BLOG 3. (revised August 2015) This Blog is interactive. I encourage your comments and questions. Feel free join the Blog on the website at www.paulparkerpc.com.au and respond.
HOLLYWOOD PERFORMANCE COACH ASSISTING BUSINESS PEOPLE
Topic – On Camera Presentation training
This blog’s target audience:
CEO’s, General Managers, Business Managers, Politicians, Teachers, Barristers, Television Presenters and Sports Players who want to improve their skills when appearing on television or in radio interviews.
Are you a CEO or a Head of Department who has to do some media? It could be on television? It could be on radio? Does your family and friends get non-productive comments about how you were on television or radio? They could have said to you one of the following things:
Are you a Sports Manager who works hard to get your client (a sports player) onto a sports television show, and when you do, they look like a deer staring into a car’s headlights?
Are you a TV Presenter who notices that you have little screen time? Or you are continually in the full length or 3/4 camera shot? You never seem to be in the close up shot? Perhaps you didn’t last long in the job because the Producers didn’t like what you were doing on set? You weren’t popular? You lacked personality? You looked wooden?
Are you a Politician or a Barrister trying to make a strong impression in your interviews but you can’t control how your body is manifesting its nerves and producing large and/or repetitive gestures? You want to be liked when you are being interviewed on television, but are you? You are not sure.
Nobody wants to lose their job or confuse or alienate their audience because of poor media presentation. Knowing how to work in front of the camera and in radio interviews can help you take advantage of the media coverage work that you get, as it presents your public appearances in a positive way.
Combining and discussing the professional job occupation duties of CEO’s, general managers, presenters, politicians, teachers, barristers and sports players is relevant in this blog to help discuss how people in these occupations can all benefit from on camera presentation training.
I will be frank and provocative in this BLOG, but my heart is in the right place. As always, I want to educate. To coach. To empower.
Some important information
People present well in front of the camera due to their training and/or their experiences of being in front of the camera. Learning technique and skills so that you know how to present in front of the camera is vital if you want to make a strong impact and if you want longevity in the media world. On television, ultimately, audience feedback and the producers will weed you out of work if you are not good, not popular, not making sense or if you are struggling with what you are doing.
Struggling with what you are doing could be because of one of the following:
I am writing this Blog because generally speaking, many businessmen or women in high profile positions, barristers, sports players, politicians and even some employed presenters, could do with some on camera presentation training. This is often called media training in Australia.
When speaking to one particular organization that i have in mind about this topic, the CEO’s assistant said, “We have a media department in-house. They train Mr. …….. with this stuff!” So I watched the CEO again on television. Many months later, the CEO is still making the same mistakes in front of the camera. “Who’s training him?” I asked myself. No one is often the answer.
Generally speaking, from my knowledge and experiences: media departments of high profile companies in Australia, including some sports companies and sporting clubs, are mainly assisting their clients going into television or radio interviews with the following:
This type of training has correlations with language media training that is used with politicians. In short, the verbal discourse.
In sport, a lot of the people working in the media departments of these large companies in Australia often come from a journalistic background. Some of them worked as writers for newspapers. Language and phrases they know well and adhere to include: media landscape, news cycles and 24 hour news cycles. But, do they know how to train someone for the camera? Do they know how to train the verbal and non-verbal communication of a person that is in front of the camera?
What is the verbal and non-verbal communication?
I would like to answer the above question while talking through some scenarios.
This Manager felt that he had done quite well in his television interview. After watching the footage, not only did I feel his colleagues were right, but I could see other things that he was not doing well or could have done much better. For example, the Manager did not know how to communicate well with his body or with his voice because he was so nervous.
In support of this I am going to do some lateral thinking to make three points:
1. AFL Footy show in Melbourne, Australia.
Have you noticed that television producers skillfully place poor presenters on a television segment alongside presenters who do very well? Channel 9’s AFL-The Footy Show in Melbourne, often put the most out-going, gregarious, ex-footballer regulars, (think charismatic Sam Newman) or semi-regulars, (think Bill Brownless) alongside inexperienced, current footballers on the same show.
