Interview with Joe Augustin + Free Course for ONE Lucky Reader!

Joe Augustin and Grace

I attended Joe’s ‘Master Your Ceremonies: The Art of Emceeing’ workshop at Art of Voice last month and had a GREAT time! And if you don’t already know, Joe interviewed Richard Branson on stage at the National Achievers Congress 2013! It is one thing to learn from the guy and another to see him in action the very next day! 🙂

And the best part is this: ONE of you will get to attend Joe’s course for free. [Choose from either Master of Ceremonies OR Dynamic Presentations] Details at the end of this interview blogpost 🙂

I also had the pleasure of a short interview (over the phone) with Joe. Check this out:

1) You conduct a course on emceeing called ‘Master Your Ceremonies’. Share with us the highlights of your journey as an emcee and tell us which has been your most embarrassing emcee moment, and what you learnt from that experience.

I don’t get embarrassed. There have been challenges, such as the complete failure of all electrical systems. Thankfully, it was a small room.

When I was 21, I did my second emceeing gig and did not get paid – the cheque for $400 bounced. I always problem-solve so now I am very strict about taking payments before a show. Even big clients can default. For voice-overs, I also incentivise upfront payment by offering discounts.

[Grace: Joe is one of those rare few who completely strategise every move and think of all possible things that can go wrong and come up with contingencies for each. It’s pretty incredible.]

2) You have been in the radio industry for more than 2 decades. How did you get started and when did you realize you had the passion and/or talent for radio?
Since I was a kid in school (at VJC), I have been involved with funfairs and orientations. I just got on the mic and tried some stuff. In the big PA room high above, no one can see you and you can do something with your voice. Looking down, you can see everyone having a good time and responding to you. At funfairs, people thought Brian Richmond was doing all that when it was actually me, so that’s a good thing.
I have always pursued fun. I used to play with the band though I was not a band member, and hung out in the councillors room though I was not a councillor. In Secondary Two, I did just well enough to get into the best class and in JC, I skipped classes and did the minimum, attending only classes for the subjects I enjoyed.
Does this apply to my children? Only if they have a plan, and they know they are heading somewhere and not just avoiding something they don’t want.
3) Whether it is for public speaking or speaking on radio, the gentlemen are able to get away with most jokes while women have less “freedom”. How can female presenters or emcees be funny without being perceived as going overboard?
The bar is usually set lower for men in terms of self-respect. People expect less of a man’s moral standards while women are held in higher regard. For instance, we expect more of a priest than a ‘man on the street’. The women are held up like the ‘priests’.
4) Tell us something that we don’t know about Joe Augustin and his job as a radio producer-presenter.
I am very serious about comedy and good story-telling. This has made life difficult for the people around me. I am very particular about stories well-told and humor well-designed. I spend a lot of time on my craft. I learn story-telling from the world’s best, like Robert McKee. I also spend thousands of dollars on classes.
It is a tightrope that we walk, balancing things while trying to gain an audience. You will always have to take chances or you risk being boring. Get out of what everyone else is doing! So there’s this need to achieve balance between pushing the envelope and meeting the licensing requirements. One cannot say certain things or the complaints will come in. This is made worse by bosses who push tougher guidelines than necessary. Essentially, you are trying to be fearless but you are working under people who are scared.
5) You have been a radio presenter, emcee, actor, now trainer, so what’s next? [Grace: Joe had a restaurant – Flam’s – at Orchard Central, which did not quite take off because of the mall’s lack of ‘human traffic’]
I seek diversification in terms of employment. And I’m starting a new business called Spungry which could possibly unseat Groupon.
Now, about that course…
I attended the ‘Master Your Ceremonies’ course which is great for people who want to learn how to be emcees! If you want to learn tips not taught elsewhere, then you should attend Joe’s course. I loved the many practice sessions – one, it stops me from falling asleep, especially after lunch, and two, it helps me check if I have indeed understood what Joe has just taught. And constructive feedback from the other participants is really useful too! It is great that the class size is kept comfortably small. 🙂
And here’s how you can attend Joe’s class for free:
Step 1: Like and share my Facebook post here
Step 2: Like Art of Voice’s Facebook page:
Step 3: Comment on my Facebook post and tell me which class you prefer and why I should pick you as the winner!
**To score extra brownie points, vote for me to win at the Singapore Blog Awards! Hehe!
Good Luck!

Gold 90.5FM’s morning show host, Joe Augustin has spent 22 years as a broadcaster on Singapore’s Class 95FM, Power 98FM & Radio 91.3FM.

He has also been the Master of Ceremonies for literally hundreds of multi-national corporations. As one of Singapore’s best & most recognised emcees – few people have spent more time leading from the stage!

Joe’s skills in Voice, Presentation, Hosting and Public Speaking in general are highly sought after by multinationals and as well as government and statutory boards. With his analysis of Steve Job’s many presentations, his personal stage experience of more than 25 years and the story telling techniques Hollywood uses – Joe wants to help everyone make their next presentation INSANELY great!