How to be a vocal badass..

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Dan wrote:

Sean,

I read you were a radio DJ.  I’m going to school for that and I’m even interning at a local station.  They asked me to fill in on an overnight shift and I blew it, big time.  I kept stammering, I sounded nervous and timid, and I’m surprised they didn’t fire me.  Did you have this issue?  How did you overcome it?  I’m also not good in public events.  How do I get better at that?

Dan

Dan,

I am no vocal badass, but as you can see in the picture above, I trained my daughter to be one.  I would like to think I was a pretty average radio DJ.  I didn’t rely on gimmicks and I didn’t talk WAY too much like some (Cities 97) DJ’s today..I was there to give the listeners music and let that to the talking.

When I first started, my boss (perhaps the greatest boss I’ve ever had) told me I should have a beer or two before getting on the mic, so I would loosen up.  It worked.  Now, I didn’t go into the station half popped every time, but it helped me loosen up for my first few shifts. I stopped thinking of all 12 people listening (haha) and just concentrated on talking.  I also invited a friend or two to sit with me while I did my shift.  The joking and conversation off air made me forget my perfectionism and get down to business while on air.  It really helped.  I don’t know if your station allows that, but ask…and make sure your friends shut their yaps while you’re talking.

As far as public gigs go, after my first two, I had no issues. For my first gig (bar trivia), I stammered so much that people kept asking me to repeat the question. For the second gig (at Lone Tree), I must have called it Lone Star twenty times before the bar manager corrected me. After that, I was a pro. Beer in hand, I could take the mic at any event. What I am trying to say is that you have to have a few “shit your pants” moments before you wear big boy shorts.  Don’t be afraid to talk to people either.  It’s not rocket science, it’s conversation.   Enjoy it.

Good luck!  I hope you follow your dreams!

Sean

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