This is an art and a skill that Channel 9 Melbourne’s AFL-The Footy Show do extremely well. They do this so they can have the popular sports player on the program, but also divert attention away from them if they present poorly on the panel, (as we all know many of them do present poorly); all the while still maintaining the shows’ entertainment level.
But, why do the footballers all have to swivel pens you might ask? The most likely answer is because they are very nervous and don’t know what to do with their hands. The Channel 9 producers might tell you that it is because they have written down some intelligent answers with those pens! Of course, some have.
The point here is – a lot of people are nervous when in front of the camera and don’t know what to do.
2. Sir Michael Gambon. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002091/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_1
Sir Michael Gambon is a classically trained theatre actor who was knighted by the Queen of England for his work as an actor. I saw him on stage in the role of the caretaker in Harold Pinter’s play The Caretaker in the West End of London and I have never seen a better performance on stage in my life.
But it took many years and many supporting roles before Sir Michael started to appear regularly in USA and British films. Even now he is mostly known for his over-the-top character Dumbeldore in the Harry Potter movies. Why is that so? If you watch his earlier work in such films as The Life Aquatic, Gosford Park & The Layer Cake, you can see his performances are too big for the camera. His performances are too theatrical. This majestic actor has had to learn, like thousands of other actors, how to adapt his acting for the screen and for the camera.
The point here is – there are skills to learn when working in front of the camera.
3. Lindy Chamberlain.
In Australian history, Lindy Chamberlain was trialed and put in prison. History tells us that she was innocent and released years later when a baby’s jump suit was found buried with dingo marks on it.
The common talk amongst Australians at the time was that she was trialed by the media and the public in general. Everyone watched her on television, night after night, as she walked in and out of the court rooms. Nearly every person that I spoke to around this time said, “She looks guilty”. Nearly every person that I spoke to also said that most of the newspaper and TV stations either said or implied this too.
During the trial, for the most part, Lindy Chamberlain ignored the cameras. When she did do interviews, she was quiet and obviously frightened by the cameras and the media attention.
The point here is, as tacky a simile as this might read, (and I don’t mean it to be), if Lindy Chamberlain had known how to conduct herself well in front of the cameras during her trial period, the final verdict at the time may well have been different.
I am bringing up these case studies and making some lateral thinking points for these reasons:
Not to ridicule people who get in front of the camera and do interviews or go on panel shows or work as television presenters. But simply to say, that there is help there for people in these occupations and positions.
In American business, the presentation of one’s self on television, on radio and in videos on the internet is seen as very important. In Australia we are just starting to get better at this. As presentation and communication is paramount worldwide nowadays, why wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward? Your career, your future and the way people think about you, could all hinge on how well you come across in front of the camera. Amazing, but true! Learning on camera presentation techniques is the key to improved work and success.
How I can help?
Breaking down work you have done in the past, drawing your attention to what successful people do well and how they do it, then learning to implement new skills, is a good place to start. A good on camera skills teacher can benefit you in many ways as they assist you with exercises and activities to broaden your skills.
This BLOG contains the following on-camera questions and pointers to help you:
1. Body awareness – Your head positioning and your head and body stillness are very important when working in front of the camera. Do you tilt your head up or down? Are you someone who always looks at the floor during your thinking time? Can you keep your head still when talking?
2. Vocabulary – You can always improve your vocabulary. Do you know how?
3. Nerves – Do you know how to help yourself overcome nervousness?
4. Personality type – What is your personality type? How can you ensure your personality comes across well when on TV?
5. The cameras – How do you work with a camera for your benefit? How do you multi-cam work with your head and eyes? How can you utilize the different shots? (I.e. full length, ¾, mid shot, close up, extreme close up).
6. Voice – How can you improve the speech, diction, articulation and flavour of your voice!
What people on television in Australia do I like?
