If you’ve ever dreamed of being a television newscaster, you’ll enjoy this story. You can watch the video at the end of this article.
I was visiting the CNN Center in Atlanta when I noticed the broadcast studio on the ground floor. For a mere $25 you can sit in the anchor chair, read the prepared script from the teleprompter and take home a DVD of your performance.
It was too great an opportunity to pass up!
After signing up, I got to choose the CNN anchor who would “throw” the lead to me. I chose Anderson Cooper, not having any idea what it would be.
Jason, the CNN employee who ran the teleprompter and recorded the DVD, took me into the studio. He explained the process and we did a practice run-through of the prepared script. Naturally they are protective of their brand, so I couldn’t stray from the script. While I stumbled over several of the phrases, I felt like I was “ready. (The biggest problem for me was the numbers – they type all of the numbers out. So instead of 1996 it’s nineteen ninety six. Jason explained that with larger numbers, it would cause a hesitation if they had to decided whether it’s 56 million or 56 thousand, then read all of the numbers. So standard practice is to type out all numbers.)
As we started the actual recording, I could hear Anderson Cooper’s intro, then Jason gave me the cue and we were off! Naturally, I stumbled over the same numbers I had had problems with in practice, but I smiled and kept reading. That’s where it was really helpful to have so many teleseminars and webinars under my belt – I am comfortable with not being perfect. It’s just part of life.
In 5 minutes we were totally finished. And I had gained a whole new respect for news broadcasters. It was hard enough, just reading the teleprompter. I can’t imagine also having an ear-piece in my ear, with people talking to me at the same time I’m trying to appear calm and make sense on the air! Talk about multi-tasking!
This was a very positive experience for me. If you ever have a chance to record a broadcast, I recommend you take advantage of it. You’ll learn a lot about your ability to handle new situations, quick surprises – and have fun at the same time!
And now – here’s the broadcast!