Monday, April 18, 2011

Eyes are the windows of the soul, and could be a key to a good job

Okay, we're going to use our dear friend Mary Hart again.

Mary, of course, is the over the top animated host on Entertainment Tonight. Nobody gets more mileage out of her eyes than that woman. Say what you want about her, but the woman never comes across as bored.

Which brings us to "dead eyes syndrome." (Okay, I just made that up, but it sounds legit.)

You can be bored with a story, but you can't ever let the viewers know you feel that way. But in some cases all you have to do is look at the eyes of the reporter and you know the person's heart just isn't in it.

Years ago we had an anchor who had gorgeous eyes, but simply wasn't using them. One day I cued up an aircheck and taped a piece of paper on the screen, covering her face from the nose down. All you could see was her eyes. I turned the sound off and asked her to watch, then put this question to her: "Do you seem excited?"

A week later we did the same thing, with impressive results. Her eyes were bright, on fire, filled with life in every story. Excited, sad, whatever, her eyes ran the gamut of emotions.

Try that with your own standups, live shots or anchor airchecks. Turn off the sound and cover everything but your eyes.

Then do the same thing with network and successful big market anchors. You'll find that all use their eyes very well.

You may be the best reporter in the world, but if you've got dead eyes, if you do you on-camera work with a lifeless attitude, don't expect many News Directors to call. Using your eyes to their full potential is simple, and can make a huge difference.


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