Daphne DeLoren is the former meteorologist of WSMV and Supertalk 997, both in Nashville. While working weekday mornings at WSMV, she started a segment called "Daily Drop of Sunshine" about living with truth, purpose, and becoming the best version of oneself.
Daphne's message resonated with so many viewers, it quickly became her focus. After five years of being an on-air meteorologist, she left WSMV station to concentrate on coaching, speaker, and podcasting.
I asked Daphne about her experience with broadcast media and what podcasters can learn from broadcasters.
What skills from your television career have been helpful to you as a podcaster?
I got the initial nerves or butterflies out of the way. Being in television for five years, I learned the moment the ON AIR lights turned on, over one million people would be seeing me, hearing me, and I had a responsibility to get their weather forecast correct to help them plan their day. It was a cut throat, high-pressure industry. This made transitioning to podcasting a breeze for three reasons:
- Podcasting isn't live.
- I'd already discovered my "radio voice."
- If I really mess up doing my podcast, a quick edit saves the day!
I discovered the importance of just being me and allowing myself to come through the microphone. People can read through insincerity or when we try to come across as someone we’re not. I also grew thick skin from television, knowing people are not going to agree with me 100% (and in fact, bash my thoughts at times), but being ok with it. I learned how to stick to my ground and deliver what I believe both respectfully and confidently.
As a presenter, what are the big differences between audio and video?
With video, there’s live television and there’s edited Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. I've found there are pros and cons to both.
There’s a lot going on. A lot of multi-tasking. You have voice, looks, and body language to master. My producer was always talking in my ear to give my specific time cues while I was talking.
When I used to stand in front of the green screen, in order to see where I was pointing on the map, I had one of three monitors to look at – one to my left, one to my right, and another just beneath the camera. Viewers could see my facial expressions and body gestures as well as the next weather system coming in from the west.
There was a connection when I would look directly into the camera, like we’re just hanging out. You must look presentable.
I'm unsure why, but when I’m speaking into a microphone with no distraction of looks, map pointing, visuals, I feel like I go deeper with my thoughts. My mind is in one place and I don't need to worry about fly aways on my hair or a fake eyelash falling off. I feel more focused on the message and this shows up in the recordings.
How can audio-podcasters be more comfortable on video?
Practice, practice, practice. After you practice, practice some more! Picture your best friend right in front of you and just have a conversation with them in a coffee shop.
When I used to do the weather, I pictured my husband or a family of four at a dinner table and I was just letting them know if they could have a picnic over the weekend or they'd need to stay indoors due to a severe weather threat. To my very last day, when I'd picture how many people were really watching (over a million), I would get nervous.
It’s OK and natural to have butterflies, but the more you practice, the more natural you come across. People trust you more when you are confident and gravitate toward that. When you're overly nervous, it bleeds through the camera and the viewer becomes uncomfortable.
Some people find it weird or uncomfortable to watch themselves after they record a video, but it’s very wise to do this. Some of the most experienced anchors do it no matter how long they’re in the industry. There’s always room for growth. When you watch back you can see what looked great or where you may want to change some things.
How does broadcasting to a general audience compare to podcasting to a niche audience?
With broadcasting, you’re thrown into a big blue ocean. There’s A LOT going on and it can be noisy. There could be many reasons people are watching – breaking news, weather, sports. Or maybe someone is just forced to watch sitting in the waiting room at a doctor's office. Or maybe you're a mom of three just trying to get the kids out the door. There’s a lot more room to be judged by people since they're not necessarily choosing to tune into you and prefer the other meteorologist, host, etc.
Podcasting is a group of people who are your people – they're listening and subscribing by CHOICE and happy to be there. Out of all the podcasts out there, they're choosing to listen to yours, which is a very special connection.
Live vs. Tape
There’s something amazing about being LIVE. When those lights go on, it brings the best out of you. There are no redos and your mind knows that so no matter how sleepy you are or even if you’re going through heartache or having personal issues at home, those things go to the back burner and the best in you comes out.
But we're human. I messed up all the time, even on live television.
How do you recover if you mess up? Just like if you and I are having a conversation, I may stutter, or cough or get lost in trying to explain something. I don’t stop and say “Shoot! Can I start over?” You get good at bouncing back and carrying on with a smile.
I believe people actually connect to you more when they see you mess up. It shows your human and humans connect with vulnerability.
What can podcasters learn from broadcasters?
Delivery. Broadcasters went to school for this. Flowing smoothly, confidently, voice. Particularly for women, I was always taught how important it is to work on our voice, to come across as more credible.
My advice for how we can make our voices more credible is:
- Be confident and authentically you! This bleeds through the microphone within seconds. Know who you are and what you stand for even when people throw rocks your way (usually if we have a stance on anything, someone will disagree and that is OK). Own it!
- Practice naturally leads to more confidence. After you record, go back and listen to yourself. This can feel uncomfortable or unnatural in the beginning, but even top hosts with years of experience go back and watch/listen to themselves. Everyone has room for growth. Ladies, in particular are usually coached to work on their voice to sound less high pitched, which can come across as less credible. Speaking from the diaphragm and taking appropriate pauses to breathe can help with that.
- Be an example of what you preach. If you have a podcast about fitness and nutrition, your life should reflect this on social media and off. It builds credibility and trust with our followers!