Home Introduction to radio and television BASIC PRINCIPLES OF PRESENTATION


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Presentation is a careful way of introducing a programme to the intended audience. It gives the audience insight into what they would see or listen to in the programme proper.
Owuamalam (2007:149) says presentation provides the audience with the vital information, required to adjust their listening or viewing desire. Presentation gives stations the integrity they enjoy in attracting audience to their programmes in broadcasting.

Presentation can be compared to the paint which decorates the building from the outside which attracts the on looker who would want to see the interior of the building. If the programme is introduced skillfully and artistically, the audience would want to watch or listen to the whole programme.

By and large presentation is an interior to beckon to the audience to come to a sumptuous meal. It may even capture some audience members who are in the habit of wandering from station to station seeking programme content that would meet their desires.


At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  1.  define Diction and its use in presentation 
  2. explain the essence of mood and emotion in broadcasting  talk intelligently about competence and charisma. 


3.1 Definition of Diction

The ability to pronounce words distinctly and clearly, determines to a large extent, how the audience members understand the information, which is to be shared with the presenter. Stresses must be accurately emphasised at the relevant points in order to state exactly what the presenter means. Clarity of meaning is the essence of good diction (Owuamalam, 2007:151). Being a good presenter takes more than producing beautiful words. It involves the ability to exhibit great skill in presenting issues and ideas clearly in few words so that the audience will understand at a go what the presenter is saying.

Whatever is the case, tribal or foreign accents should be avoided in broadcasting. Each language has to be spoken according to its phonetic rules, and nothing more. Anything short of this results to misunderstanding of the intention of the presenter and may become channel noise.  The presenter should never attempt to speak in exaggerated manner in order to impress the audience. It should be noted that the aim of presentation is to express a thought or feeling and the presenter should aspire to achieve the aim of presentation rather than constituting himself/herself into a public or audience nuisance.


  1. What is good diction in broadcasting? 

3.2 Mood and Emotion

In a broadcast station the responsibility of setting the mood rests on the presenter. The presentation of information and the manner of delivery to the audience is the work of the presenter. If the presenter is cheerful and lively in his/her presentation the audience would go along with him/her. The use of body language such as facial expression certainly adds to the articulation of meaning especially when accompanied by the correct words. The sounds that come from a presenter often indicate the mood of the presenter as they relate to the meaning and structure of the presentation.

Langer (1979) says the various forms of human feelings range from growth and attention, flowing and slowing, conflict and resolution, speed, arrest, terrific excitement, calm or subtle activation to dreaming lapses. It is, therefore, the duty of the presenter to ensure that the mood and emotional feelings of the audience are aroused in conjunction with the objectives of the station’s programmes.

3.3 Eye Contact

Television presentation is similar to interpersonal communication just like the radio where the presenter appears to be addressing the listener. Who is face to face with him?

In the case of television the presenter is separated from the audience it appears as if he is addressing them in a face-to-face situation. In most cases, presenters are seen smiling at their audience. This is to arrest the attention and interest of the audience and make them feel relaxed. The ability of the presenter to make frequent eye contact with the camera lens in television or a mental delivery of aural contact through the choice of words in radio can achieve the desired effect. It radiates confidence in the presenter and provides unconstructive forum for verbal communication (Owuamalam, 2007:153). It is understood that in most cases eye contact gives encouragement to mutual participation in communication. It also encourages quick feedback. Here the source of information is easily confirmed and identified. And if the presenter appears friendly and presentable the audience members are likely going to stay put to consume the programme.


  1. What does “Consumption” in broadcast programme mean? 

3.4 Competence

A beginner may not be as competent in the art of presentation as someone who has been on the job for a long time. Competence is acquired through practice and experience of performing the task over and over again. For example, a presenter of law courts programme should be conversant with legal terms to be used in the course of presentation. He should know when to use the term “his lordship” and “his worship”, “to pass judgment and to up hold judgment” and a host of other terminologies that are associated with the judiciary.

It is from knowledge that competence is drawn by the presenter who is now in a better position to guide his audience throughout the character of the programme. The presenter should also show signs of competence in the other areas of production. For example, he or she should be able to know the signals given either by the programme director or the floor manager who is the contact person between the director and the artistes in the studio.

In fact, he or she should be knowledgeable in the production language and sign of the programme. When he or she acquires knowledge in these and other things that are involved in production then such a presenter is said to be competent in the performance of his or her job.


  1. What is the term “competence” in production? 

3.5 Charisma

Programme presentation in broadcasting is usually combined with special gift which tends to make the presenter acceptable to the audience. The presenter should cultivate an acceptable behaviour that makes him loveable any time his voice is heard over the radio or his face is seen on the screen. For it is generally believed that if people are impressed with a personality there is likelihood that such a personality would attract a lot of followership. For example, in the late 1970s, anytime the late James Audu put up his face on the screen and his voice was heard, many audience members rushed to see and hear him speak on Nigerian Television. Such an announcer or presenter is likely going to be emulated by other talents for they too would like to be associated with such success.

Presenters are said to often play the role of leadership as Aliens (1964) cited in Owuamalam (2007:155), “Leadership is the work a manager performs to cause people to take effective actions”. A good presenter directs audience attention and influences individual and group activity either by viewing television or listening to the radio. A good presenter is capable of influencing audience to broadcast programmes, thus achieving the aims and objectives of the station.


  1. What are the characteristics of a charismatic presenter? 


Certain qualities are bound to be exhibited by broadcast presenters if they are to be believed and accepted by the target audience. While some of the qualities may be natural some are acquired through experience, knowledge or qualification. For example, some presenters naturally look good on the screen, while others apply make-up to look better on the screen. 

Principles of presentation are those things that the presenter has to acquire, possess and exhibit in the performance of his or her job so that he or she would be accepted and believed by the station’s audience, thus endearing the station to the audience.


The attributes of a presenter include thorough knowledge of the programme and the techniques of presentation such as the floor manager’s language used in the studio. The presenter should appear friendly. Such a person seems to be more acceptable to the audience than an over serious looking person. He has to be cheerful, radiating smiles instead of being stern-looking before the audience. His diction should be natural. He should speak in clear terms.

In short the presenter should ensure that he achieves the appropriate mood and emotion and should create a welcome atmosphere before the audience who in turn would be endeared to the station.


  1. . Why would you insist on a presenter pronouncing words accurately in any programme production? 
  2. By your justification, who is a charismatic presenter? 
  3.  In what ways would you, as a presenter, make yourself acceptable and believable by the audience?


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