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10 minutes with Trishauna Archer

Radio and TV presenter Trishauna Archer on how Further Education and Training paved the way to her dream career in broadcasting

How did you get started?

I got my start by applying for temporary radio work while studying media in Ballyfermot College. I had heard through word of mouth that Real Radio’would be starting and they were looking for volunteers. I met with Niall Boylan who outlined his vision for the station, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I volunteered to do whatever I could to learn the ropes and landed a call back.

I was called in to read the news and I jumped at the opportunity. After securing the news gig I was asked to join the Sunday morning breakfast team. I went from having never worked a day in a radio station to working three days a week as well as Sunday mornings. From there I was well and truly bitten by the presenting bug. I was on a mission to get as much experience as I could and thankfully, Live Ireland, OpenFM and 4FM all gave me a shot.

What route did you take after school and how did it help get you to where you are now?


After school I knew what I wanted to do, but I also didn’t quite know how I would achieve it. I studied for a year in Waterford studying Journalism and Photography before moving to Ballyfermot College where I studied General Media.

This route opened my range and allowed me to grow my confidence in each area at my own pace. The course was very practical with small classes and strong industry links. Also, being around likeminded people that had the same goals and aspirations meant I was constantly in a stimulating environment.

Before finishing college, I was co-producer on the The Niall Boylan Show. After studying for three years I graduated, only to realise jobs were scarce, the recession hit hard. I had to move home and I was uncertain what I would do next.

I successfully applied for an internship in Beat 102-103 through Niall Power. Once that was over, I applied for a spot as breakfast presenter and so began my radio career in the South East.

Would you recommend taking the Further Education and Training (FET) route and if so why?

Further Education offered me the opportunity to work in many different areas of media. I was able to work with tutors who cared and showed an interest in helping me succeed. The classes were small which provided each student with the optimal learning experience.

My creativity and interests were nurtured allowing me to grow and develop at a pace that worked for me. I was ambitious and a natural talker but what I needed were the tools to really channel my abilities and guidance in the right direction, which the course offered.

How did your FET course help prepare you for your hosting career?

The FET course prepared me by giving me the practical tools to work in the media industry. It’s important to be able to use equipment in real time, knowing the functions of in-studio workings, learning how to conduct successful interviews, preparing a show and getting hands on experience made me comfortable behind a mic and camera as well as being in front.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is being able to connect with an audience on a human level. Getting real time feedback and interaction is brilliant for any broadcaster and it’s the part I love the most. Knowing that I am engaging with and entertaining an audience is truly the best feeling.

There are many other aspects of broadcasting that have given me immense joy over the years – you get to meet some weird, wonderful and interesting people!

I have encountered so many amazing personalities and have attended so many incredible events that you realise that it’s not always about the bigger aspects but more the smaller, more meaningful things like being able to have a conversation with someone new.

What is a career defining moment that you are really proud of?

A career highlight for me was presenting the Today Show with Dáithí O’Sé. Being a contributor on the show for a few years was already a huge enough career milestone but being entrusted to co-host alongside one of Ireland’s biggest and best known presenters really brought it all home.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I’m working on new TV show, Sanctuary. Over the past year I presented the late-night show Room 104 on FM104 having been on breakfast radio for many years. Shifting from earlies to lates was a huge change, yet it taught me a lot!

I’m currently planning my wedding. It’s been a year in the making and I’m so excited to have all my friends and family in the one place to celebrate.

I’m also super excited about a solo project I’m working on, which will launch in the new year.

What would you say are the key skills and capabilities necessary to be good at what you do?

You can learn anything if you’re dedicated enough. Here are some of what I consider to be key skills to being a good presenter.

It all starts with focus. A good presenter is focused on providing value to the audience and addressing the audience from their perspective. You shouldn’t just highlight your expertise or knowledge; offer examples or anecdotes to connect with the audience. Delivery skills are crucial in any form of communication, especially when talking to different groups. It’s important to use your voice in different ways and be engaging with your audience. Very few people are naturally gifted and even if you are training is still required – intonation, pitch and vocal control all comes into play so don’t be afraid to take elocution lessons and some voice coaching if you like. Your audience doesn’t want to be lectured, so it’s imperative that you speak to them, not at them. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability and be sincere and open. People can usually tell if you’re being contrived. And finally practice, practice, practice. That is really the only way.

What advice would you have for people trying to decide what they want to do after school?

Don’t let societal pressures make you overthink or freeze up when trying to figure things out. I would say go for what you are passionate about. Find what it is you love and enjoy and make it work for you.

Something that helped me was the knowledge that nothing is set in stone. If I ended up hating the direction I was going in, I could move in a new direction.

We’re all flying by the seat of our pants, nobody has it figured out! You can change your mind so take the pressure off yourself and try to focus on what it is that brings you real joy. Try lots of different things to really get to the bottom of what it is you want to do.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?

Never turn down an opportunity. Life has a funny way of sending us twists and turns. The best thing you can do is be ready for whatever it throws at you and the only way you can do that is by leaning into whatever it is that comes your way. You never ever know when that small opportunity can turn into a life changing one.

What’s the best career lesson you have learned so far?

The best career lesson I have learned so far is that I might not be the best or the most talented in the room but the fact I am in that room is what matters.

I used to suffer from imposter syndrome and, if I’m honest, I still do sometimes, but how I navigate those situations is realising the humanity in everyone and reminding myself that I deserve to be there.

What would you say to someone looking into working as a TV or radio presenter?

Be sure it’s what you really want to do because it can be challenging. One of the hardest things I have had to deal with is the lack of representation and just how competitive it can be. This still very much exists. You’ll also need thick skin to be able to deal with potential public criticism and scrutiny.

The one question I get asked all the time is: ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ to which I reply, ‘Fake it ‘til you make it!’ This sounds a bit disingenuous, but it’s the truth. Starting out, you really do need to put the best side out even if you’re unsure of yourself.

The reality is that true confidence only comes with time, patience, and practice. There is no substitute for hard work!