Gold standard in short-form TV reporting / A. Kohler

 In Body language, Delivery, Facial expression, Journalist, Learning from Luminaries, Media, News, The Winning Voice

If you want to be an On-air television presenter, or want to communicate and present your ideas and vision with confidence, energy and certainty – you need to watch the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s, Financial reporter, Alan Kohler.

Kohler delivers a nightly television report for ABC TV. (In my home-town of Sydney the report occurs weekdays around 7:20pm).

In Australia, Kohler is the gold standard in short-form TV reporting.

What can you learn from Kohler?

Many things.

Here is my analysis of a 1:53 minute clip of Kohler’s performance (please see below). Specifically, his body language. face language, speaking delivery cadence and rhythm, and feeling tone.

My overarching comments are these:

Like many top actors, as soon as the camera cuts to him, Kohler immediately projects bright, warm energy through his face, outward arm gestures and voice – and he laces these factors with a light, conversational, sometimes cheeky delivery.

You get the feeling that he’s been waiting all day just to share his report with you and is tickled pink that chance has now arrived.

Here is more analysis:

  • The body language is open. Most of the time Kohler has his arms hanging by his side. When gesturing he ‘calms the arm’ (that is one arm is calming hanging beside his torso while the other is used for gesturing). My only suggestion to Kohler would be to avoid clasping his hands in front of his body.
  • The delivery is a great mixture of measure and energy. He keeps you interested but never appears to be rushing. (By the way if you are perceived as rushing when speaking, that is junior behaviour, while being perceived as taking and ‘owning’ time is senior behaviour).
  • Pronunciation is crisp and clear. At the 41-43 second mark, note how Kohler pronounces the final ‘s’ in ‘groups results’.
  • At the 1:34-137 mark he nicely counterpoints ‘ONE hundred percent versus TWO hundred percent’.

Here’s the LINK to the clip

OWN the Conversation

Below is a schema to help you ‘channel’ Kohler’s performance into your speaking and presenting.

Expert Modelling Process


To produce high level speaking performance that approximates the performance level of an expert speaker, while putting your individual ‘stamp’ on the performance.


By being able to approximate the level of an expert speaker, you’ll upgrade your existing speaking skill. You’ll also have new phrasing repertoires, cadence examples, etc. to embed into your speaking.

Equipment needed

A camera to video record and playback your speaking performances.


  1. Play Kohler’s clip and take notes. Structure the notes into talking points.
  2. To the camera, with your talking points to refer to, speak the exact words of Kohler’s presentation while channeling his face, body language, voice and speech delivery.
  3. Playback and watch the recording. Then watch Kohler’s and compare your delivery with his.
  4. Continue to make repeated recorded attempts of the clip followed by comparison to Kohler’s, For example refine your words, cadence, voice, and body language until you can deliver the presentation without notes and your performance approximates the expert level of Kohler.


p.s. Check out this post entitled Body language and speech analysis of why Don Draper is so good.’

The post contains a 3:25 minute clip of Jon Hamm in his role of Don Draper in a Mad Men clip together with my analysis.

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  • Michael Babic

    A timely piece Michael – I will be watching Alan Kohler tonight to see how much I lost on the share market today.

    Mike Babic

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