By Roz Morris, Managing Director, TV News London
“How hard can it be?” boomed Santa as he watched his elves working on their brightly coloured handmade toys with their little hats bobbing as they hammered away and then quickly placed the toys in boxes ready for delivery to good children everywhere.
“How hard can what be?“ asked Chief Elf silkily gliding up behind him and startling Santa for the umpteenth time that morning with his sudden materialisations and altogether efficient appearance in the midst of the usual pre-Christmas rush and bustle.
“Selfies” said Santa and he lifted up his newly acquired selfie stick and proudly took some more selfies. He had already taken a lot of selfies that morning, but somehow they hadn’t turned out the way he had expected.
“Why do I look so worried? “ he murmured. “And a bit cross too. And your eyeline is all wrong” said Chief Elf (rather smugly Santa thought).
“Eyeline? Is that the same as eyeliner? Well I don’t wear that – ever” said Santa emphatically. “No, no no. Your eyeline is where you look when you take your selfie. It has to be correct or you’ll look a bit odd” explained Chief Elf in his ‘helpful’ voice which Santa always found to be really, really patronising.
“Plus” he continued “You need to learn to twinkle for the camera and talk to children about your vital work and how busy you’re going to be at Christmas delivering toys to them”.
“You mean – videos?” asked Santa doubtfully “Actually talking to children without seeing them? I know I can I do that on my phone as well as selfies, but I haven’t done very well with those either. After a few ho ho ho’s I keep running out of things to say and I don’t think the messages I’ve recorded are any good.”
“Ye-es”said Chief Elf. “I mean No. We can’t use any of these. And your Santa suit looks a bit grubby. And the buttons look ready to pop. And you’re not looking cheerful. And you’re not looking in the right place. And you’re not saying much. Plus the lighting is just awful.”
“Oh. So nothing much wrong then? “ said Santa sarcastically. “Well. As you’ve now found out “ continued Chief Elf in his ‘helpful’ voice “ talking to your phone and looking convincing and jolly is a lot harder than it looks. That’s why you should go on that training course I told you about. It’s run by TV News London and it’s called Twinkle for the Camera and it will help you get things right.”
“OK “ said Santa “I really do need to learn how to twinkle for the camera. So let’s book that before Christmas!”,
“Done” said Chief Elf. “How did you do that so fast?” asked Santa.
“Magic” said Chief Elf. “Now we need to talk properly about your social media presence. Obviously you need to be everywhere.”
“Obviously” said Santa.
12 December 2018
By Roz Morris, Managing Director, TV News London Ltd
'Twinkle for the camera' has always been a favourite phrase when we are training TV presenters. If they don’t twinkle. People won’t warm to them.
So why do you need to know about twinkling if you’re not a TV presenter? Well in the last couple of years with the huge growth of social media and online videos, it’s no longer enough just to have still pictures on your LinkedIn page or your other social media accounts.
You need to know how to make short videos and talk to your customers. Research shows that people respond better to your messages if they have a video or a picture. They remember more. They start to relate to you as a person. This is networking 21st-century style.
This is not just for celebrities with their millions of fans, it works for businesses too. Small businesses can use online video to build a market and increase growth.
Have you noticed how just this year on LinkedIn, there are now more and more videos and they start talking to you as you scroll over them?
This constant talking is the future. And it can only grow. Latest YouTube stats show under 10% of small businesses have a YouTube channel. Unlike large businesses, the majority of small businesses haven’t woken up to the fact that YouTube currently attracts about one-third of users on the internet with 150 million hours of YouTube content watched every day.
There are over 60 million active business pages on Facebook and research shows that videos get the highest engagement rating from Facebook users despite currently making up only 3 percent of content published.
As a broadcaster and a media trainer for more than 20 years, I’m used to helping spokespeople to get their messages across in radio and TV interviews. Now I’m also helping people to speak directly to their customers and potential customers through their own short online videos. Because, even though your equipment can be as basic as your smartphone, you can still make simple mistakes and spoil your message by looking unprofessional.
Some common mistakes include – untidy hair, fussy clothes, fussy setting/background, standing against the light near a window so your face is in shadow, and being hesitant and looking worried i.e. .not twinkling! It’s not as easy as it looks to do this well.
If you’d like to know how to do this properly, why not join me at one of my ‘ Twinkle for the Camera’ Workshop in Central London? You can practice talking to your phone or tablet with expert advice on content and performance.
