I stuffed up …. and that’s OK

Thank you Kitty Chiller and Karmichael Hunt. A nod to Thanasi Kokkinakis and all those others, whose names have resulted in slip ups and unexpected mirth.

And a shout out to those phrases that have produced tongue twisting giggles.  You know them:  tax cuts, top cop and country footballers. How about those sneezes, hic ups and the occasional other bodily functions that have left have produced some classic blooper moments.

The occasional slip is par for the course, but those truly magnificent blunders are a rarity. And even funnier when it happens to someone else and from a listener’s point of view, there’s a perverse pleasure in hearing an on-air faux pas.

But a perfectly natural on-air hic-up can quickly become an all-out disaster of rolling mistakes when the reader gets caught up in what they fear is the ‘mistake that will end my career’.

We’ve all been there.  Audio grabs don’t play, the computer freezes or some other on-air disaster occurs.  It feels like the world has stopped turning and the more flustered you get, the more it escalates.

This happened to me very early in my career on the Gold Coast.  Everything went wrong.  Someone came in and re-arranged the carts while I was getting some water.

After the first wrong cart played and then the second, it all went down hill from there.  By the end of that midday bulletin, I was ready to pack it in and head home, convinced that there was no coming back from that disaster.

I was sitting in the darkened news booth, contemplating what I thought would be my last time on air, when one of the senior readers intervened and told me:

‘It’s gone.  It’s done.  It’s bouncing around in space now and on its way to oblivion. Don’t dwell on it”. 

I’ve tried to pass on her advice over the years.  It’s OK to stuff up.  Just relax, smile and move on.

Smile and move on.

The less anxious you are about making a mistake, the less likely you are to make a mistake.

As a news director, I’d want my team to sound natural and confident on air.  Confidence meant not getting freaked out by a mistake or beating yourself up over it.

Smile and move on. You’re human and sometimes it’s good to show we’re not perfect.

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