Guest Blog by Veena V
I recently caught up with TV presenter Leah Charles-King and we discussed the first steps you need to do if you want to become a TV Presenter. Leah has been in the industry for over a decade and started life as a children’s TV presenter for CITV and The Disney Channel.
There is so much advice out there and it can be overwhelming to decipher through it all. Below are Leah’s first 8 steps on advice you need to take to kick-start your TV presenting career.
1) BE DETERMINED
If you don’t have determination to be a presenter don’t do it. What makes you passionate? Whatever it is, follow that. Becoming a TV Presenter is very difficult; people want to knock you down. One minute you’re up, then you’re down – it is a very tough industry.
I have cried many times in the past, from not getting that TV presenting job I really wanted but you have to get back up, stay strong and never give up.
2) BE PASSIONATE
If you wake up thinking of TV, go to bed thinking of TV then definitely become a TV Presenter! If you don’t have that determination or passion, when the first person kicks you down (not literally!) then it is really going to hurt. You need to get back up on the saddle and keep going.
If you’re passionate about becoming a presenter then the knock-backs will only make you stronger eventually. And it will also make you work harder too.
3) NEVER GIVE UP
There are THOUSANDS of people wanting to be a TV Presenter. If you give up, someone else will just come along and take your place. I know this is harsh what I’m saying but it is the truth. If you slip, there are thousands of other presenters just waiting to take your place. Keep your space and don’t miss the boat!
4) KEEP IN CONTACT
This one is quite tricky. My advice is you do not want to email someone so much that you end up annoying them. At the same time you don’t want to be in the position that they forget who you are. I’ve wanted many TV presenting jobs just like Jackpot247 which is one of the shows i currently host on ITV. I would email the Executive Producer every few months. Firstly to introduce myself, and the other times just to remind him that I still existed and if he would consider me for an AUDITION the next time he was having any. Notice I would not ask for the job itself. Go in gently! The trick is to not bombard anyone with a plethora of emails every few weeks. Your emails will end up in the trash or junk files! If within each 2-3 month period you have a new showreel or some form of major progression in your career, update them with your progress and show you mean business.
5) BE RELEVANT
Don’t email blindly and NEVER copy and paste the same message (Yes I know it’s tempting because I’ve done it, but it will never work)
If you want to be a Children’s TV Presenter don’t send a producer working at CITV or CBBC (for example) a video which is completely off track to what they would be looking for! For example, get someone to film you doing something fun. Like going to a theme park or your local zoo etc and do a report on the rides or animals. Make it fun! Imagine that young children are watching ad so “speak to them” and not as if the producer is watching. Be warm and smiley. Have a great energy about yourself but be relaxed, comfortable and don’t over kill.
Know whom you are emailing. Again for example, if you wish to get into sports reporting, don’t send your real to the Head of Children’s department at CITV, hoping that he or she will think you’re so amazing they will pass your ‘reel on to the relevant person. I always say “never say never”, but in this case I would say 99.9% that this will NOT happen. Firstly research various sports channels. Do they have specific shows you really enjoy watching? Find out the name of the Executive Producer of the show and find out what others shows they may have done in their career. What other TV shows have they made? Be knowledgeable and SHOW THEM that you are too.
Knowledge is power and if you want to become a TV Presenter this should be one of your mantra’s right from the start of your career.
7) WHAT IS YOUR USP?
A USP is your Unique Selling Point. How are you different, unique and special to all those other TV presenters out there? Veena V has done a whole video on the importance of having a USP – do watch it so you understand why having one is so important. Get this right from the start of your career and you will be heading in the right direction in your TV journey.
8) BE A NICHE PRESENTER
Nearly everyone starting out as a TV Presenter wants to be an entertainment or music presenter – there is nothing wrong with that however, try and find another area you could excel in. Like point 7 – find your USP – do you have lots of knowledge or passion about baking fairy cakes? Then make videos about baking and consider a career as a TV Chef or if you’re into current affairs, think of a topic or get inspiration from your local news or newspaper perhaps, and get a friend to film you reporting on a local story in your area? These are just examples of how you can become more niche as a TV presenter or even as a reporter. This is much more attractive to producers and TV programme commissioners than just being a general TV presenter.
We hope these steps guide you in the right direction! If you have questions or want more tips Tweet us! The Red Carpet Academy is an awesome platform to help launch your career. Reserve your spot for one of our Taster sessions or our One Day TV Presenting Bootcamp. Also, be sure to check out Veena V’s website and follow her on twitter as she is full of additional advice too!