What I learned from being a live TV reporter

July 5, 2014

Earlier this spring I served as a live reporter for a local NBC show broadcasting from the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa. It was a very scary experience but something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Here are a few things I learned:

  1. I’m rarely good at anything I do the first time. And by knowing this, it helps me realize it’s OK that I’m not a natural at first. What helps me get through the nerves? Preparation and practice. I played through the scenario in my head, did my research and practiced practiced practiced! This is the same thing I did when I was competitive swimming. The more you prepare (whether it’s for a big swim meet, a big work meeting or something you’re trying for the first time), the more comfortable you will be with the fear. When the cameras turned on I was terrified but because I prepared I knew I would be OK.
  2. Sometimes a different format leaves you less prepared than you thought. Because of all my interviewing experience I thought I knew what to expect. And though I practiced and prepared it was still like nothing I had ever done. However, I was able to adapt. The ability to adapt comes from not overthinking. Once you have prepared and practiced it is important to let go and be in the moment. At a certain point you have to be able to go with the flow and trust your own abilities. Olympians don’t think when they are racing. They rely on their practice and experience to shine through automatically when they need it most. Even though I was nervous and scared on the inside, I was able to keep cool and keep talking on the outside because of my past experiences and preparation. You can do the same in the race of life!
  3. Stepping out of my comfort zone is the only way to get to where I want to go. The only way I’ll improve and the only way I’ll reach my goals is by doing things that scare me. By using fear to your advantage (instead of letting it control you) you’re able to do things that you never thought was possible.

I’m looking forward to trying it again and doing even better.