How to get over mic fright

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by KJ7PMY, Aug 23, 2020.

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  1. KA9WRZ

    KA9WRZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A similar question came up on another forum just yesterday. Here is my response to that post with a few additions:

    Make a list of things to discuss, such as your equipment, mention you just got licensed, what part of the hobby interested you enough to pursue getting your ticket. When the other party asks you questions, don't give 1 word answers ("Do you like the hobby so far?" "yes" ) It's a dialogue. ("Do you like the hobby so far?" "Yes, I really do. I'm still nervous about getting on the air, afraid I'll make a mistake. Did you have that happen to you when you were first licensed?" ) Be interesting. Show interest in the other person. Ask them questions about when they were first licensed (first radio? First contact? First home brew antenna? etc...) Stand out so that the next time you put out a call someone will say, "Oh, I talked to this new gal a few days ago, had a great conversation with her. "
    N1BCG likes this.
  2. W7EDC

    W7EDC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I sure was nervous too! What really helped me was I would find nets on the local repeaters, like a radio swap meet or even a Traffic and Training net. More often than not you just need to check in with your call sign, maybe your name and location. No worry about having to hold a conversation, just listening to others and getting use to saying a few words as a great start.

    And congrats on getting your license!
    K2MOB likes this.
  3. KN4LGM

    KN4LGM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am 13 and have 5 siblings (only two are still at home), any day I get to talk is a good day!:D
    K0UO likes this.
  4. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think it's great that you reached out and asked. Here is my advise. Do the same thing, but use the mic! Let people know you're new and learning the ropes. While not all will be willing to help you, there are many hams out there that will help you on your way and you will likely make a few friends in the process.

    It's those friends you make that you will end up ragchewing with in the future.
    K0UO likes this.
  5. KN4NSZ

    KN4NSZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah between me and my brothers it’s hard to find a mic that’s not in use!
    K0UO likes this.
  6. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My grandson wouldn't hardly talk to anybody when he was 12 and 13 then he got his amateur license.
    By getting on local repeaters he become very outgoing. He is 17 now and even does public speaking.
    First thing he did/ he told everybody that he was a new amateur and I think that helped a lot. My 12 year old granddaughter along with 3 of her friends are working on their license now for a school project.

    The same thing will happen to you and it will help you all through your life.
    Best of luck and have Fun it gets easier after each contact
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  7. KF5KWO

    KF5KWO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Lila,

    I liken getting on the radio to going to a "meet and greet" function. You might be a little young to know what that is -- it's when a group of adults, either at work or a club or something like that -- get together to meet and welcome new people, or meet a group of people who will be working with them on a project, get to know each other, etc. Or when you go to a work conference out of town and a "social" or "meet and greet" is on the agenda. Just a time to meet like-minded people and exchange names, the stuff you are working on, enjoy some light refreshments, etc. It's really helpful when you're working online with another office that's not in the same town. It's breaking the ice so that you build some good cheer and comradery. If you think about it that way, and keep conversation easy and light, it might make it a little easier to get on the air and break the ice. Nothing serious, just...chit chat.

    So, lemme think back to my high school days and see if I can come up with something similar. Maybe you're in one of the clubs or teams and you go to a competition and you get a chance to meet the other schools' students, so you hang and talk and have some food, etc, while waiting for your turn or for things to start, or whatever. I've picked up and dropped of my son at plenty of singing competitions and tests where they're all sitting in the school cafeteria waiting to be called, so they're all chatting together, with the students from the other schools. It's something like that, but on the air. You could just check-in and say that you're new and just want to hang back and listen and get the feel for it. You could try just announcing on a repeater that you're a new ham and just standing by for a call, which would grab people's attention more than just announcing you're there. Is there a ham radio club at your school? If not at your school, what about at a school in your area? They might have a regular net that you can join with other hams closer to your age, know what I mean? See if you can drop into one of their meetings, maybe.

    As far as "I cannot bring myself to say anything...," one thing to consider is to just write down a few things to talk about BEFORE you get on the air, and see where the conversation takes it. That way you're prepared and don't freeze up. Maybe just talk about the stuff you're doing in radio -- your antenna and radio, maybe your next goal (better antenna, a contest), etc. Just start simple, in order to get used to talking on the air, and you'll get better and better. After I complete something radio-related here at home, I'll want to jump on the air and brag a little and hear what other people are doing that is similar.

    About not wanting to make a mistake: everyone does feels that way, it's totally normal. Everyone starts and "zero" and builds up their skills from there. But all hams have made mistakes, even the most seasoned hams. Like me when I assumed that the hose clamps I bought to make my first tape-measure Yagi for working the FM satellites would be big enough. Guess who has two thumbs and had to go back to Lowe's with the proper measurements to buy the correct size? This guy! :)

    I wish you luck, and please keep us posted about how it's going.

    73 de Jeff, KF5KWO
    just up the road near San Antonio
  8. DO1JML

    DO1JML Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am not that young (in my 50s) and I have a bit of the same problem, so I don't think it is linked to your age or gender.

    As a new licensee, I was firstly interested in finding a local club. Because of the covid lockdown, I thought that making contacts on the local repeaters would be the way to go. It did not quite work as planned.
    K2MOB likes this.
  9. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    It isn't like speaking before a school assembly in a large auditorium. Its much more relaxed. I was scared to death of public speaking when I was 14, but I wanted to enjoy ham radio so much that I chose to press the transmit button. To lessen the number of people listening, you might get on the air early morning before school, or at least at a time many adults are at work. The hams who hear you are human too, and they all had a first time! Introduce yourself as a newbie (newcomer) right away, and you'll likely receive good support. A written script you can quickly read, like using a cue card, should help avoid forgetting the on-air protocols.

    Dwell on the fun, not making a mistake. Getting Lila on the air is low risk. Welcome to ham radio.
  10. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    A late thought or two: If you are close-in to downtown Dallas, you probably have opportunities to use simplex (direct, on one frequency). When I was starting out, simplex felt less intimidating, because the audience is smaller. You had a good reason for making the effort to obtain a license. So, focus on that reason and absolutely nothing is stopping you from the fun you expected.

    Listen to several repeaters if you can over several days. Note some callsigns and names of people who seem interesting, then make contact with one of them by throwing your call in at an appropriate time. You can do this!

    I particularly like the advice others gave about looking for YLs in your area.

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