Television presenters introduce a topic and then, in many shows, the show goes to the topic and the show’s footage. If they are sitting behind a desk, they generally get more screen time. Why do some presenters stay on television for many years you might ask? Think Graham Kennedy, Denise Drysdale, Andrew Daddo, Sam Newman, Adam Hills.
Generally speaking it is because they have learnt how to work the cameras! They’ve learnt how to present themselves very cleverly, and to their advantage, in the studio and in front of the cameras. Audience popularity and work longevity is the reward for their smartness and their skills.
Some Australian sports players, presenters and journalists who I think does a great job include:
Presenters: Hamish McLachlan, Eddie McGuire and Gerard Whateley. These presenters are all calm, articulate, know how to use their heads and bodies and work the multi-cam of the cameras very well.
Ex sports players, now presenters: Dermott Brereton, Sam Newman and Bill Brownless: all terrific ex-footballers working with skill in front of the cameras as regular panel guests.
Journalist and presenter: Mark Robinson. Robbo’s skill is particularly in verbal communication. Robbo lifts the tempo and volume of his utterances up, the longer he talks. He incites action, creates drama and calls people to listen and be accountable to what he is saying. A terrific skill!
Ex–sports player now DJ on radio: David Schwartz is terrific on SEN sports radio station. Gifted with a naturally deep voice, you would think this ex-footballer was trained theatrically or as a disc jockey.
Education and growth for you
Education and growth is good for the brain. I encourage everyone, (myself included), to continue to learn and improve their skills. Every day is a school day!
The pointers in this BLOG are just a few that I teach and have taught for many years. I teach my students what is called the “Ten Categories of Growth”. They are a series of practical classes on how to improve skills when in front of the camera or in a radio interview. I have taught these classes in the USA, Japan and Australia.
Thank you for reading this Blog. Feel free to forward it. This Blog is interactive. I encourage your comments and questions, so please join in and respond.
2015 Copyright. Paul Parker – Revised August 2015. First written in February 2014.
No part of this Blog can be printed or reproduced and used without consulting the author first.
Paul Parker (B. Ed)
Business Presentation, Acting and Presenters’ Coach
Paul Parker has trained many business people with their presentations to help them when on television, in television interviews, on radio and with their video logs on websites in Australia, Japan and in the USA. This BLOG is particularly about On Camera work. But Paul works as a Business Presentation and Acting and Voice Coach too. This includes training people who present in work forums, class rooms, conferences, staff meetings and court rooms.
To date in 2015, Paul has taught Business Presentation at RMIT University, Business presentation to CEO’S, teachers, heads of department in both Australia and Japan.
In the recent past Paul has taught the following:
In Australia: AFL Footballer Stewart Crameri. After training with Paul for 2 months, Stewart Crameri appeared on “Channel 7’s – Game Day”. In an, on the ground, Channel 7 Sport interview. On Fox Footy on Foxtel & in a video interview on the A.F.L.website www.afl.com.au Email Paul if you wish to see a video of Stewart Crameri in training with Paul?
In the USA: Paul coached ex USA footballer Karnell Matthews and helped him book television, television commercial and film roles. Paul also worked on his voice and Karnell now has a professional singing career.
In Japan: Paul taught business presentation (including on camera) skills to Japanese business people in 2015 (& 2013) in Tokyo.
Here are a few quotes on Paul’s work in this area:
“I have had the privilege to experience nine classes over two months of working with Paul Parker. I employed Paul and he worked with me on my interviewee and presentation skills for media, in particular, for my television show appearances. Paul’s knowledge in this area was huge. He began by tapping into the analysis of my work done to date and then he formed topics in which we would tackle together. Paul got to know me very well and very quickly, he was always a few steps ahead in what to teach me, that is, look and sound good on camera in television interviews.
Paul’s work on camera, working on the verbal and non – verbal communication was profound. He uses and teaches what he calls “The Ten Categories of Growth” for presenters and people being interviewed. When I watched my final versions of the scenes we had been working on – on camera, I could see vast improvement and how professional I was looking and sounding. Paul contacted me out of class time and encouraged me and checked up on me regarding my homework between classes. As a teacher to work with, I cannot rate Paul Parker higher”.
