Valium In A Volume

During my recent broadcasting days it was never known how many people might be tuning in to my programme at any given time.

It seems that reliable audience figures for foreign media in Spain are simply unavailable. We always worked on a “guesstimate” based on the guidelines provided by the British consular offices which are calculated by the number of registered Brits. We would then add on percentages of other English speakers in the coastal areas, tourists and part time residents who might be tuned in.  More reliable perhaps was response for our advertisers and a kind of gut instinct determined by how quickly the on air phone would light up.

Anyway a conservative estimate would indicate many thousand – perhaps half a million people would be listening to my chatter and interviews – in their baths, in their kitchens or cars and – as long as I felt confident in my preparation and research – I was pretty much at ease talking to them with just a soupçon of occasional pre “live on air” adrenaline nerves.

But, for me, public speaking is a very different matter.

My copy of my friend Mitch Murray’s “Handbook for the Terrified Speaker” – also described as “Valium in a Volume” – is revealingly well-thumbed.

People find it strange that, as a radio presenter, I should be so nervous about public speaking; and I am afraid that I cannot explain the reason – it is simply a fact of my life – and one that I am frequently asked to overcome.

A recent Health and Beauty Forum held in Southern Spain was one such occasion.

I bumped into the organiser, Alex, by chance and, over a coffee, I was raving about not having to wear glasses anymore and the fantastic team at the London Vision Clinic.

“Please come and talk about it at the next Forum”, she suggested. “It will be really interesting to hear more about Laser Eye Surgery – the other speakers are all addressing different aspects of anti-aging techniques and cosmetic procedures.”

Ho hum… me and my big mouth.

Find out how I got on next time.