This interactive session will help you to:
• Look your best in online videos and in TV interview
• Define your key messages and convince people you are worth listening to
• Gain business through using video to increase your online profile
Find out more info here: http://www.tvnewslondon.co.uk/courses.aspx
Watch my video below:
16 October 2018
By Roz Morris, Managing Director, TV News London Ltd
Why you should sit up straight and look confident
Television interviews are conversational. They sometimes look as though the presenter and the interviewee are just having a chat about a topic. But don’t’ be fooled. This is just a surface appearance of casualness. In reality, a TV interview is as demanding as a job interview or a major presentation to a conference.
So, you need to make an effort. This doesn’t just mean putting in work on your content and the messages you want to get across. It means looking and sounding the best you can.
Your posture matters
One of the first things that people will notice about you is your posture. Just as in a job interview, you have to sit up straight and looked confident and pleased to be there (even if you don’t feel this!).
To help yourself to sit up straight it’s best to sit back in the chair with your back against the back of the chair. You also have to watch out that you don’t put your head on one side because this makes you look more submissive and less authoritative.
Listening mode doesn’t work
In my experience, quite a lot of people find when they do their first TV interviews, either for real or on media training courses, that they have spent their lives in listening mode - leaning their head to one side.
In normal conversation, this is not noticed, but on the TV screen it gets exaggerated and the leaning looks far more than it actually is. It can even sometimes look rather odd and defensive. Not what you want people to think about when you’re talking to them.
Your appearance must be positive
Make sure your whole demeanor is very positive because, if you look worried, TV viewers will not listen to you, and all that brilliant content you want to put across will be wasted.
So - to look your best on TV – here’s the summary:
Sit back in your seat
Keep your shoulders down
Don’t slouch, don’t swivel and don’t lean to one side on one arm of a chair
Don’t put your head on one side
Don’t look worried
Look confident and pleased to be there
To find out more watch Roz's Tips video below or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
25 July 2018
By Roz Morris, Managing Director, TV News London Ltd
We’ve seen a lot of waving recently. The royal wedding in Windsor means thousands of people have been waving at the royal couple, and even the tiny tots like that budding star, three-year-old Princess Charlotte, have been waving at the crowds. Prince Harry and Meghan with a TV audience of nearly two billion, have done more waving in one day than the rest of us probably do in a lifetime.
All of which is great for royal weddings. But if you get the chance to be on TV it’s really important that you give up waving your hands around Why? Because giving a TV interview is different from delivering a talk or a presentation where you can wave your hands around for emphasis and so help to keep people’s attention on you.
You already have the attention of the audience
The difference is that when you’re on TV, you’ve already got the audience’s attention. You’re there on screen in a tight shot and they are looking at you. If you start to wave your hands around near your face this will distract the audience from what you are saying. They will start to look for your hands coming into shot. They won’t be following your very important points that you are trying to get across to them.
And that’s going to make it difficult for you to make your messages memorable, whether in a TV interview or in a video.
What should you do with your hands during a TV interview?
Now I’m a great hand waver when I’m talking, but not on TV. It really isn’t a good idea. The audience will be getting confusing hand signals instead of concentrating on listening to what you’re saying. So what should you do to keep your hands out of shot?
Don't clench your hands because that will make your shoulders tense, and then you will look worried and tense and you don't want to do that either. Plus don’t cling on to the chair you’re sitting on because that will raise your tension level and your shoulders and the audience will read your body language as a bit desperate.
You have to work out what works best for you in terms of where you put your hands. My advice is to put your hands in your lap just with one hand on top of the other, and then keep both hands still and resist any temptation to raise them and indulge in any handwaving. For some people this is hard and needs practice. But it’s the only way and if you have to work at it, then recognise this and get practising being able to talk without using your hands.
Some celebs do wave their hands around
Yes I know there are some celebs who do a lot of handwaving. But just remember you’re not a celebrity. The big difference between them and you is that you are a humble spokesperson with a tight shot. They have a wider shot and they can inject more personality into what they say on screen. So if you want to learn how to use hand waving effectively come back to me when you’ve got your own show.
In the meantime ….
Make sure that whenever you do an interview on TV or for a video, you always keep your hands out of shot. Make people focus on your face and your content. Put animation and positivity into your face. That’s how you hold the audience’s attention. With handwaving you lose it.
Watch Roz's Top Tips Video Below:
24 May 2018
You’re never too big to be reminded of the basics. That must be the conclusion of astonished TV news viewers when they saw the boss of Sainsburys Mike Coupe happily singing ‘ We’re in the money. The sky is sunny, let's lend it, spend it, send it rolling along," while waiting to be interviewed about the proposed merger of Sainsburys and Asda.
"This was an unguarded moment trying to compose myself before a TV interview," he said. "It was an unfortunate choice of song, from the musical 42nd Street which I saw last year and I apologise if I have offended anyone."
