What not to do in a standup

Here’s a question I get all the time: What kind of standups and live shots should a reporter include in a resume tape montage? The simple answer is to feature only your very best stuff, with the goal of showing how confident and comfortable you are on camera.

So is there anything you should NOT include? When a young reporter asked that question at a recent workshop, my answer may have sounded a little flippant: “Don’t ride the elephant.” The point I was trying to make is that participatory standups can make you look silly and unprofessional, so you have to draw the line at stunts like riding the elephant when the circus comes to town.

Anything else? Well, yes.

Yes, this was a live shot for the morning show on the Fox station in Los Angeles, Good Day LA, which is more of a lifestyle program than a newscast. But the station’s Web site lists Suzanne Marques as a general assignment reporter, which suggests she also covers daily news. Would she want this live shot on her resume reel? I doubt it. As the anchor asks in the lead-in, “Would Diane Sawyer do this?” Um, no. ‘Nuff said.

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