With a keen interest in property, Danni Menzies was the perfect choice to front hit lifestyle series A Place in the Sun. This isn’t the presenter’s first rodeo, however. She’s covered T in the Park for BBC Three in the past and has many more projects in the pipeline. It’s fair to say she has a lot of advice when it comes to the presenting industry. Now, she’s teamed up with Female First to give exclusive access to our readers, to her top tips on making it in the world of presenting. Check them out below...
- Experience is EVERYTHING. My first few auditions I thought 'this is it!' And got myself so nervous that I could hardly talk when they turned the camera on. Setup the audition scenario and get used to talking out loud even if it's by yourself. Something I used to tell myself is, every opportunity is a good opportunity. The more experience you get, the more you are fine-tuning your skills, and potentially getting your face seen by more people!
- Learn to talk to the camera or mic like you would talk to a friend. This sounds pretty basic, but I am still working at this. Practice makes perfect. The more natural and believable you are, the more likely you are to make it.
- Be true to who you are, passion always shines through - especially on camera. Whatever you’re into, show it. Talking about something that you really care about or that excites you will grab whoever is watching it.
- Do your research. If you want to get into the presenting world you have to approach things right, as often you only get one chance. So, look at people who are doing what you want to be doing. If you haven't already, create a show reel taking what they have on theirs as inspiration (you can usually find these on their agent’s website). Although nowadays this doesn't need to be professionally shot, you just need to show you have what it takes when on camera. When filming pieces make sure it's well-lit and that the sound quality is clear, and ALWAYS make it your own.
- Once you have all your bits together start contacting agents and production companies. I got no’s from quite a few agents but they did provide feedback what they recommended I do to improve my show reel. SO, listen, do it, and try again! Another way of doing it is to watch the credits of shows you like to find out who the shows are made by, and then send an email to the head of production.
- When trying to become a presenter, you have to look at it as a job even when you're not technically working. Dedicate time to doing this, I relentlessly would spend two hours every day for 3-4 days a week contacting different agents and production companies.
- Don't be disheartened by no's or not getting response when contacting agents and production companies, many of them don't have time to respond. So, if you come across someone who does take time to get back to you it's great to ask politely for feedback, take it on board, do what they say and try again, nothing worth having is easy and by showing that you can take constructive criticism, improve, and try again, will show determination and character.
- When you write to agents or production companies DON’T give them your life story, people rarely take time to read more than a line or two of an email, keep it short and sweet and let your show reel do the talking.
- Always believe in yourself and be prepared to fail. I had moments when my best friend and family all advised to me give up and move home or try something new. When they said this to me I didn’t get sad, I got motivated. I knew in my core it would happen, I could see it! You have to believe in yourself more than anyone else, put yourself out there, work your bum off and not give up. That sounds very harsh because it’s a harsh industry, but if you start getting the jobs, it doesn’t feel like work.
- The thing that helped me most was visualizing, when you go to bed at night visualize yourself doing certain jobs or the audition process. The moment you can see something it’s more likely to happen. I used to listen to a guided meditation in bed that helped me see things step by step.
- Whatever your goals are write them down, you don’t need to keep the paper or look at them, just make sure you’ve written them down once. Law of attraction and all that!
Danni Menzies is a presenter on Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun. You can follow Danni on Twitter @DanniMenzies and on Instagram @Danni.Menzies. Check out her blog over at http://www.dannimenzies.co.uk/