But this apology rather misses the point. What his ‘unguarded moment’ did was to make him look a bit stupid and possibly also greedy and generally to undermine and trivialise discussion of a very serious day for Sainsburys and Asda and their more than 330,000 employees.
It broke the spell of authority which TV interviews are supposed to provide, despite the fact that shareholders will be happy that shares have shot up.
And of course this little TV moment will never really go away. Interviewers will even now be preparing to ask Mr Coupe a few months from now: ‘So are you still in the money Mr Coupe? Are things still sunny? Was this merger really such a good idea?’ etc. etc.. I bet he can’t wait!
01 May 2018
By Roz Morris, Managing Director TV News London Ltd
Over the last 40 years the Enfield Poltergeist has become world famous. Numerous Hollywood films – most recently The Conjuring 2 - have been (very loosely) based on strange events taking place in a council house in Enfield in the late 1970’s. The story has never gone away and gained a new lease of life with the arrival of the internet and growing worldwide interest in the paranormal.
Stories about the Enfield Poltergeist started in 1977 and 1978 with BBC broadcasts on radio and television, as well as numerous newspaper reports including the Daily Mirror, The Observer, News of the World, the Daily Mail, and in America the National Enquirer. The book ‘This House is Haunted: An investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist’ by Guy Playfair was published in 1980 and was reviewed in the Daily Telegraph and other national newspapers.
On Sunday 8 April 2018 BBC Radio 4’s The Reunion Programme brings together presenter Sue MacGregor and 3 Enfield Poltergeist eyewitnesses: Myself - former BBC reporter Roz Morris, now TV News London’s Managing Director, lawyer Richard Grosse, and professional photographer, Graham Morris (No relation to Roz). The programme will be repeated on Friday 13 April.
There has always been interest in what is often termed the paranormal and poltergeist activities have been reported for hundreds of years. But the arrival of the internet followed by the start of YouTube in 2005 have generated huge interest in the supernatural and enabled the provision of more information and opinion about this topic than ever before.
As well as generating continuing worldwide interest on the web, films about poltergeists are very big box office (The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, Poltergeist 2, Poltergeist 3, The Entity etc..) The TV drama series ‘Medium’ starring Patricia Arquette as Allison Dubois a woman who receives messages and premonitions from the dead/the spirit world, has been extremely popular worldwide. TV programmes about ghost hunters have devoted followings. The Conjuring 2 has so far made worldwide profits of more than $300 million.
In May 2015 Sky Living ran a 3-part TV drama series ‘The Enfield Haunting’ starring Timothy Spall, Mathew Macfadyen and Juliet Stevenson, (again loosely) based on Guy Playfair’s book.
The three episodes were the highest-rated programmes on Sky Living with the first episode gaining 1,871,000 viewers. The previous highest audience for Sky Living was 1,197,000 viewers for an episode of the US crime drama series ‘The Blacklist’ and all 3 episodes of The Enfield Haunting beat this.
So what happened to spark all this interest? It all started on 31 August 1977 and shortly afterwards on 10 September I visited the house to interview the family and psychic investigator Maurice Grosse. I was then a young BBC radio reporter working for The World This Weekend Programme.
It was a Saturday and it was a very slow news day. We didn’t have enough stories to fill the programme the next day and the Daily Mirror had run a front-page story about this reported poltergeist in Enfield. It was headlined ‘The House of Strange Happenings’ and it reported that Daily Mirror reporters and photographers had visited a house in Green Street, Brimsdown, a suburb of Enfield, and had seen toys, especially Lego bricks thrown about apparently by invisible hands.
In addition the Hodgson family, who lived in the house reported that furniture had been pushed about and drawers had opened and shut without anyone nearby. Eyewitnesses including neighbours had also seen strange events and a local woman police officer had signed a statement that she saw a chair move across the floor in the house with no-one pushing it.
I was told all that Saturday – that if nothing else came up I would just have to go to Enfield and investigate this ‘ghost story’. Well nothing else did come up and so I went off to Enfield in the early evening and stayed there for several hours.
What I found was very strange. There was definitely something very odd going on. The 3 bedroom semi-detached council house was occupied by divorced mother Mrs Peggy Hodgson and two sons and two daughters, and they were scared because of unusual unexplained events such as toys and household objects moving about without anyone near them, which they found very disturbing.
While I was at the house I interviewed Mrs Hodgson and spoke to her daughters Janet,11, and Margaret 12, and I also spoke to Maurice Grosse an investigator from the Psychical Research Society who was there to try to help the family. They all struck me as straightforward people caught up in a difficult situation which nobody could find a reason for in everyday terms.
