Want To Be A Presenter - Use The Internet
So your dream is to be a presenter. Thing is it’s a crowded market, and I don’t just mean for the presenters you know and love. I’m thinking about the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who share your dream.
With so many channels and it seems there are channel launches every day (did you know that there is even a Wedding Channel? Sky Channel 266 if you’re interested!), you would imagine it’s easier than ever to become a tv presenter. Well yes and no.
Just because there are lots of channels doesn’t necessarily mean there are now suddenly lots of presenters needed. Some of these channels are using back catalogues or repeat recently shown programmes. Not all of them are making brand new shows but they do recognise that “content is king” or put another way they have to be showing something that people want to watch!
Because lots of channels are owned by one company when they do make new shows they do tend to stick with the presenter talent they know. But then it was always ever thus! Even in the “old days” when we only had three tv channels (no really it’s true) the same could have been said about sticking with the talent you knew best.
But wait. Not all is lost! To become that trusted talent you’re going to have to think differently and build your experience, and let’s not forget your loyal following too, in another way. Welcome to the world wide web!
So now you’re scratching your head and thinking I’ve lost the plot. But let me explain. Biggest thing the internet can offer you? Potentially a huge audience. Just ask Justin Bieber. Don’t believe me? Well without cheating and using a search engine how many views has Justin’s official youtube channel had?* If ever there was an example of how to build a following and turn into a mainstream artist Justin’s your man. All he did was record himself singing songs and posted them online for family and friends .. the rest is history.
Now of course I’m not suggesting you rush out buy a guitar and turn yourself into a pop star. However what I want you to take from this is the potential world wide audience available to you and the ease with which you could connect with them.
That’s got you thinking now hasn’t it? But wait a minute if it’s that easy, I hear you ask, why isn’t everyone doing it? Well actually there are quite a few who are, you just haven’t found them. Why? Remember earlier I said “content is king” well it’s true, if not more so, on the web because it’s such a vast medium. Your videos are going to have to stand out from the rest. So careful thought is needed about what it is you want to say, why you’re saying it and then how you present it.
If you get the “what you say and how you say it” right not only do you get people watching, and of course more importantly getting others to watch you, but you’re more likely to attract the attention of the industry. Producers and Agents receive vast numbers of pitches, applications and requests to join/work for them. The ones who succeed are those who have been recommended or who have, by being talked about, attracted attention. This may not happen overnight but you have to build up momentum (unless you choose a particularly controversial subject matter but I’d be wary of going down that route if I were you).
I deliberately chose the “how you present” it second because I wanted you to think about the content of your video. You see that’s where lots of people go wrong and why they never get seen. It’s cliché, but so true, “substance over style”. You are likely to find that how you present will be aided by your subject. Take a look at one of my favourite up and coming presenters Ross Fiddes www.youtube.com/RossFiddes. He recently started a series called “Around the World in 20 plates”. Incredibly clever he has a theme (food), a purpose (taste food from 20 countries) and of course a style (children’s tv).
Interestingly I found out about his series on twitter because it had been re-tweeted. Another presenter who has a totally different style but has, like Ross, decided on a theme and what he is going to say in his videos is Adam Gibbs www.youtube.com/TheAdamGibbsShow what I really like is the thought and attention to everything from the opening title to the content. His first episod has racked up over 100,000 hits! Again I found him online because somebody else had re-tweeted his first episode.
Making your online channel is incredibly easy, most opt for www.youtube.com but there are plenty of others including www.vimeo.com for example, but it will mean you have to think about what it is you want to say. You don’t need to build a studio or have fancy cameras. You can make great content with minimal technology, remember it’s not fancy colours and loud bangs that are going to get viewers and recognition!
Think about the last time you watched an online video. What was it that made you stop and watch? Sure the bright effects, if there were any, might have been a momentary draw – but wasn’t it what was said, the genuine enthusiasm and the conviction that they believed what they said.
Remember it’s all about the content, online has made video sharing easier sure, but content is king.
*well done if you didn’t cheat and had a guess, to date Justin Bieber’s official youtube channel has received over 3billion views and has in excess of 1.5million subscribers.