1. Be an articulate speaker.
Your voice is key in this field. You should concentrate on projection, enunciation, and inflection. All of these things will help you deliver your “script” in a compelling nature. Be authoritative in your speech. This will give you credibility with your audience. Read newspapers and magazines aloud. Listen to the best journalists in the field when they speak and try to emulate them.
- You’ll have to speak loudly and slowly enough for people to understand you, but quickly enough to cover everything you have to say in a given amount of time.
2. Look good on camera.
This doesn’t mean that you have to look like a movie star or a Victoria’s Secret model. You don’t even have to be classically handsome or beautiful. You do, however, have to look appealing on camera, and have that special quality that makes people want to watch you doing whatever you do. This is a mixture of charisma, confidence, and that special something that will make people respond to you even if you’re covering a story about a local bake sale.
- Unfortunately, it can go the other way — you may be incredibly attractive but may come off as lackluster on camera. Don’t think that your looks are a golden ticket to the profession.
3. Have killer people skills.
If you want to succeed in the world of TV reporting or news anchoring, then you have to be able to talk to anyone about almost anything. If you’re reporting, you may have to talk to people live, on site, and on camera, even if they aren’t comfortable, and your job will be to make them comfortable. If you’re an anchor, then you’ll have to introduce people to your audience and talk to them in the studio, and use the same skills to make them open up and feel at ease.
- You may not realize that many reporters and news anchors have to write and investigate their own stories, but this may actually be a large component of your job. If this is the case, then you’ll need to be able to talk to a variety of people who can give you access to the information you want.
4. Be free from bias.
Tough one, eh? If you want to be an honest TV reporter or news anchor, then you’ll have to learn to put your prejudices aside. Even if you lean a certain way politically or feel biased against certain professions, people, or regions, you’ll have to do your reporting as objectively as possible. You won’t be able to let the people you interview see through to your personal beliefs, or you won’t be giving people the honest, unbiased news that they really want.
- If you’re prejudiced against certain people, they will be much less likely to open up to you.
5. Have stellar writing skills.
Though being an articulate speaker is crucial, being a strong writer isn’t far behind. Even if you’re just reading what you have to say and improvising as you go along, or if you have to write your own stories, writing skills will get you far in the field. Writing skills will also help you communicate with others if you have to develop your own stories, and your writing should make you sound as professional as possible.