I had a Talking Newspaper today. Being the middle-of-the-day Haslemere edition, meant an early walk for the dogs where we unexpectedly met Alec.
He’s Sue’s son, who minds the girls on Friday. He was walking Pippa and, of course, Emma spent a lot of time saying good morning and generally jumping at her head. She doesn’t mind. In fact, when I take the girls round on a Friday morning, Pippa is at the front door eagerly waiting for them.
It’s interesting how Emma recognises the dogs she knows. She’s generally pretty wary of dogs in the park but if she sees Pippa or Rodney, she’s all over them. It’s lovely to see, particularly given the poodles never liked any other dogs.
Anyway, walk over, it was time to leave for the studio.
Today I had my favourite engineer (Pete), a lovely guy called Mike who I rarely get to work with (because he used to read exclusively on Friday’s), Heather who always makes me laugh and the dependable Judy who seems to read with me more than anyone else. We were a very happy and efficient bunch and whizzed through the recording with narry a problem.
Afterwards, I overheard Mike tell Pete that the group should use me to train new Presenters. Pete agreed, saying that my style is a breath of fresh air. That did make me feel quite pleased with myself…though I’m not sure how I’d go about training people in my personality.
Mike also told me about the dress code at FATN in the 1970’s. Shirt, tie and jacket were mandatory (and trousers, I suppose). Looking me up and down he said I’d not have been allowed in. I was wearing shorts, t-shirt, runners and non-matching stripey socks…not to mention my hair and straw hat. I told him it was all part of who I am which made it my dress code.
Thinking about my presenting on the way home, I came up with the following points of Gaz Talking Newspaper Presenting:
- Speak with a smile on your face. (I stole this one from Jenni Murray on Woman’s Hour.)
- Talk as if the person is sitting in front of you and you are reading only to them.
- If you feel yourself start to trip over your words, simply slow down for a bit.
- Listen to the Readers in order to mention things later in the recording.
- Try and make everything interesting though don’t be afraid to say when something is very dull.
- Don’t assume the listeners are all old and need coddling.
- BE CHEEKY.
It must be working because I haven’t had any complaints…yet.
Funnily enough, I didn’t feel much like reading today but as soon as the microphone went on, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. This always happens when I’m feeling a little less than entertaining before I start. Not that that happens very often.
It’s the show-off in me.