Having just returned from the three days of training on the John Forrest Award Communication course, part-funded by TMAF, Oliver Hammond, who works for BBRO, writes about the experience and what he has learned.
“Having done a couple of radio interviews before the course I was excited to see what I could have done differently and learn for the future.
Make a perfect picture on air
From the tuition we had, the most important thing I took away was that with radio you must paint a picture for the listener to visualise while listening. It takes only a few seconds for your listeners to rate you, so you need to engage them from the start.
I did my radio interview with a colleague who was on the course with me, and Susie Emmett was the interviewer. Richard and I spoke about the new ideas within our sector of agriculture and the whole time we were trying to use words to paint a picture and engage the listener.
It was also clear that the radio presenter is not there to catch you out or ask questions that you would find hard to answer, they want a good report as much as you. If you ask the interviewer beforehand about the topic, what general questions will be asked, and how long the final interview will be you can start to build a picture of the ideas and points you want to get over in the time.
I feel confident now that if I was asked to do a radio or tv interview I would be happy to take part and if I’m honest I would say I would be excited to do it.
Engage your audience’s attention
Presenting in front of a group is something I’ve never felt overly confident about or excited to lead but after the course I feel that I would be happy to take that on.
What I have learned is that you must prepare thoroughly for every opportunity and each audience’s needs, interests and concerns. I will use these when talking to beet growers in fields and at our Open Day events. I also learnt to know what points or messages you want your audience to take home with them.
Seize the opportunity to build your skills
I did two presentations on the course, and I feel I could improve these 100% with what I learnt. I could go into more detail here about what I’ve taken from the course, but I don’t want to give away all my secrets!
All I would say that if you are ‘on the fence’ about applying for the next JFA course then do it. I didn’t think I would learn from all parts of the course, but I have. I have taken something from every aspect of the three days of training and thoroughly enjoyed it.”