I was chatting (via LinkedIn) to a recent University graduate who was starting her first full time position in radio.
She was nervous, and worried, and had worked herself up into a bit of an anxious state about her first shift on-air.
I am not naming her as she feels nervous enough about this post as it is.
I tried my best to calm her down, and we started talking about her journey to where she was now in radio, and what she was about to do.
Having worked for a community station, she had gone on to study at university and graduate with honours in media.
During her time studying she had worked at the university station and done some really impressive work. I read some of her commercial scripts – top notch, listened to a couple of air-checks, again I couldn’t fault them and read through a couple of the feedback forms she had gotten while studying.
I thought that she really didn’t have anything to worry about…
It turns out that she had studied in one country and was returning to her home country to work.
Her worry was… speaking in her own language again, and not in English (that she had studied in). That was it.
She had gotten her job on her skills and own merits, and I think is going to be a rising star on-air too.
I explained to her that as long as she remembered to speak clearly, remember who her audience was and enjoy her time on-air, she was going to be able to walk with her head held high having done a great job.
But it did raise a great point, if you do study in one language and then return to your native speaking tongue to work, is your skill set still relevant – in my opinion, yes it is.
It is your thought process, your rhyme, rhythm, tone, timbre and natural voice of your native tongue, you can do it. Your attitude to what you talk about and your presence on-air makes all of the difference.
Your humour, your knowledge, your strength of character and most importantly, your confidence that speaks volumes to listeners.
Have confidence about what you do, no matter if you are speaking in your first, second or third language.
It’s having that confidence that I think everyone on-air needs to hold onto, but not to choke on it.
I know it can be hard, especially starting at a new job, in a new city and with those pressures you can start to second guess what you are doing.
But you need to pause.
Reflect on your journey, appreciate the time that you have put in to get this far and to do what you do. You can do it!
By the way, her first shift on-air – was awesome!
I listened to the whole show and she did an amazing job, and told her so. Her second even better.
In another note: She had shared with her classmates and friends on social media that I had taken the time to talk to her. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to return messages to everyone else who messaged me on LinkedIn (over 100+ messages in one day was a lot to see). I will try to get back to everyone the best I can, but I couldn’t possibly get back to everyone in the week that followed. I will try my best to respond everyone.