So why did this come to be known as the Enfield Poltergeist? Poltergeist means noisy spirit in German and there have been reports of this type of noisy and energetic ‘ghostly’ behaviour for hundreds of years. All the incidents reported at Enfield fitted in with previous reports of what is known as ‘poltergeist activity’.
My report ran for 10 minutes in The World This Weekend on Sunday 11th September and I was so intrigued by the strangeness of what was happening to the Hodgson family that I went on to produce a 40-minute radio documentary – first broadcast in December 1978 on BBC Radio 4. It was repeated in 1979 on Radio 4 and also repeated twice on BBC World Service Radio.
The programme contains recordings of poltergeist activity, unexplained knocking sounds on walls and also the strange deep voices seeming to come from Janet and her sister Margaret and which claimed at times to be the voices of ghosts. I also interviewed scientists who measured the activity and eyewitnesses who said they saw Janet levitating, apparently floating without support.
The Enfield Poltergeist is still controversial. Critics claim that the whole thing was faked by the Hodgson family. Some have claimed it was all down to the family wanting to move to a better council house. However, this is not factually true as Mrs Hodgson did not want to move and in fact lived in the house in Green Street for nearly 40 years years and died in the house in 2003. The family did not make money out of the poltergeist, which, even in the much less frantic media times of 40 years ago, they could have done.
I really do not know what caused the Enfield Poltergeist. I do know that, apart from total sceptics who deny anything extraordinary happened at all, there are two types of theories. There is an internal cause theory – everything is caused by a young person around the age of puberty generating a form of psychic energy that can move objects around without touching them. There is also an external cause theory – ghosts centre around a troubled young person and the ghosts cause objects to move, strange voices and levitation of objects and people.
I simply don’t know what was happening at Enfield just over forty years ago. But what I do know is that this is the strangest and most disturbing story I have ever reported on.
Link to listen to the BBC Reunion programme
05 April 2018
By Joanna Gaudoin
How much thought do you give the words you use? If you’re like most people, probably only more thought when you are in a more challenging situation or when the stakes are high.
I recently read Susan Scott’s ‘Fierce Conversations’. It’s a striking book where she shares some principles of having powerful conversations that in her words enrich relationships. As she also says, “The conversation is the relationship”. More on the principles in a minute.
What I found interesting was a highly memorable nugget that was almost a side mention near the end of her book. This nugget stuck in my mind as I think it’s extremely powerful. It’s about the importance of every word a leader says in the workplace. Yes you read that right every word. There are 2 reasons for this:
- The importance ascribed to a leader, that is assuming people respect the person to at least some degree, they will listen to what that person has to say.
- The time, people remember things for a long time if they impact them. On the positive side, it means years later people could be remembering and repeating something positive that was said but it also means the reverse happens. Negative, flippant and hurtful comments, especially if personal, could have a negative impact for years to come.
This comment is made in relation to leaders at work but Susan’s entire book encompasses non work conversations too, so food for thought there for all of us.
To come back to her principles of Fierce Conversations which I think of as powerful, impactful and transformative, they are:
- Master the courage to interrogate reality.
- Come out from behind yourself and make the conversation real.
- Be here, be prepared to be nowhere else.
- Tackle your toughest challenge today.
- Obey your instincts.
- Take responsibility for your emotional wake.
- Let silence do the heavy lifting.
I will explore these in more depth in subsequent articles but perhaps for now start thinking what they might mean and how good you are at following them. Relationship building whether at work or at home doesn’t happen in a day, the words you use have a significant impact on how that relationship turns out. Who do you need to be thinking about your words more carefully with?
If you are having challenges with work relationships, get in touch. Inside Out Image has helped many clients understand how their behaviour impacts others and how other people are impacting them, so they can make powerful changes for improved individual career progression and organisational performance.
Are you feeling stuck in your career? Want to speed up your progression but not sure how? Sign up for Inside Out Image's ‘Top Tips To Boost Your Career Success’ http://bit.ly/2Go34nA
Inside Out Image run by Joanna Gaudoin helps professional individuals achieve greater career success and their organisations improve business performance, by working with them on their personal impact and relationship building skills.
Prior to establishing Inside Out Image, Joanna Gaudoin spent 10 years in marketing and consultancy. She now works with clients one-to-one, as well as speaking and running workshops across all areas of personal impact and relationship building; including appearance, body language and voice, as well as the skills and confidence for different business scenarios such as meetings, networking and presentations.
Most of Joanna’s work is in the professional and financial services sectors. Additionally, she helps clients navigate ‘office politics’, facilitated by a diagnostic profiling tool to help clients understand how they currently interact and how this could be improved, to achieve their objectives.
04 April 2018