What News Anchors Know About Presentation



News anchors know how to present with a combination of delivery, content, and visual aids.  This means they are tackling Nancy Duarte’s three-legged stool of presentation well, and we can learn quite a lot about presentation from watching them.

Take this video by CNN.  I love the dark background because there is nothing distracting behind the presenter.  This female news anchor is wearing professional attire in bright red, so the warm color signals passion and energy and pops against the background.  Other components of the visual presentation include huge, high-quality images (attributed to Getty Images) that fill the entire screen.  The picture superiority effect is definitely in play here.  You’ll notice two other elements of visual presentation: numbers appearing on the black background beside the presenter’s face AND slides.  The numbers are yellow and pop against the black background.  There are also slides to link the components of the presentation together.  These slides have a white background and utilize black and yellow text.  Repetition is used with the slides to create a connection between the various elements of the message.  Repetition also occurs with the color yellow to link the slides to the numbers beside the presenter’s face.  Music plays during the slide portion to create a change of pace and to keep the audience’s attention.

Delivery-wise, the newscaster delivers from the heart, and you can tell she’s not reading from a teleprompter because of her use of “uh” and her natural speaking voice.  Even though she still sounds a bit newscaster-y with the tone of her voice, you can tell she’s not reading from a teleprompter.  She does many things well.  Her eye contact is steady; she has a dynamic speaking voice which changes in inflection and tone; and her posture is tall and strong.  She utilizes nonverbal communication well with her hand gestures.  These delivery techniques bring the audience in because the newscaster appears authentic, natural, and honest.

The last leg of the delivery stool is the message.  The three-minute video is fast with rapid-fire content.  I like the “question-and-answer” method the presenter utilizes.  The white slides with the yellow text ask the questions, and the newscaster delivers the answers.  She provides support for her answers with the numbers that appear on the black background beside her face.  It is an effective mode of presenting because it allows for the audience to easily keep pace without feeling lost or overwhelmed by the material.

What presentation tips have you learned from watching news anchors speak?

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