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7 Ways to Improve Your Anchoring

6905513-friendly-blue-number-7-seven-guy-with-textDuring my career, I’ve anchored local and network news and sports reports, coached and managed dozens of anchors and worked with really smart people who shared great advice along the way. Recently, going through my notes for a client, I came across seven tips that you might find helpful whether your writing and deliver sports or news updates. 

1. What’s New

Provide up to the minute information that is relevant to the core audience. Reports should help highlight for listeners things that will impact their life (or their team, their city, their neighbors, etc.) The news should be credible, honest, dependable, and factual.

The cast is about the news of the moment: What is happening right now? What is trending? What are people are talking about? And what have you learned that is new and relevant?

2. Be Local

Yes, this can be about your local area, but it is less today about location or reporting on events in the neighborhood and more about finding stories that resonate with listeners in their hearts and minds. Look at life and news through the eyes of listeners — process it and present it in a personal way.

3. Urgency

Casts should be brief and succinct.

Updates should be written and delivered with a sense of immediacy.

4. Context

Help listeners connect the dots. Provide context, perspective, and a sense of understanding.

Casts are not the same as the headlines on the TV news tickers, casts are what’s going on behind the headlines on the ticker.

5. Tell a Story

Storytelling is the #1 thing that resonates with listeners.

Instead of unloading a bag of facts during a report, specifically choose facts and details that help tell the story in a compelling, unique way.

Explore interesting people, issues, trends and changes. Pique my curiosity about my world, my city, and my neighborhood. The news should keep my juices flowing.

Be the entry point to broader discussions about the human condition and moral/ethical dilemmas. Reporters can help set up, explore, investigate, or add context and perspective to these stories during talk shows.

6. Use Audio

Let audio advance the story

Do not parrot the audio with your script

All audio should enhance not detract from your cast.

7. Write, Re-Write, Edit

Writing news is a process. Continually write, re-write and edit your scripts. Keep them up to the moment.

Look for new angles, new phrases, new words to capture the essence of each story.

Be real. Using news-speak to gloss over facts, issues, or to present ideas is the hallmark of mediocrity. Read your script aloud, edit what doesn’t come out naturally.

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