Articles on TV Hosting, Media Training and Broadcasting

March, 2013

"Authenticity" has become one of the buzzwords of the 21st century. Oprah Winfrey made the word mainstream when she discussed finding your "authentic self." But what does this really mean?

As a host, this is one of the most important tools you can have to be successful. It's what sets you apart from others when you're in an audition or meeting. It's being able to make a connection with people because you know who you inherently are and you're comfortable in your own skin. You're not hiding anything from the audience and because of that, they can connect with you. You're not acting. You're being you, so you need to be authentic.

This also helps in establishing your brand. What are you passionate about if a camera isn't on you? What do you find yourself doing or talking about with your friends? Your brand should be who you authentically are. I've heard the definition of a brand as "how you see yourself has to equal how others see you."

Another example of authenticity and knowing your brand is when you're going out for a job. I think as a host, you need to ask yourself if the role is right for you, or if you're only going out for it for the sake of trying to land a job (which is understandable). If the role calls for a hot girl in a bikini, and you don't see yourself as that, and your friends don't see you that way, then it's probably not the right role for you and your brand. You're going to be self-conscious, we're going to be able to tell and it won't be a good experience for anyone. Now, if you're a nerd and the role calls for a nerd, then embrace it fully and celebrate who you are.

When I was casting for E! and Style, we brought Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings in all the time for auditions. Do you think Chelsea or Whitney strayed from who they are that you see on TV today? Not one bit. If you asked Chelsea to be sweet and nice, it wouldn't happen. And we knew when we would call her in what we would get and not expect anything else. That's really knowing your brand and being authentic. It has definitely worked for her!