Some editions of this column may seem to be addressing minor issues, some not. But the hope is to improve how we all present ourselves to cameras and to others.
My wife Millie gets annoyed by the sometimes constant critiques of anchors and those who speak, present themselves, on TV, radio and in public. Less so the last. I well know how it feels to be under a magnifying glass of critics who think they know everything about me, so as far as mentioning it to them I am mum, 99.9% of the time, and very civil with that .1%
What triggered the start of this column may seem minor, but unable to sleep a person being interviewed caught my attention. She looked like she had been punched twice: both eyes. One reason for this is too heavy, and awkward application, of eye shadow. Or she was made up by an intern, someone with less talent at the makeup for TV trade than she or he should have. Her eye sockets looked like something from The Night of the Living Dead. The color only seemed to make it worse. The application was uneven and awkward.
Could be a hasty application, I suppose.
As morning cracked like a rotted egg something was rotten with how the hosts of the show I was watching were talking. People on the air develop a rhythm that increases. Public speaking in any form is a talent, and one thing one must address is how one might increase the rapidity to the point those who have controls for their feeds have to keep backing up the feeds, if they can do that. Even captions don’t help, make it worse. Millie and I have laughed at what might be simply some algorithm’s silly errors. I’ve even seen captions filled with insults and curses, obscenities, where there are none, which makes me suspicious that instead of some algorithm some employee is feeding the captions and laughing all the way to, hopefully, getting fired. Unless it’s an April Fools joke, though with some of these captions firing would be the least punishment that should happen.
Reminds me of a lesson I learned in college when reading news over college radio I “thanked” AP for its “excellent” feed. Of course everyone knew the script was a horrible combination of poor spelling, blanks that made reading hard and absolute gibberish.
How fast someone presents their case, their script, their ideas is important. Not all of us are that awake, or able to read captions that fast, or operate at warp speed. Think. What is your goal here?
Not distracting the viewer, the listener. Not looking like some ghoul or clown. Unless you want to make your audience hate you, view you as some black and white TV, Snidely Whiplash-ish, villain.
Again: what is your goal? Simple!
Ken Carman is a 76 graduate of SUNY @ Plattsburgh School of Communications. He did have good grades, but not grand. Ken specializes in taking what he has learned from music, being a music business student in Nashville, an English major at two colleges, a Communications/Mass Media Major and seeing what PhD’s might not see. Think of it like horses at a track with blinders on. They see the track, where they need to go. Like most generalists, Ken sees beyond the track and how it all can fit together in unique ways. In the future expect more off kilter editions. Ken hopes his perspective may widen the perspective of others, and the perspectives of his readers do the same for him. Ken lives in Eagle Bay and Beaver River, NY. He is formerly form Nashville, TN, then Old Forge, NY, then Utica, NY where he met Millie the marvelous, and born in Nyack, NY.
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