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Hosting 101

There are so many times a new student will come to me for coaching and just want to know a few basics on how to handle a hosting audition...whether it be a commercial spokesperson, entertainment reporter, infomerical, industrial, reality TV show audition, etc.

The FIRST to know when you're hosting is that you are ALWAYS looking at camera. The exception to that is if you have a co-host or your are interviewing someone on the red carpet. Then it's about 35% to your co-host or interviewee and 65% is into the camera lens. You are the eyes and ears of the viewer and you are giving them a play by play of all that your are experiencing...using all of your they can get the best perceived experience of being there without actually having to leave their living room.

The SECOND thing is you are always playing yourself. You may do different versions of yourself (more playful, more serious, more professional, more nerdy) but you are always yourself. There is really no character study required...which is great! You just use the lines given and have them go through your "operating system" to have it be the most fun, entertaining version of YOU delivering that information.

The THIRD and final basic thing to remember is to book-end your read. Just like book-ends on a shelf. Make sure you do a strong first sentence all into camera and a super strong last sentence into camera. THESE TWO SENTENCES ARE REALLY THE ONLY ONES YOU SHOULD TOTALLY MEMORIZE FOR AN AUDITION. It's usually so much copy you want to have the freedom to look down and gather your lines. But doing a solid open and close into camera (as well as saying your name and the name of the product and show) will make your audition POP!

Next time we'll talk about a few way to handle your nerves when you have LOTS of copy to get through..."See" you then! :)


Shannon O’Dowd is an on-camera coach specializing in hosting training for infomercials (DR), Entertainment Reporting, Shopping Channels, Reality TV, Talk Shows, Trade-show Narration, Career Coaching, and Teleprompter Training.  Shannon O’Dowd began her coaching career with Carolyne Barry Creative and Suzanne Sena as the instructor for all incoming students wanting to gain knowledge on how to be a working host. After years of instructing, Shannon is very good at getting the best performance possible out of her clients with spot-on adjustments & information that “sticks” & aids in many areas of on-camera work, even beyond just hosting!

Join Shannon for her 1 day Kids & Teens Hosting Class coming up October 26!