Updated: Apr 16, 2019
5 Tips for Ad-Libbing
Hi, it's Brain here from TV Training Academy. When I’m working with new presenters or business people who are looking to use Facebook live or record a spontaneous video without scripting it they often say to me...
‘ I run out of things to say, start um-ing and ar-ing or I totally freeze up and I look and feel really awkward! ’
The thing is we ad-lib every day, I bet you’ve never forgot what you’re saying or frozen up when you’ re ordering your morning coffee! But as soon as there’s a bit of pressure and a camera, it can cause even the best speakers to struggle.
We all know that having a presence on social media is important, it builds brand awareness for business and essential exposure for a TV Presenter but did you know that Facebook now gives priority to ‘Live Videos’? That means anyone who is able to present a non-scripted video in a natural, authentic and credible way will, not only be prioritised on Facebook feeds (meaning more views) but also have a much better connection with the viewers who are more likely to continue watching.
And for a TV presenter, ad-libbing is an essential skill, teleprompters break down, OB or location reports don’t work and VT’s don’t run! Filling time is all part of the job so expect it to be tested at screen tests and make sure you’re totally confident before you go!
Here’s a few tips on the art of ad-libing:
1. Solid preparation - Always go in prepared and know more information about whatever it is you’re doing than you think you’ll need. A mistake new presenters make is thinking that they can just ‘wing it’, sometimes you can but when things start going wrong the extra information and knowledge you have will give you much needed content for filling. You should also know the show or channel schedule, what else is coming on todays show is always an easy fill.
2. Tell Stories - Stories are a great way to fill time, try to keep them as relevant to the subject matter as you can and if you have to make a bit up then, hey, you’re in the creative business.
3. Hypothesise - Ask yourself question, what would you do if………, what would happen if……. And then answer your question with your thoughts.
4. Trust yourself, your knowledge and your opinions - It’s all about having that confidence in yourself and not being afraid to let people see what you think.
5. Don’t panic and be honest about what’s happening - If you or someone else messes up don’t panic, we’re all only human and we understand things can go wrong. There’s only so much ad-libbing, even the best of us can do, so if you’re on live TV and the teleprompter goes down, just be honest and let the viewer know what’s happening, viewers need to be kept in the loop if not they feel they are missing out and you are hiding something. Let’s be honest we all love to watch the bloopers…look at Phil & Holly, So just enjoy it and laugh it off this way the viewer will be laughing with you.
There’s one thing for sure that will help prepare you for any situation and that’s practice but make sure you fully understand and are delivering everything correctly before you start. If you’ve got anything wrong and you practise you’ll get very good at doing it wrong and bad technique that’s become a habit can be extremely difficult to put right.
Our ‘BECOME CONFIDENT ON CAMERA’ Accelerator course we teach you how to connect fully and communicate with your audience. You'll discover simple techniques used by professional TV presenters, to turn a flat or awkward video into engaging content that makes you magnetic to your audience. We’ll show you how to overcome any nerves and stop 'umming and ahhing' so that you can hit the 'go live' button with ease.
This is for you if you want to become confident on camera to boost your business or career, by using video in your social media to grow your audience and become a credible authority in your field.
JUST CLICK HERE - to find out more about our next ‘Become Confident On Camera Accelerator Course' and view all of our TV Presenter Training courses or email email@example.com or call us on 080 046 3447 for a chat.