, the ability to keep presenting while hearing instructions through an earpiece.
- Improvisation skills.
- The ability to work calmly under stress.
- In most cases, some knowledge of the program topic (e.g. sports, etc).
Like it or not, it's a fact that your looks can have a bearing on your ability to find work as a presenter. You don't necessarily have to be gorgeous, but let's face it — ugly people are under-represented in this vocation. We don't approve of it but it would be remiss of us not to be realistic.
If you're not blessed with great looks, don't assume that you can never be in front of a camera. You might be surprised at how well you come across with a little training and a little makeup. You can also look for work in areas which are less reliant upon looks. For example, an ordinary-looking presenter would have trouble getting work on a makeover show, but might do fine in general interest shows such as science, travel, etc.