Picture This -
Have you ever wanted to visit Alaska?
Saturday nights our local community center in Anchorage, Alaska held a dance for kids from 10 to 13 years old. I was just 12 at the time and we did a lot of square dancing. Then for the last 30 minutes we danced to rock and roll music..
One Saturday night they ask me if I would like to choose the music for the rock and roll segment, introduce the songs and play the records I had selected. For a 12 year old that was pretty exciting.
I said yes, but I had no idea what to say, so I quickly thought about how the local radio DJs introduced their music and I came up with a story about each song.
After I introduced the 3rd record, I looked over to the side of the stage and noticed that there were 3 or 4 girls standing there looking up at me.
Then 1 of them motioned for me to come over.
"Mike, we like the songs you're playing and we really like what you say between each song. You should do this every Saturday."
Wow! 12 years old and I already had fans - my speaking career had begun.
Flash forward 6 years
There I was at the ripe old age of 18, standing in front of a television camera, ready to host my first live television broadcast.
The program was called "The Varsity Show" and it was a long-running, local teen dance program that offered high school students the opportunity to work behind the scenes and in front of the camera.
The regular host was a popular local radio DJ who was out of town that week. But instead of having another DJ host that week's show, they decided to have 4 of the high school staff each host 15 minutes of the program.
Everyone that was chosen to host a segment was an on-camera staff member - except me - I was behind the scenes, on the camera crew. But that was about to change.
Even though I had never been in front of the camera before, I was chosen to host the final 15 minutes of the show.
Imagine being just 18 years old and having someone tell you that you were going to host a very popular TV show - and it was live.
My first reaction was surprise at being 1 of the 4 hosts. I was a behind-the-scenes guy, part of the camera crew. But for the record, I never thought about being afraid to stand in front of the cameras and speak to the live audience.
When my 15 minutes arrived, and the stage manager gave me my cue - I looked right into the camera lens and started speaking to it like that lens was my friend.
That evening I went to a local high school football game - and as I walked in front of the grandstands, people started hollering "hey Mike - great job" "hey Mike" "loved you on The Varsity Show today."
I had connected in an emotional way with the audience, and now they felt like they knew me.
Fast Forward 2 Years
My ability to connect with the emotion of the audience put me in front of the television cameras again.
2 years later, I became a regular co-host of the show and after just 6 months of co-hosting, I became the host of the show.
Communicating valuable, fun information to my audience is always my number 1 goal. It's never about me - it's always about the audience.
When I tell my Humorous Stories from ALASKA ...and beyond, I always transport my audiences into the world of my stories. And by doing that, my audiences get to experience Alaska.
With years of experience delivering fun presentations to all ages, I use the emotional power of stories to connect with audiences and give them a glimps of Alaska..
Michael R Dougherty
Humorous Stories from ALASKA ...and beyond
A collection of fun stories about growing up in Alaska. Guaranteed to make you smile.