Just that brand of heroin!


YOU are high. It’s almost as if you can hear each beat of your heart. And with each thud, you are thrilled. You drift into a world of your own, where you lead, you guide, you call the shots. You play with words, you swim in a sea of your own voice. You smile indulgently from up there. It’s like you are a pianist. How you love to slide your deft fingers on the white and black keys that sing aloud your tunes. Or other times you are a ballet dancer performing to a large audience. The spot light exposes each of your moves. When you point your straight toes, you make each heart out there skip a beat. It’s your own world. You are the king. You are opiate but not inebriated.

Anchoring is much more than this. For me, it’s my ‘own brand of heroin’ (Courtesy, Edward Cullen in Twilight). Each time I have anchored a show, the challenge of it has thrilled me. Since school and of all the shows, functions, gatherings I have anchored, one thing that has not changed is this. I have always faced my audience with a pulsating heart and shaking papers in my hands. Yet each single time, my very first words managed to get attention.

And not that my first words have always been an exemplary quote or a striking question or a witty joke. In fact, the show that I anchored in April this year began with: “I request all of you to switch off your mobile phones.” J I greeted the DAVV Auditorium seconds later and got back enthusiastic ‘good evenings’.

This kind of a thing usually gets me started. The heart beat rate slows down. My hands stop trembling. I feel my feet again. However, it’s that jittery feeling which never really goes. So my resort is I have gotten used to it. In fact, jitters, many would tell you, are good for a great performance.

Anchoring is pretty much a one-man show and that’s what it makes it all the more fun. You are the boss.  I suggest that an anchor should write his/her own script. In fact the ability to write your original thoughts and create your own little jokes or anecdotes is half the job of an anchor. I remember during Radio Mirchi auditions, they asked us to write our own script. And we all realized while presenting it how important that was. We felt more confident. The words came out more naturally. We were at ease.

This can be crucial. While I usually half read, and half pronounce my script during anchoring, I know that it’s always easier to even read what you have written than read someone else’s thoughts. It’s like you own your thoughts. Wow, so anchoring is practically speaking your mind. Nice.

Radio Mirchi auditions helped me discover another amazing aspect of anchoring: spontaneity. Of course you have rehearsed, repeated the same lines over and over. Yet a few jokes can always be squeezed in at some places. For example, during the ‘Call the anchor’ round of the audition, I got a caller who started flirting with me. Next moment, he asked me where I could meet him. My reply? “Right here at 98.2 FM Radio Mirchi, what better place dude?” Similarly, during a CHEM function, I made a special announcement on behalf of the marketing team about students’ group photograph. The faculty members from the front row asked instantly, “And who said that?”. I replied with much animation, “Well, I didn’t!”.

Of course, your voice has a great role to play. Yet some of the best shows I have witnessed had anchors who didn’t have the proverbial deep voice. That’s pretty rational too. Your voice is a gift. But even if you don’t have a mesmerizing one, you can leave your audiences spellbound by the right throw of your voice.

Lets take a quick review:

  • Write your own script, as far as it is possible, for confidence and better delivery.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Paradoxically, for your spontaneous best, you need rehearsal.
  • Work on your pronunciations and clear throw of your voice.
  • Collect relevant quotes, jokes and anecdotes from real life. That would help people connect.
  • Do the necessary branding. Hadn’t it been for that show, you wouldn’t be hosting it.
  • Feel your voice. Find out your pitfalls. If you can’t improve upon them, learn to camouflage them.
  • Love your voice.
  • Never ever lose track of presence of mind. NEVER.
  • Smile, smile, smile. In fact, smile at your own jokes.
  • Maintain eye contact. Be mischievous when it comes to looking towards the audience. Give them the thrill of a direct eye contact.
  • Instead of papers, get a print on smartly cut card board sheets. That looks good.
  • Dress aptly. Find out the dress code. But ensure you don’t lose your own sense of style.
  • Have fun. If you don’t have fun, your audience won’t have it either.

I would never have the most apt words to describe the moment when I feel my steady voice over the microphone. The throw of my own voice at the very first greeting thrills me. I can modulate it the way I please. The feeling of being able to get hundreds of people hooked to my words is comparable only to a drug. I so wish you experience this at least once. That’s because next time, you won’t be able to resist a single chance.

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