I’ve never considered myself to be much of a speaker – any speech in front of, um, anyone official or a crowd of eager, um, listeners usually ends up being punctuated with a lot of pesky, um, verbal fillers. However, my newfound penchant for saying ‘yes’ landed me in the studio of BBC Radio Norfolk this morning to do just that – speak. I have spent the last few weeks conflabbing with the Neurological Alliance (NA) via the MS Trust, having been asked to act as a case study of someone who has MS. I underwent a telephone interview prior to being let loose on the radio, in which I must have actually said something right because they were soon calling to book me a slot at the BBC.
This week the NA are working to draw attention to the improvements needed in the diagnostic process of neurological conditions as well as to highlight the need for services like the NHS to up their game on mental health for people with these conditions. I’ll be honest, I was completely shocked to be asked to contribute, not only because of my inarticulateness but because my story just seems far too positive. But, pick me they did and there was no backing out.
I was greeted by a man who reeked of radio – he spoke as though he were perpetually ‘On Air’. As we ascended the lift I was in awe of his naturally smooth DJ voice and the ease with which he spoke – how was I going to match that?! But, as I find myself doing more and more these days, I managed to untangle my confidence, summon up all of my yes-ness and simply go for it. And, you know what? It was jolly good fun. I did, however, feel a weight of responsibility that I wasn’t expecting as I sat there speaking on behalf of the MS community – my lone voice trying to convey the vast experience of thousands of others.
I’m sure it’s only natural for me now to be going over and over the interview in my head and thinking of awesome things I should have said and cringing at some of the things I did say, rather like the aftermath of an exam… but all I can do is sit back and await the results.
Interview to be broadcast on Nick Conrad show, BBC Radio Norfolk, Tuesday 9th July AM
EDIT: Here’s the link to the broadcast (featuring at approx 30 mins / 54 mins & 1 hr 53):