Nervous in front of a microphone? Then let Gary allay your fears

Midlands-based broadcaster Gary Newbon – a veteran of more than 10,000 television programmes during a career spanning more than 50 years – is using his experience to launch a new business venture.

In establishing an enterprise specialising in TV training, public speaking training and voice coaching, Gary (pictured) will be passing on his secrets to business executives and professionals who dread the prospect of speaking – and even drying up – in front of live audiences. 

By using state-of-the-art television studios around the country, Gary, who has teamed up with voice coach Sylvia Cohen, will be able to take a select number of people for all-day training sessions. Sylvia is a renowned expert on body language, vocal techniques, accent and delivery.

During his impressive broadcasting career, Gary covered seven football World Cups, three Olympic Games, sparred verbally with Muhammad Ali and Brian Clough and dodged the hairdryer treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson. And he also enjoyed countless live TV encounters with giants of the sporting world, such as Pele and Chris Eubank.

“The biggest fear for many leading business executives or those with important public roles is speaking in public or to large groups of people,” said Gary. “Broadcasting holds similar apprehensions and fears – if not more so.”

“The image you portray as a representative of your organisation when you are speaking in public is crucial. It may be the only opportunity you have to deliver your message, “said Gary, who started his lifetime-in-television career working for Westward ITV in Plymouth.

He added: “In the worlds of TV and public speaking there have been howlers that have cost people their reputations, money and in some cases their jobs.

“Famous examples include Gerald Ratner’s ill judged attempt at humour with “our products are crap” comment which wiped fortunes off the jewellery company’s share value; football’s Ron Atkinson’s racist off-guarded remark in 2004 which still affects him today; the unfortunate sexist comments by football broadcasters Richard Keys and Andy Gray which cost them their jobs at Sky Sports and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling an elderly woman voter a “bigot,” unaware that a TV microphone was still attached to him!

“All this can be avoided if you are aware that you are never alone with a microphone.

“Another pitfall for interviewees is being doorstepped and caught unawares. I can help ease your fears in that area too,” said Gary, who can be contacted via email at


  • Gary will be guest speaker at a network breakfast meeting at Hotel du Vin, Birmingham, on Thursday, 6 July. The event is organised by 7LOCO ( a team of influencers, innovators and business leaders