A new event for our Rotary Scholars in D1090 – practice interviews – with a real journalist, cameras and microphones.
A few of us came up with the idea, hoping that it might appeal to our Rotary Scholars. On the basis that even if we can speak confidently about our own subject, many of us find it way more difficult to do the same with cameras and microphones in front of us. So we thought that practice would be a good thing and a few tips from a professional journalist even better and so we got together on 14th January in Oxford.
Dave spoke about his experience as a journalist and how the journalist normally wants to get the best out of their interviewees and so is usually on the same side. He pointed out that our concerns over how we look or sound on camera are often unnecessary since that’s how everyone else sees and hears us anyway, and he spoke about the need to engage with individuals in an audience when standing in front of them.
After some tips from Dave and a few slices of pizza, the students took it in turn to be interviewed. Richie was running around setting up cameras and microphones. He instructed each person to only speak to Dave and to ignore everything else going on. Someone noted how close up the cameras were and that they weren’t going to miss anything. So the nerves grew. That was one of the objectives for the evening really though, wasn’t it. And of course all the interviewees were great and to those of us watching, none appeared phased by the interviews and they all had interesting stories to tell.
And what did our interviewees think?
An excellent opportunity to hear about Dave’s journalistic experiences all over the world, share personal interview experiences, as well as learn how to get your message across to the media. Public speaking is an incredibly important skill and, through practice interviews, Dave was able to provide suggestions as to how we can best improve ourselves for future interviews. It was an incredibly fun and informative evening!
The most important part of the evening was the practice, but also seeing the other side of the game, that is, how journalists think and work.
I learned a lot about verbal and non-verbal communication and hope to get the chance to put these skills to use soon!
A great addition to the scholars list of wonderful events.
Thanks to Dave King, member of Elthorne-Hillingdon Rotary Club, Journalist, and Editor of the Rotary magazine, and to Richie Gray, member of Oxford Spires Rotary Club and cameraman for the evening.
report by Karen
(happy to be behind the camera all evening, not in front of it!)