Travelling with children is pretty stressful. Need I even mention the spud gun incident to back up my claim?
Gatwick Airport has recently commissioned a survey about family travel, finding that ‘54% of parents are made to feel bad about disturbing other people when children misbehave on holiday’ and that ‘30% find disturbing other holidaymakers one of the most stressful aspects of a trip abroad’. No surprises there, then. Nothing like a child with a big fake metal gun in their hand luggage to make a nice big queue form in security.
But things are changing, at Gatwick certainly, with more family friendly facilities being added all the time. For instance, they’ve launched new security assistance lanes for parents with children so that they can go through security at their own pace (and get a little extra help from staff – especially useful if your children are the type that pack small arms). There are free ‘kids zones’ in both the North and South terminals so that tiddlers can bounce around a bit and work off some of their pre-holiday excitement before the flight. Add to this a porter service to assist with baggage and the trial of a new scheme in the busy South Terminal where parents are given pushchairs as they step off the plane, and it all makes the airport experience much less stressful. They are also working in partnership with Thomas Cook this summer to prioritise the offloading of prams from the planes so that they are the first to arrive on the baggage reclaim belts too.
Moving on, then, the lovely people at Gatwick asked if I’d provide some top tips to make travelling with children a little less stressful. Of course I obliged, making ‘do check what your children have put in their hand luggage’ quite high on the list.
Then, though, came the media requests.
‘Media requests’, thought I? Oh they’d be, like, email questions and stuff wouldn’t they? ‘Oh yes’, said the lovely PR,’ and radio and TV interviews..’
Now you know me, I can ‘talk the hind leg off a donkey’ as my Mum puts it, but I’ve never spoken on the radio. Given that my husband often refers to me as ‘jabberjabberjabber’, this was a bit of a worry. I turned to Twitter, as one does, for tips on performing well during a radio interview:
‘Remember not to belch. Sigh. Or fart. Everything is magnified.’, said Andy, designer of this very blog, so presumably he knows a bit about media stuff…
Lovely PR @SineadRyan said: Note the things you really want to say in bullet points on a single piece of paper. Leave it flat, don’t rustle it!
Right, so that’s no burping, sighing, farting or rustling. And bullet points.
@pinkladyapril: try not to say things like “err” & “umm” don’t nod or move your hands too much & try to speak a little slower than usual!
@Cutsie_Cutsie: don’t swear!! X
@petitmew: try not to ‘er’ and ‘erm’ too often. I always do it but on radio I seem fine. Guess I just think of it as a normal conversation!
Okay, no burping, sighing, farting, rustling, swearing, erring or umming. Or nodding. Or moving. And speak slow. And don’t rustle.
@BaronMischief: Don’t listen to yourself afterwards. When I was on Steve Wright in the Afternoon it sounded weird
@Omega3Audrey: pause……..breath…….talk, I think I spoke too quickly when I had to do a piece on the radio. Good luck with it!
@PeruseFairtrade: Slow down & breathe, @EnglishMum. You’ll sound higher & faster than you usually do, especially if you’re nervous. And don’t sigh / fart either!
I know about the farting!
@exmoorjane: @EnglishMum Stand up. Speak more slowly than usual. Pretend you’re having a chat. Grin to loosen mouth before you start.
Grin. Got it.
@liveotherwise: collect thoughts before beginning to speak – brief pause better than drying up mid sentence.
@maydossu: back from microphone when saying any word which stresses the letter S
@BumbleBecki: try to avoid ‘erm’ and the like. If poss jot notes to refer to. Better to pause then speak than to ramble and struggle x
@DomesticJules: If you feel nervous before interview write down some notes and key words so you don’t forget stuff on air.
@frannybowen: don’t listen to the people that say ‘be yourself’, that’s a pile of rubbish!
@JAD73: Decide your main points before you go – get them in quick as interview always shorter than you think.
@mummytips: don’t plan what you are going to say – just have the conversation like you’re with a pal – but don’t swear:)
@LizJarvisUK: try not to say ‘um’ and don’t gabble
Right, so no burping, farting, sighing rustling, erring, umming, nodding, rustling, fidgeting, swearing, or stressing the letter S. Make notes, get my main points in, pause, take a breath, don’t be myself (well not too much), don’t ramble, think before I speak, speak slower than normal, don’t gabble and….
@icklebabe_com: no tips, but good luck lovely! break a leg! or is that only in theater? either way, you’ll be grand, they’ll love you 😀 x
@GraciesBakes: oh yeah – AND ENJOY IT!!!
@BumbleBecki: good luck! X x
Brace yourself, BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey… here I come (click on the link – fast forward to 1hr 26):