How to Get Your Start As a TV Talk Show Host

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How to Get Your Start As a TV Talk Show Host
Finding a TV host is a highly competitive process, requiring multiple skills. (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Being hired as a TV talk show host may require years of experience in smaller TV markets before you can become a household name. Fortunately, the Internet and other new media has made becoming a television talk show host more accessible than the days when television and radio were the only medium for hosts.

You can follow the traditional route of becoming a television talk show host by having the necessary credentials and experience, or you can take advantage of new technology to also help gain experience and the job of a TV talk show host.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Obtain training to become a TV talk show host. TV hosts not only need to exhibit a personality that is likable to viewers, but they must also be able to communicate, ask engaging questions, and keep the interest of the audience for an extended time.

    If you live in the major markets like Los Angeles and New York, you will need practice in a smaller market first to prepare you to be a TV host.

    Contact your local community college or university offering a degree in journalism or mass communications if you want a degree credential.

  2. 2

    Gain exposure by interning at television stations in smaller markets or by creating your own television hosting opportunities. For example, if you live in an area like Atlanta, intern at local television stations or public access television to gain experience. Contact the station by accessing its website, visiting in person or looking for a contact number in the Yellow Pages for internship opportunities.

    Gain experience by using sites like YouTube and JustinTV to create your own show by recording yourself using a camera. The popularity you gain may be reason enough for a network to try you out as a television host. Plus, this gives you a promo tape of yourself to send out with your media kit.

  3. 3

    Network with larger television outlets so they can keep an eye on you for openings on any shows that will require a television host. For example, sending a press kit or media kit to a larger television station showcasing your education, credentials and current experience by interning or creating your own TV talk show will allow them to take notice of you.

    Network by internships, periodically sending your media kit as well as going to any events the network may sponsor.

  4. 4

    Use sites like LAcasting, Nowcasting, or Actorsaccess to look for jobs for actors that require a host. Try booking hosting engagements that are not on television, like parties, award ceremonies and other events that can also give you exposure and experience with hosting.

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