TV anchoring tips from a pro

WLKY anchor demonstrates use of "TV Hands."

WLKY anchor demonstrates use of “TV Hands.”

KRON4 anchor Marty Gonzalez calls them “TV Hands” — that’s when an anchor keeps the elbows in, hands at waist level and then talks using natural gestures. Gonzalez also teaches broadcast journalism at San Francisco State University and says it’s hard to get inexperienced anchors to stop clasping their hands together in a death grip when they first get to the anchor desk.

“Nothing says rookie more than that,” laughs Gonzalez. In addition, has three more excellent pieces of advice for any kind of on-camera delivery:

1. Pacing. Gonzalez sums this up in two words — slow down! “Get a tattoo if you have to, but remember this,” says Gonzalez. “Cut your speed in half.” As he points out, you might as well have stayed at home if your reading is so rushed that no one understands it.

2. Emphasize important words.
Call this interpretation — Gonzalez says you should take a highlighter and identify at least one word in every sentence that should be emphasized for meaning. “You also want to build in pauses to sound conversational,” says Gonzalez. He recommends marking your scripts to remind yourself where a pause makes sense.

3. Vary your delivery. “Not all stories should be treated the same,” says Gonzalez. “You need to change your inflection or tone to match the topic.”

Gonzalez also says it’s critical that you understand the material you’re reading and that it’s essential to rehearse out loud.

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