More Give and Take
In the last two installments, we had co-anchors perform a
couple of give and take focus exercises.
In the take version, each anchor is looking for an opening
to begin his description of the image they are holding. In
the give focus version of the exercise, each anchor is looking
for a place to toss to her partner.
The third version of the game should be obvious. As each
anchor becomes skilled at both giving and taking focus, the
next level of the game is to combine both giving and taking
focus. It sounds simple, but the dynamics are really pretty
It would seem like the person trying hard to take
focus would come off as selfish, but the flip side of that
selfishness is taking the responsibility for the performance.
Sometimes, taking focus is the most unselfish thing your co-anchor
There are a couple of other variations on this exercise that
we will address in future installments, but the central ideas
remain the same:
1. The process of giving and taking
focus is a psychological process that works independent of
the copy or text being spoken.
2. What a good anchor team tries to do, either consciously
or unconsciously, is to replicate the psychological processes
that were behind the give and take exercises.
3. The give and take can be either generous or selfish. Generous
give and takes are supportive and
encouraging of the co anchors partner. Each transition,
whether a give or take, builds on
the previous partners description, transforms it into
their own narrative, and then carries the focus long enough
for the partner to catch her breath and move on to the next
part of the story.
4. With the addition of a script, each anchor works hard
to keep that sense of spontaneity. Its partly illusion,
but the reality is that the flow of the copy will seem much
more motivated and natural, not just a change of focus as
described by the script.
More variations on give and take next week.
Till then, keep breathing!