Along with many people I watch The Voice on BBC 1 on a Saturday night. Well I say watch, it’s more audio visual wallpaper. You know it’s there but you don’t really notice it until you glance up and see the bit of edge that is curling up or the inexplicable tea stain two thirds of the way up the wall. How?
Well it got me thinking.
- It’s not really all about the voice, despite what the producers say. It only really works because we, the viewers, can see the person singing and we wonder how anything good is going to come out of their mouth. Or in a Susan Boyle like epiphany we marvel at the outstanding voice coming from a less than outstanding looking person. Judgemental I know but the programme doesn’t work without it does it?
- It’s not a talent show it’s a light entertainment television show.
- Boy George looks genuinely crestfallen when rejected as a coach by one the singers.
- The way in which they communicate the back story to the judges is incredible. The show is as dependent on heartbreaking sob stories as The X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. What I do admire is the way they manage to shoehorn it in. All the judges need to ask is “what’s your name and where are you from?” That’s all. Still they manage to add that they have lost 11 stone, overcome crippling fear or any other of the many obstacles life throws in our path. The more heartbreaking the story the more the judges look like complete bastards for not turning.
- Appearances are everything and then again they’re not. Generally speaking all of us have to interact with other people. Appearances do matter, you can’t avoid it. Your opinion of someone, especially a first or second one, is largely based on how they look to you. I say how they look to you because how they look to you is largely based on your preconceptions. I dare say all of he judges, past and present, have their own misconceptions about people based on how they look.
Terry Wogan was a fixture in mine and just about everybody’s life. From radio to TV he was there with his charm, wit and consummate professionalism. Much has be written so here are my five thoughts, lessons from the great man.
- Speaking to one person is more effective than trying to speak to many. His great skill as a broadcaster was to make you feel he was talking to just you.
- Being a skilled professional does not mean you have to take yourself too seriously.
- The apparent ease with which something is done belies a lot of hard work done out of the spotlight. The seemingly “making it up” as you go along vibe that Terry exuded was due to a lifetime of experience and learning.
- Understanding your audience is the key for effective communication.
- The way he observed and commentated with wit, charm and insight is a gift few possess in the way Terry did. At no point did you ever feel he crossed the line into cruel ridicule of the person or an event.
Goodbye Terry, you will be missed but you have left a lifetime of memories.