The first time I heard myself in headphones I froze. It didn’t sound like me, though I knew it was me who was talking.
Fortunately, I progressed from that to eventually being called upon to train a few disc jockeys over the years. I say training – but that is to include those who already had experience and were more or less familiar with the on-air aspect of a stations operation.
Whether it was a ‘mom and pop’ station or one of the corporate monsters so prevalent today, I never once saw a training manual. Instead training was generally a by-the-seat-of-the-britches deal where you go over particular duties of that particular shift.
Another thing sorely lacking in the development of an on-air personality was the ability to build their self-confidence. By nature many DJ’s and such are very uncertain of themselves and tend to overcompensate for this emotional gap.
Over the years, I’ve seen and heard a lot of folks in the business jealously tear-down a co-work simply because they were unsure of their own self-worth as it pertains to the public-eye. On the other hand, I’ve also seen people who have absolutely no talent carry such a big ego that nobody wants to be around them.
Somehow (and mostly due to bluster) a number of these persons have managed to garner ‘management’ positions, where they beat down anyone they perceive as a possible threat to their position. I’m certain these people exist in all areas of the workforce and are no exception to broadcasting.
Sadly, people who refuse to show that suffer from any insecurity will never truly develop a relationship beyond themselves because they don’t know how. I’ve been around men and women, who’re married, have families and yet cling to their public persona so tightly they fail to develop emotionally.
I know this because I was there at one time.
And though many will not admit it – especially the younger talent – anyone in broadcasting long enough has suffered from the wish to be liked, wanted, needed and more-over, praised. In fact, I’ve concluded that the more broken (and I use the term loosely) the person is, the better their talent is at relating with the listener one-on-one.
I think this is how God designed all of humanity to be — broken yet successful – so He could have a one-on-one relationship with each of us.