How do I become a television presenter and host?

How do I become a television presenter and host?


Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Vanessa Caitlin,
Joel Low

We chat with Yvette King from E! News Asia and Liv Lo from Fox to get the lowdown on their first internships, finding their own voice and dealing with rejection

Communication is key. In relationships and friendships, it's a cornerstone. In a job, it's crucial. How many times have you heard co-workers credit mishaps and failures to "miscommunication"? But in a job where you're communicating to the world on a public platform that can be replayed a thousand times over on YouTube, good communication is life.

Enter Yvette King and Liv Lo. These hosts and presenters tell other people's stories for a living — whether it's pushing a product, a success story or an event. Beam Artiste's King has talked sports and celebrities at Fox Sports and at her current gig with E! News Asia, while FLY Entertainment artiste Lo is an emcee, a host for Fox Movies and the creator of FitSphere HIIT and yoga workout programs. In Singapore’s cutthroat and relatively small entertainment industry, what does it take to stand out and where do you even start?
Liv Lo
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How did you get your foot in the door? Through internships?
Liv Lo: I did an internship with TED, and they were great. Just seeing how an event was put together, connecting with speakers and seeing behind the scenes because as a host you are stage-front, and you are in the spotlight. But really, there's so much going on behind. It was really important to see that, and how much work goes into it.
Yvette King: Broadcast is an absolute beast. There are so many people behind the scenes that are making the cogs turn. I did my first internship with Endomal — they create a lot of entertainment shows like Big Brother. That's when you connect with like-minded people. I started off doing that but then I fell into what you'd call the "real world". I got a job in advertising — because I had this internship and it ended. then I had nowhere to go. There wasn't just a job that materialised. Then one day I said, "That's it. I need to jump off this path now."

Tell me about your first jobs in TV.
Yvette: I worked as a video journalist for The Daily Telegraph. That was wonderful because we did everything ourselves. I was carrying tripods, writing my own scripts, presenting and editing as well. I got a holistic understanding of how a piece of content comes together. But my favourite story was how I got E!. E! for me was always like chasing a unicorn. They reached out to me because they wanted me to audition for another show. They found me online and I sent in my tape for that show. They came back to me and were like, "Unfortunately we don't think you're right for this, but we do think you would be perfect for E! News".
Liv: My first was in Japan, and it was for Fashion's Night Out. I was also a hustler as well. It was news reporting. I did it for free: "Just put me behind the camera, I'll do anything!" You really have to work the nitty-gritty at first — doesn't mean you're going to get paid.

How do you deal with rejection?
Liv: I usually ask them, "What was it about it that wasn't right?" When you don't get it, of course it is sad, but you always have to keep pushing for it. So many things in life don't work out. We're our successes and failures at the same time.
Yvette: Definitely earlier in my career, I was very bad. Very. I was so bad, I realised I didn't even blink. I honestly did deserve the rejections that I got. I took rejection pretty hard. Tenacity is huge in this industry. I got "no" far many more times than I got "yes". But I'm thankful that when I got the "yes-es", it was when it counted. You've just got to keep going. Take the criticism on board, try and adapt and keep getting more and more experienced.

Read more stories in our Career Special