Its a performance, so perform.

The most charismatic personalities give something of themselves in their work. They make things real, believable and understandable by reflecting part of their personality though their work. They bring something which audience members, listeners and viewers can relate to and lift it from the page or script. In short, they PERFORM their work.

The very best do this effortlessly, striking a balance that maintains the sense of realism whilst delivering the required content and information. At times this can be a tough balance- too much performance and its becomes unreal, too little and it lacks engagement and is dull. Its both a skill and an art.

It isn’t something which can be just mastered overnight- it takes work, rehearsal ad evaluation. Its a constantly moving feast also- it requires attention and continued improvement and focus. Being able to perform your content can make it stand out, becoming more than the mundane and achieve its full potential.

This is a real life skill that can make all the difference in every day life, not just in your media life. Having confidence to “perform” and have confidence in your own ability to master the art and techniques, can have dividends elsewhere. In a work meeting or even in your personal life with hobbies or interests, it can lead to you being able to articulate yourself better, get traction and interest from others and make your point more succinctly and with more clarity.

Ask yourself, have you ever seen someone read out loud from a newspaper or article in a monotonous tone and wish they just emoted more or brought it to life? Adding inflection and emphasis is just the tip of the iceberg, but all too often lacking. It all comes from a confidence, and from a level of experience- overcoming the crushing embarrassment of feeling everyone is looking at you!

Recently I’ve been talking to some students about this kind of thing, trying to encourage rehearsal and practise before “doing it for real”- so that the first time isn’t the time you have to “go live”. I’m reminded about some coaching I conducted a good while ago with someone and suggesting they read their script aloud a few times. They were normally working in a booth and on their own, but felt embarrassed doing it even in that environment and so didn’t read anything aloud until they were live! Reading it in your head isn’t the same of course, or even talking very quietly- for a start there are several muscle groups that don’t have to do anything when you read it to yourself! If you were going to run a race, you wouldn’t just think about running to get ready. I’ve worked with someone who used to physically stick out their tongue and scratch it to get blood flowing to it, before reading a news bulletin!

Its all too easy to say ‘get over it’ and in reality it doesn’t help at all, but finding a way- knowing that nobody can see or hear you in order to rehearse, is a starting point to improving your overall performance and therefore your confidence. Not everyone CAN deliver some content in a public forum, and that’s fine too but don’t sell yourself short too quickly. I’ve seen people who might be labelled as shy, deliver a presentation and content effectively in public by a careful use of encouragement, rehearsal and coaching. I’ve seen (and heard) people deliver an increasingly improved performance on air by doing the same.

Self evaluation helps. Chances are that you are your own worse critic. I’ve worked with radio presenters who don’t like hearing their own voice- but after practise and tenacity they get used to it because it leads to improvement of their performance. (I’ve also worked with people who loved the sound of their own voice… a little too much). Naturally they hear all the bad bits first and seldom hear the good bits or the overall good performance- that’s where some critical feedback and coaching can be very helpful to not just focus on the negatives.

This is likely to be the last blog post of this year (I might get a chance to do something next week, but can’t promise). If you have read, shared, subscribed or liked anything then heartfelt thanks and see you in 2023!)

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Want to get me working with you on your projects? Here are a few things I could help you with:

  • Coaching talent on performance. Remote or in person.
  • Analysis of markets and performance.
  • Leading training sessions- remote or in person.
  • Editorial advice and guidance.
  • Bespoke presentations or sessions.
  • Programming development and management.

Click the links below and lets start to have fun.

Published by Dick Stone

Radio...its always been radio.

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