As I’ve been mentioning, I am going to be including a lot more about my life and new lifetstyle in Perth with you here on the blog. I know many of you reading overseas are curious about Australia and I hope this gives you a bit of an insight. Perth could not be more different to Dubai and even Singapore (despite its close geographical proximity)
I got up at 4 am to host the event and because I wasn’t able to run to the toilet (I had to speak every 4-10 minutes) I tried not to drink water as I wouldn’t have enough time, this was the worst thing I could have done. By the last race at 9:40am (I’m hosting the countdown to it above with Tim from Nine News Perth) I was struggling not to trip over my words with my dry mouth.
Above: With Australian long distance running legend Steve Moneghetti and the GM of Chevron, Brian Smith.
Runners are a very tough crowd to motivate when they are freezing at 5:30am and the most elite of which are from Japan and Kenya and don’t really want to hear you babbling on in a foreign language as they are trying to get in the “zone. That’s why I love doing a diverse range of events, the challenge! I had to get people about to run 42.2km excited about a finish which was 2 hours and more away! I’ve hosted in front of celebrities (bonafide A-listers) and world leaders but there is nothing like being back in your home town in front of thousands.
So here are my top tips for speaking public if you’re a little shy:
1) Project! You will see in the pictures, I look like a little hamster but I knew that PA system would be carrying my voice and important health and safety messages for kilometres around the central business district, so I did NOT use my “inside” voice. I gave it the most projection I could and that includes using your whole face and diaphragm. This sort of “projection” is normally a no-go for indoor and intimate events as when you are using a microphone without wind or environmental factors around the sound will be really loud and it can distort.
2) Look up from your script: I’ve got to tell you, since getting older my memory is not as sharp as what it used to be. I used to be able to remember whole A4 sheets of script in 10 minutes when I was shooting Dubai 101 back in 2009. I now however, need much more time to get a clear grip on ideas. I blame my smartphone and my fragmented attention span because of social media. If you have the luxury of time, memorise your script. If it’s a big client and the fee big enough, I will memorise the whole thing!
3) Give it all your warmth: Sporting events are nowhere near as glamorous as red carpets, product launches and galas. You’ve got to learn to change it up and be humorous for these things. Be self-deprecating and people will warm to you. People never remember the boring glamorous presenters with perfect hair, they remember people who were warm and engaging. Most seasoned radio presenters know that even on a bad day, you have to smile on air, soon the “fake” smiles give way to real feelings of happiness. Live MCing is no different, smile, smile and smile some more. People will naturally mirror you and smile back.