by Ron Nehring
News organizations are increasingly using Skype to conduct live, on-air interviews with guests. It’s a result of reduced newsroom budgets on the one hand, and the spread of high speed internet and more powerful computers to just about everyone.
Unfortunately, it looks like some guests being interviewed via Skype on their laptop have not bothered to watch themselves afterward. Too often, bad logistics makes the interview look cheesy and second rate.
It’s critical for guests to ensure the viewer is focused on what he or she is saying and not be distracted by the image on the screen. Here are eight tips to help you keep viewers focused on what you’re saying.
Ditch the headphones, this isn’t the subway. Those white Apple headphones with built in microphone might make you look cool, but on television they look ridiculous. Buy yourself a black Radio Shack clip on microphone for $32.99 and keep it in your laptop bag. Before your interview, connect it to your laptop’s microphone jack and run the wire so it can’t be seen, such as under your shirt or jacket. Clip it to a dark article of clothing (such as your jacket) so it’s less visible to viewers. No, don’t put this off. Here’s a link to the microphone. Shipping is free.
No one wants you looking down to them, so set your camera at eye level. Setting your laptop on your desk and tilting the screen up so it’s looking up your nose is about as helpful as wearing a sign that reads “amateur.” Set the laptop on a few books to raise it to your eye level. The screen (assuming the camera is mounted to it) should be at exactly 90 degrees to the desk.
by Ron Nehring
Communism may have been relegated to that “ash heap of history” Ronald Reagan described in his 1982 address to the British Parliament, but a new strain of “21st century socialism” as envisioned by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is on the march in Central and South America.
Fortunately, that march came to a halt ten days ago with the election of a new conservative President of Honduras.
For years, socialists south of our border have led a drive to move Central and South America to the radical left. In 2004, Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and Cuba under Fidel Castro founded the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) as a new socialist club to serve as a counterweight to the United States in the region and strengthen socialist regimes in the member states. In the 9 years since its founding, it has grown to 9 members, all with socialist governments: Antigua/Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela. In addition, the group has three “observer” countries: Haiti, and the virulent anti-US regimes of Iran and Syria.