Barbara Gillman greets us with a warm smile and a generous hug as we enter her studio at Radio Today Johannesburg. She’s not being theatrical, she’s being genuine. Barbara is the ultimate hostess who puts all her guests at ease- be it at home, in studio or her corporate workshops.
She’s a published poet, actress and speech & drama teacher with 20 years experience behind her. She wasn’t looking for a position on radio, but when offered the opportunity to become part of the Jozi Style team on Radio Today Johannesburg, she replies that she’s been training so many of her aspiring students how to conduct themselves on radio that when the opportunity presented itself to her, she grabbed it.
“I teach people how to speak into the microphone, enunciate, etc. Now I prove how to put it all into practice. I love talking to different people about their lifestyles. Obviously I love discussing anything to do with drama, theatre, and effective communications skills training. I don’t think it is professional to discuss politics publicly, but I am a communications specialist so I like to think that I can communicate effectively and diplomatically. I wouldn’t have any clients if I couldn’t!”
Barbara laughs a lot. She loves people, conversation and communication. She’s also passionate about food, after being trained in Cordon Bleu in London, and enjoys entertaining people just as much as she enjoys being entertained by their stories.
She laughs off the suggestion that people recognise and approach her in the street because she’s on radio, but acknowledges that radio has changed her life because she gets to meet the most amazing people. She says it’s hard work, but one that she loves because not only is she doing what she loves, and loves what she does, so she looks forward to recording her show on Jozi Style on Radio Today Johannesburg.
“I’m so busy at the moment that I don’t have time to notice if people are noticing me, but, maybe, that day will come”, Barbara says, with more laughter.
Barbara’s show is about lifestyles in Johannesburg, but when when pushed for gossip she says that she thinks her co-hosts are stunning. When not talking about Jozi, they are talking to each other, but she did offer some of her professional tips for anybody who is going to be a guest on a radio show.
“I would advise guests who are going to appear on a radio show, just as I advise my students, to be themselves, and to speak clearly. Listeners aren’t there to judge you, but to listen to what you have to say. They’re interested in you, so be interesting.”
When not on radio Barbara is busy training private individuals and corporate staff how to speak , either on the phone, or amongst themselves. She also conducts workshops on voice enrichment.
“I train students from the ages of 6 – 60 about how to be confident, how to shape vowels for beautiful diction, and train students how to enter for Trinity College exams, which are held twice yearly. Examiners come out from the UK., to examine the students in Johannesburg. I also adjudicate public speaking festivals, and have appeared on TV, in dramas, soapies and commercials. I’m also contracted for voiceovers for commercial work.”
When trying to find balance in her life, Barbara says she finds such pleasure in her work so that work is her pleasure.
“I find balance and focus by meditating; specifically Transcendental Meditation, I also write poetry and plays for either my personal enjoyment or public consumption.”
Barbara is a reknown hostess, or is that ‘entertainer’?, she says that she puts a lot of love into her cooking because if you just throw a few things together in a rush, the family and friends won’t feel the ‘love’ while eating. When not entertaining at home, Barbara loves going to the theatre or movies and also loves dining out. She regards Erwins in Parkmore as the best restaurant in Johannesburg because it is always consistent.
Barbara says her motto is, “Embrace every day with a new challenge. I think everyone, no matter how young or old, one is, try and keep upto date with the news, social media, and trying out new things. Life is amazing, I love it, and Radio Today Johannesburg!”
Barbara can be contacted at VoicePerfect.org.
Barbara Gillman appears on Radio Today on the first Saturday of every month from 12h00 to 13h00 (GMT+2). Radio Today (@Radio2Day) broadcasts on 1485 AM in Johannesburg and country-wide on DStv audio channel 869. Streamed on www.1485.org and 1485.mobi.