Stewart Crameri – current AFL footballer
“Paul transformed 100 entrepreneurship students into stage presenters who pitched opportunities to investors and industry. His focus on technique radically shifted confidence and communication, instantly, which directly resulted in powerful, engaging and compelling performances. A sensational and invaluable experience that is fundamental to high growth entrepreneurship.”
Lauren Rielly – Applied Entrepreneurship Lecturer and Course Coordinator, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
“They reckon one guy who found his true divinity could walk on water. Well, Paul Parker Performance Coaching taught me to walk on words. Paul combines physiology, psychology and technique to make anyone look good both on and off camera.
After 30 years working in education, the media and government I was confident in public speaking but had no idea how to present myself on-camera. Even more importantly, Paul has had not only a huge impact on my professional presentation skills but also a dramatic affect on my own health by improving my breath, relaxation, pitch, tone, presence and vocal strength. My work with Paul has given me confidence to produce a series of videologs for my business Kreative Konnections.”
Vincent Ryan – Founder CEO and Director Strategy and Communications, Kreative Konnections www.kreativekonnectons.com
“I highly recommend Paul Parker to assist and coach you in achieving excellent presentation skills for you in your business. Paul is an amazing teacher and coach. I worked with Paul for about 3 years. He is very patient and gives personal attention to each of his students. He genuinely cares for you as a person and wants you to excel and achieve all of your dreams.
Since working with Paul, I have become more confident and have had vast improvement with my breathing and my voice delivery. I have also become more relaxed on camera as Paul pointed out the mannerisms and things on camera that didn’t show well and now I am much more aware of these things and have corrected them which has improved my performance.
At work, my sales presentations have greatly improved using his techniques. To achieve excellence in speaking, Paul Parker is the best coach you could have. His techniques have definitely done wonderful things for me”.
Dr. Sonja Fisher. Practice Architect, Trace3. Los Angeles, CA. USA.
“Paul Parker assisted my transition from American Football into professional acting and presenting by bridging the gap of understanding. Understanding the fundamentals of on-camera training is critical in forging the careers actors and presenters aspire to. Finding the truth in the eyes, the simplicity of real thought and an honest reaction to what is heard are the principles that Paul allows you to discover, in your own time. I recommend, as an athlete looking for a voice beyond the jersey, that you can commit to a craft that can be understood through what Paul Parker teaches”.
Karnell Matthews www.karnellmatthews.com
“Karnell Matthews, a former University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhusker, transferred his consistency on the football field to organizing his acting career. Since moving to L.A. six years ago, he’s booked leading roles in the independent films Death Cab for Cutie, Voyeur, and Blind. He also has extensive training with highlights including ……….. one year, with the Australian Institute of Dramatic Arts”. www.aidaacting.com
Backstage West Newspaper, Los Angeles CA, USA. November 5th, 2006.
“Paul Parker is a very capable teacher who can instill confidence and skills in those wishing to become more efficient and effective presenters. He helps speakers improve the manner in which their audiences view them as being both qualified and well focused. By providing useful insights from his years of training actors, Paul can transform the challenge of having to give presentations into enjoyable opportunities for helping others to learn. I highly recommend Paul as a coach for aspiring presenters”.
Dr. John Martin. Medical Director, MI Hope Inc. Los Angeles, CA. USA
“Thank you for splendid workshop! Indeed you are an excellent teacher. My students really honor and love you. You got connection to everyone and build their potentials up. Many Japanese are embarrassed to be praised. Because it is rare in Japan. So they tend to suppress their real emotion. You released their emotion and taught natural acting. In business class students were impressed that the idea of creative approach and breath & voice work. Thank you very much”.
Shinji Betcheku. CEO. Ascend Feather. Tokyo, Japan.
Paul Parker’s website is at: www.paulparkerpc.com.au