A Quick Guide to
Nailing Incredible Live Shots

A Quick Guide to Nailing Incredible Live Shots

Written by Lois Lane
🕒 December 12, 2018

I remember my first LIVE shot. It was horrible!

Breaking news happened, and I was the only reporter available. My news director called while I was out getting video for a VO/SOT. Needless to say I was not prepared.

He rushed over to the location to bring me a TV-U backpack. Yes, we went LIVE alone at this station. He left, leaving me there to figure out the rest on my own.

As the clock got closer to noon my heart was beating faster, but I kept telling myself, “You’ve got this!” At least I had faith, right?

During that first live hit, I stumbled across my words more times than I wanted to, stopped, stumbled some more, and talked to fast!

When I returned to the station, I wanted to cry. No one made a big deal out of it but me. Since then I’ve grown, and now I want to share a few pointers I’ve learned along the way:

1. Be Confident.

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Believe in yourself and in your story. If you don’t believe in yourself, it shows on your face and in your actions on television.

If you are intro-ing your story live, write an awesome intro that will pull viewers in. Your intro should engage the viewers so they want to stick around and watch your story.

If you’re on the scene of breaking news, stay calm, make note of your surroundings, and just talk conversationally during your live shot with confidence.

Make the viewers believe, that you KNOW what you’re talking about.

2. Nail It With 3 Points

If you’re on the scene of breaking news with 20 minutes before going live, don’t panic. Say what you know. If you’re blessed to be with a photographer, make notes while you’re on the way to the scene.

To prevent trying to remember every single word of your live shot, break everything down to 3 important pointers (facts) to refer to. Then write those points down. It helps, instead of having to remember a whole paragraph.

3. Keep Going!

Don’t stop after stumbling over so many words. Don’t create an awkward pause for viewers, just keep going. Always remind yourself to talk normal to avoid overthinking, which leads to stumbling.

4. Move It, Move It, Move it!

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If you’re on the scene of a fire, shooting, flooding—move around. Bring what you’re talking about to life for the viewers.

TV is all about visuals, so bring it. If you’re covering something less visual, like a meeting—step out of the frame of the camera, reference something that’s going on behind you.

You could also hold up a few documents or an object that relates to your story. Keep it interesting. The key here is to think outside of the box.

I hope these tips help you if you are newbie or someone that needed a quick refresher on live shots. Just be you in all of them, while delivering professional and accurate information!

Viewers will appreciate it.

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