This Radio Presentation Workshop with Chris Donoghue  took place at The Gaiety School of Acting on Saturday 21st July 2012 – Doireann Wylde was one of the participants who took part.

‘Chris Donoghue is presenter of the Breakfast show on Newstalk. I joined 5 other women for Chris’ workshop at the GSA on Saturday. In college, I chose to specialise in sound and went on to do an MA in Radio and Television Production but I had little experience in front of the mic. I had worked on production teams and was aware of the ins and outs on radio but still the act of sitting in front of that tiny piece of equipment made me anxious every time.

Chris began the day by getting some background information from us and explaining how he got to Newstalk. He then moved on to inform us more of the radio industry in Ireland. I found this really interesting, as although I was qualified in radio, the ‘who’s who’ was never really discussed.

The first task of the day was to setup a chat show whereby there was one presenter and two guests. We were given subject suggestions and angle ideas. And so after splitting into two groups of three, we went for lunch together, and came up with our strategies!

Siobhan and Margaret nominated me for the presenter role. I was happy to do this knowing we would merely act as though we were in a radio studio and that my two guests were very confident chatty individuals. Chris monitored the exercise which laid emphasis on flow, how to get from one topic to another smoothly, knowing when to move on, control and essentially the ability to drive a group discussion.

Our next challenge involved each person interviewing and being interviewed by another person on an interesting topic about them. Sounded easy, I thought, but then he announced we were going to the Newstalk radio studios to record the pieces! Both nerves and excitement hit!

During the walk over we all chatted together and researched one another’s lives. It was a fantastic bonding experience and our little group became very close. Arriving at the doors of Marconi House, we could see the signs for Newstalk, Today FM and Phantom. The nerves soon left me as we entered the building. We had a brief look around the offices and then set up base in a meeting room. Two by two, Chris brought us to the studio and we each took 5 minutes on our interviews. We received instant feedback and advice from Chris which led to stronger recordings.

By the end of the session everyone was exhausted from the fun and learning of the day. We all swapped email addresses and Chris gave us some incite some interesting experiences of his career and then passed on some advice for us going forward. We each walked away with two recordings of us on radio both presenting and being a guest.

I’d definitely recommend this one-day workshop to anyone who has an interest in radio, even if you just want to know how it’s done! The small group meant that we all got to know one another which was very beneficial for the type of interviews and projects we carried out.  I’d give this course 9/10 with exceptional value for money, very interesting subject, and thoroughly enjoyable day’

Blog entry by Doireann Wylde


REMEMBER to brush up on your acting skills with one of our specialised skilled workshop series over the summer! Try our TV presentation workshop with Bill Hughes this Saturday 28 July from 10am to 5pm and don’t forget our ever popular  Casting and Auditioning workshop with Maureen Hughes and Gillian Reynolds. We also have some paces available on our masterclasses in Voice and Accent. Call 01 6799277 for more info.