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What Terry Wogan taught us about presenting

It was remarkable to listen to the tributes to Terry Wogan pouring in after his death on Sunday. His ‘public’ from his years as a radio and TV broadcaster clearly felt very close to him, as if they knew him personally – which is a testament to how engaging he was as a presenter.

Much has been said over the past couple of days about what a natural, warm, funny and kind man he was.

What shone through to me though was his ability to connect so strongly with people he had never actually met.  How did he achieve this?  His advice to younger, less experienced presenters was:

“Remember, you’re not talking to ‘an audience’, you’re talking to one person”

“Don’t be afraid of silences” 

“Stay on your toes, keep your wits about you, say goodnight politely when it’s over, go home and enjoy your dinner.”

Every one of us as presenters can learn from this advice.  When we present, the trick to engage your audience is to think of them as a roomful of individuals.

His comment on silences is true for any presentation you give.  When you speak in public, it is your pauses and silence that add the drama and enhance the impact of what you want to convey.

And his last point is a reminder to us all not to take it all too seriously.  After all, it is only a presentation, and when it’s over our life goes on.

A lovely man.  He will be missed.

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