Radio and TV presenter, lifestyle content creator and speaker Pallavi Tewari on acquiring eloquence and what works on social media
What attracted you to radio in the early years of your career?
Being introverted, I have always struggled to express myself in words. But very early in life, I realized that every time I went on stage or spoke behind the microphone, I could express myself better. People find it hard to believe that I am a very shy person, and it takes a lot for me to express how I feel.
As soon as I saw the studio and the microphone, I felt an instant connection. It was like love at first sight, all inhibitions flew out the window. There was an instant connection and I found the medium to be intimate, personal and intelligent. My mentors told me it would be difficult talking to each other in a studio behind the mic, but I savored every second of it. It’s been 20 years and I still feel like this is my first day behind the mic.
A JR and a public speaker must be a person of the people. It also means having a strong social media footprint. How do you retain staff when the job requires you to be constantly in the public eye?
Being in the public eye has its pros and cons. I really admire people who can be super honest about their life and feelings on the social platform. However, my social posts are mostly happy and sunny. Most of my fans expect motivational, happy and inspiring posts. As a public figure, I never forget that. I will very rarely post anything personal for my followers; there were some bad days but i went ahead and put some makeup on and posted something happy and inspiring for my fans. Tears, fears, challenges – I keep them mostly to myself. As a radio jockey I learned that you can never have a bad day on the air, I guess the same spirit translates to my fan pages as well.
You are now a lifestyle content creator. How do you find this medium?
Creating content vlogs/blogs for travel agencies, food chains, fashion brands, educational institutes and luxury real estate has been very exciting. The future of digital content looks bright.
As a parent, what have these two years of the pandemic meant to you?
As a parent, I felt very challenged. My daughter Sameera, who is a teenager, had been confined to her home, despite being extremely sociable. I felt it reduced a child’s social skills. But you have to give it to the kids – they’ve been very resilient. It had a mental impact, but she got through it. I feel so proud.
Can you remember a touching incident involving a listener or member of the public?
Being behind the microphone has given me the opportunity to connect with so many people from virtually all over the world. Your voice can make such a difference in people’s lives. From tricking people into proposing to surprising them on their birthday, I’ve had so many amazing experiences. But the best is when your foreign listeners come to Dubai and look for you.
Last year I asked listeners to call and share their grief at losing a loved one or a job during Covid. It was amazing how eager they were to hear my voice.
What are some of the most important things to keep in mind for public speakers?
There is no formula for being a good public speaker. I tell young people who want to go on stage that different things work for different people. I’m old school and I still believe in standing up and talking in front of the mirror. I do my homework well and once on stage, it all depends on the type of audience I’m interacting with. From body language, eye contact to the way you dress, attention to detail, it all matters. Remember to be yourself because you can’t fool the audience.
The style of speaking changes when you’re hosting a gig and you have to have a different approach when speaking in front of a corporate crowd.
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