Last week I had my first taste of the 5:00 a.m. wake up call to help manage a CHCH Morning Live segment revealing the latest trends in natural health for summer with Michelle Book, Canadian Health Food Association spokesperson. Merkato Account Manager, Bea Bastedo, invited me along to train me and share her experience with in-studio spokesperson support.
Bea was a great help, teaching me the tricks of the trade, letting me learn through listening, watching and doing. When the day was over, I was exhausted! It was probably a mixture of absorbing everything I was learning and my inability to sleep the night before in fear I wouldn’t hear my alarm!
I learned a lot, but let’s focus on the 4 P’s I believe are essential to ensure a successful TV studio segment: Plan, Practice, Presentation and Problem Solve.
Be prepared with a plan. Know how everything is going to run the next day. Print out the segment details, script and prop list, and review them before arriving on set. Make a check list for what you need to bring, and use that check list! I thought I had everything until I arrived on location to realize I had forgotten the cutting board I had washed in preparation for the segment in the office!
Practice makes perfect! The day before the segment I sat in on media training as Bea and Michelle practised the segments going over key messages, using the various props in the segment and timing everything precisely. This was undoubtedly beneficial. While on location, before each segment Bea had Michelle rehearse what she would say and I watched her comfort level increase. Michelle’s ease on air was reflected from that process.
When setting up a segment, visuals are essential. Everything always looks so beautifully and effortlessly put together on my favourite morning talk shows, but I know it takes a lot of preparation. Knowing the camera angles, where the host and spokesperson will stand and adding levels, colour, signage and style are critical to a visually appealing segment. I may add food stylist to my resume now!
4. Problem Solve
Be quick on your feet to solve problems fast! Problem solving skills are an important quality to possess in all facets of life and boy are they needed in media relations! You need to think quickly, effectively and be able to solve problems that arise on a moment’s notice! For example, when we showed up we realized our table was smaller than ideal. So what do you do?
If you look closely, that small table is on soup cans! The magic of problem solving!
It was a great morning, I learned a lot and can’t wait to do it again! If you want to watch Michelle’s segment on CHCH Morning Live with (my favourite!) Lori DeAngelis then click here!
(posted by Sacha)