Meet the Speaker: Introducing Richard Murrell, Lead Director of BBC News
I can still remember the icy internal fear of “Imposter syndrome” as I stepped forward to the welcoming applause from students at St John Payne School in Chelmsford. My first talk took place in October 2014, and from that day to now, I have been on a voyage of discovery and joy.
The very essence of Speakers for Schools in built upon giving something back. Each and every member of the Speaker “Family” has a story to tell – of wonder, of application and dedication – a truth that captivates our audience of eager young minds.
My story centres around a career spanning more than forty years at the BBC. It’s a fascinating exercise to observe how society has changed in all that time. In 1981, virtually everyone on the street would shy away from a microphone or a portable camera. Now everyone is a potential media superstar thanks to the devices held in their bag or pocket.
It’s actually quite an easy task to pull back the curtain of broadcasting – showing the work of directors, producers and presenters via video clips. Interestingly, the second half of my talk has evolved to a mix of class participation, a look at safety considerations when making content, and how to deal with bullying in the workplace.
There is joy in seeing engaged young faces as the hour progresses. The constant message, no matter what the school or societal expectation, of the need for personal confidence, ambition and determination – of daring to dream. It’s an honour and privilege to be invited to spend an hour in the company of these adults of the future.
Membership of the Speakers for Schools family gives unique insight into the possible. It’s an aspect of empowering the minds of the future, and that is a wonderful feeling. There again, I have to admit I have utter admiration for the teaching staff, for their day-to-day job is much harder than mine.
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