We are sharing our recent interview with Shannon O’Dowd, an on-camera coach specializing in media training for appearance in front of camera.
Pro Media Mag : Hi Shannon! First of all, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Shannon O’Dowd : Hi! My name is Shannon O’Dowd and I have been an on-camera coach for over a decade. I specialize in prepping clients on how to prepare for both an appearance, as well as a full career in front of the camera.
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you to get into your chosen industry?:
Shannon O’Dowd : I’ve been a commercial spokesperson for major companies over the last 15 years (OfficeMax, Sunsweet Raisins, Keurig, Cable One, etc.) as well as an international infomercial host and QVC presenter.
After making a career in front of the camera, my mentor/teacher asked me to begin teaching for her. I instantly fell in love with giving back of all that I had learned over the years and seeing my students and clients go on to do big things with their own careers. I think coaching will now always be part of my life in some capacity.
Pro Media Mag : You have hosted so many infomercials on television. What is it about hosting infomercials that appeals to you?
Shannon O’Dowd : Infomercial hosting is something I kind of stumbled into after completing my time with Sunsweet Raisins. I went on one audition to host an informercial, booked it, and quickly realized it was a good area for the way I naturally deliver on-camera. The world of direct response (informercials) is all about being trustworthy. That’s an area I’ve always tested really well in my field. I think it was also just a natural fit for my performance style.
Pro Media Mag : What was the motivation or inspiration behind offering media training to your clients, and can you elaborate a little on what this coaching entails?
Shannon O’Dowd : I have always trained aspiring hosts, but with the rise of unscripted/reality TV in the entertainment industry over the last decade, the climate has changed for what is on TV. All the agencies and managers in Hollywood that originally only represented professional hosts, now need to represent doctors, realtors, DIY experts, fashion designers, and all kinds of people who are at the top of their field but may not be trained on-camera talent because reality TV show concepts shifted focus to shows centered around experts and celebrities.
So, there became a huge need to make these people dynamic hosts in a short period of time so they are ready when networks have a show concept that needs their expertise. Once they were my clients, my coaching then started to branch out to helping them with all areas of TV, including news and talk show appearances, press junkets, etc., and the rest is kind of history.
Pro Media Mag : In what fields do your media training clients usually come from?
Shannon O’Dowd : They really range. And now with the rise of influencers on social media, it’s becoming even more broad. I have doctors, lawyers, DIY experts, interior designers, fashion designers, hair & make-up artists, home entertaining experts, mixologists… You name it!
Pro Media Mag : What kind of response have you received from your media training program and what’s the success rate?
Shannon O’Dowd : I’ve been very blessed to have had a lot of success in my media training with clients on huge major networks. I’m like a proud mom when my clients hit the national stage and thrive.
Pro Media Mag : You recently launched an online media coaching program with various training modules. Can you tell us about this and where people can sign up if they’re interested?:
Shannon O’Dowd: My course is available on my website ExpertMediaCoaching.com under the “Courses” tab. It is a 12-module course that is all videos with some downloadable assignments and worksheets. The course included on-camera technique, brand messaging, creating your sound bites and talking points, and even Teleprompter Training!
Pro Media Mag : What goals do you want to achieve with your brand?
Shannon O’Dowd : I’d love to be the go-to person for on-camera technique for experts, hosts, and influencers on an INTERNATIONAL stage and do large-scale seminars helping people excel in this medium.
Pro Media Mag : What’s the best way for those to contact you for training?
Shannon O’Dowd : My website is expertmediacoaching.com. I train in person in Los Angeles and can train remotely via Skype and Zoom. And beyond my online course there is also Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook where I’m always sharing tips!
Youtube: Media Coach Shannon