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SMC Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me a little about how you work?

A session can be anywhere from one hour.. to a full day. I like to keep group training sessions to 2 hours- followed by individual coaching sessions. For working journalists-I I prefer receiving work to analyze at least 3 days before our first visit.. Based on my review of your skills.. and factoring in your management's input (if they're footing the bill) we agree on a list of goals and plunge in with coaching. For business professionals: interview skills are best learned before a hard deadline. Presenting or direct to camera coaching works best when the day-of content has been prepared.. or has been started.

How many coaching sessions do you think I will need?

It depends on our goals and your learning style. After our first coaching session I can give you a ballpark answer. My mantra is “nothing is a big deal.” Most individuals come for about 3-6 hour-long sessions. Some news companies send journalists for ongoing development. TV production companies often send out-of-state talent for a day. As for media training (preparation for tv interviews): I can generally get professionals on their feet in about 4 hours.

Do you work on voice?

Yes.  Most people have perfectly fine speaking voices, but do all kinds of wacky things when they're anchoring or reporting. I can help 'bring them back' to the natural, pleasant-sounding speaking voice they've probably lost in the process. If your everyday voice has always been problematic and you think you need a 'new voice', then I might suggest that you see a clinician who works solely with voice problems day in/day out. This generally happens once or twice a year.  Clients in the business sector may need assistance learning how to project, learning how to use semantic strategies to bring their presentations to life.. and handling the Q&A.

Do you help people get rid of their foreign dialect?

I don't work with someone who wants to 'totally lose their accent' (not an easy thing). I do 'clean up' dialects to help you work towards your  speaking goals- but ultimately the subjective decision as to who is acceptable for tv/radio/video news is made by management. Bear in mind that this is often a grey area that can be very frustrating!

Do you help people get rid of U.S. regional accents?


How much do you charge?

I am flexible and work out a fee arrangement based on my clients’ needs.

Do you provide professional quality video?

Yes. Material recorded in my studio has been posted on websites.  It can also be edited For use on a demo reel.   For shooting in the field - you'll work with a seasoned cameraman/editor who can provide ENG crews or EFP.

Can I make a demo reel with you?

Yes. Anchoring and in-studio standups can be edited for reels.  For reporting  you will have an experienced news cameraman working with you in the field to produce your ENG style format.

Will you put in a good word for me with an agent or news director?

I can never promise this. I have many enjoyable relationships with other professionals in my field.. but work completely independently.

I've taken some improv and acting classes. Will that help?

Doubtful.  I’d imagine improve might.. and acting could hurt.  I know nothing about acting. Our work is all about figuring out how to be yourself despite the fact that you're on TV.

Do you give advice on hair, makeup and clothing?

We can discuss what works and what doesn't work for TV - and what the current 'appearance style' is - but I can't tell you if your haircut.. hair color.. makeup and wardrobe selection are best for you. I can, however, provide referrals. 

To speak with Joanne please call (212) 594.8851 or send an email by clicking here.