Talking Heads Presenter Conference at AFTRS
Eastside Radio/ABC Presenter Stacey Lymbrey Gives Workshop on
How to Be a Great Presenter
On Saturday 9 November 2019 Eastside FM hosted its second Presenter Conference ‘Talking Heads,’ an all-day session in the Entertainment Quarter at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. More than 30 current and aspiring DJs attended to learn from experienced presenters and share stories of their time in radio.
Special guest speaker Jono Farr, sport commentator for the NSWRL, AFL, Corporate Fighter (Boxing) and Wheelchair Sports Australia, answered questions about his 21 years of experience in television and radio. His advice to people passionate about radio and starting their careers was to always say yes, always show up. You never know who is listening, Farr said.
The majority of the day was led by Eastside Radio alum Stacey Lymbrey. Lymbrey started out reading the weather on Phil James’ brekky show, and went on to host her own program at Eastisde before embarking on a commercial radio career. She trained at AFTRS and over the last decade has worked in every area of media.
Lymbrey started her session helping presenters think about the focus of their shows. The key questions for presenters to answer are what is the purpose of the show, and why is it being presented. Always keeping the audience in mind will help focus content and strengthen presentation.
Besides show direction, Lymbrey broke down the basics of being a good studio DJ. Presenters should always prepare emergency content like spare CDs for technical difficulties and spare news stories if interview guests cancel. Plus sharing a studio space with other presenters means always having good studio etiquette during show transitions, and forward promoting upcoming shows and the station.
Everyone had a laugh when she shared what she now considers her worst clip from her old Eastside show, a rambling show opening of good story headlines, bad news, and irrelevant guest descriptors. The group also listened to and critiqued notoriously bad audio clips from famous programs to learn how to recover from a gaff, and how to not.
The final segment of the day at AFTRS was an interview workshop with Lymbrey and Eastside’s current Arts Tuesday host and interview expert Diana Simmonds. Simmonds started by pulling one over on Lymbrey, playing a terrible interviewee who stumps the interviewer. In that situation, the advice was to cut it off and move on to the next segment.
For the workshop though, Simmonds gave more advice, like taking the responsibility as the host to help lead the guest into their answers. Often people don’t realize what’s interesting about them, she said. And it’s an interview, not a conversation, so the presenter must think about their role in leading the guest’s content to what the audience will find new and interesting.
The day wrapped with an outing at a pub in the EQ, with presenters catching up as old friends and learning more about all of the goings on at the station.