One Wednesday during the summer I was having my usual creep of the internet when I came across a Facebook page for the Gaiety School of Acting; I liked it and had a look at what they had to offer. As a fan of drama and the arts I was hugely impressed by the range of courses they had to offer, but one new course particularly stood out for me, TV Presentation.
I’m currently in my second year of Communications Studies in DCU so this twelve week course suited me perfectly. I have always loved the media and television but I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn the skills needed to be a successful presenter. I had lots of radio presenting experience but obviously no chance to experience presenting for television-until now! I was so excited and got in contact with the wonderful Pace who is in charge of marketing at the Gaiety, via Twitter. She informed me about what was involved in the course, where it was located and the cost of the course, I found this one-to-one contact to be imperative to my selection of this course.
Having been introduced to our remarkable lecturer Bill Hughes (yes it is yer man off You’re A Star!), we got off to a flying start. We were given scripts to present to the rest of our class, I remember feeling tightness is my chest as my throat dried up, why was I this scared? I had done lots of public speaking in the past but I think the nerves kicked in when I realised I had the opportunity to do what I always wanted. My turn came, and I delivered the piece with ease and Bill praised my fluidity and cadence. Woohoo I wasn’t shyte!
Over the next few weeks we gradually progressed to writing our own scripts, choosing shows which we felt suited us, first proposing our ideas to our classmates and then delivering them to camera; I loved every minute of it. Of course we all encountered challenges over the weeks, the biggest problem was remembering lines once we had thrown away the scripts! However, this problem lessened with time as we became more accustomed to delivering information off-book. It was exciting to watch how everyone developed, over-coming fears and making serious break-throughs. It was as much a learning experience about ourselves as it was TV presenting. This was the biggest aim Bill tried to hit home, “BE YOURSELF! The audience can smell a fake and they’ll switch off”. His experience in the industry makes him perfect for the role of lecturer along with his wit and refreshing honesty. We also learned about the equipment used in television and had an autocue based lecture which was my favorite week of the course, I felt like a real presenter walking towards the camera (except not really knowing what to do with my hands!), it was all very exciting!
I am so glad I chose to do this course as I’ve learned so much about television, the media and most importantly, myself. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wishes to pursue a career in television.
Below: Bill, Eve and the rest of the TV presentation gang! Many of the participants traveled up every Monday from as far away as Cork, Galway and Donegal to attend the class each week! They felt it was well worth the journey!