The lighting is perfect, the graphics are all loaded, and now it’s your time to shine.
Producing the perfect meteorology segment takes a good amount of planning and you don’t want to mess this up. In order to give your audience the best presentation possible, you need to know the do’s and dont’s of being an on air meteorologist. The most important thing to do is prepare.
Remember, once the camera starts rolling you are in control.
There’s a lot more to being an onair weather person than speaking in front of a green screen. Most meteorology broadcasters are very educated in the field of weather. Many of which have some type of science degree. Even if you can’t tell the difference between a cold front and a warm front, your audience needs to believe you can. The best way to do that? Study up! Know exactly what type of weather phenomena is going on in your area. It also is very important to know what you are about to present. Look at the graphics beforehand. If there is a radar image, know exactly what that radar is representing, regardless of the script. Knowing the graphics and their order will help especially in an emergency. The prompter goes out? Who needs it? You know exactly what that graphic represents! The more you know before the camera rolls, the more comfortable you will appear on camera.
So you’ve studied up and are ready to roll. Where should you stand? If you don’t have a floor director giving you hints, here’s a few. Make sure the lighting is hitting you at the right angle. If a shadow is being casted on the green screen, your graphics may not key perfectly into the background. Once you’ve found the perfect spot don’t be afraid to move! Staying on one side for your entire broadcast will seem stiff and uncomfortable. A nervous weather person will seem untrustworthy. Moving from side to side is absolutely fine, but try to keep your movement parallel to the screen behind you. Any steps forward and backward can dramatically change how the lighting is hitting you. Use directional pointing with your hand. This is where that preparation is important. Knowing the direction of a storm or weather pattern will allow for more accurate hand movements. Any type of walking or hand gestures should be done in relation to the graphics behind you. These should be done at a relaxed pace and as needed.
When it comes to broadcasting the weather, it is important to remember your audience is concentrated on your every word. In 2012 during Hurricane Sandy, The Weather Channel was the most watched station with a steady viewership of 1.4 million people. Everyday people around the world tune in to their local networks looking for weather updates. Farmers, aviators, travelers, the list goes on and on. Keeping a steady informative pace with meaningful information will grow your own viewership and keep your audience informed and prepared for any type of weather emergency.
Mandee Gabriel is a broadcasting professional in the Chicagoland area. As the daughter of a radio talent, Mandee Gabriel has always found love for the broadcasting industry. An award winning graduate from the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, Gabriel ran the internet radio show The Social Bunny before interning at Digity Radio group. From there she found her true passion, television. Gabriel began writing and anchoring for WHDT in 2014, where she is now happy to call her home.