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Donna Traynor is guest speaker
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Donna Traynor’s presentation

Donna gave a presentation about Donna, the person and Donna the perception.  She joined the BBC in 1989 and considers her job to be that of telling a story as a credible messenger with confidence.  She has been a journalist for 30 years but when she started she had no self esteem. 

She comes from a family of three sisters and had a very happy home.  She was a soloist and basket ball captain and was very fond of her grandmother, Alice, who trained as a nurse in Sheffield 100 years ago.  She (Alice) stepped out of her comfort zone, had 6 children and had the task of laying out the dead.

Donna was born in Lisburn and moved to Dublin during the troubles.  Her father was an Irish dancing Champion and he moved to Dublin in 1972 and the family moved a year later.  

Donna has been very grateful to women in broadcasting, for example Phidelma Harkin a producer.  In order to gain confidence she used to say “I can do this – Yes I can” every morning going into the studio.  Other women who have worked very hard for success include Anita McVeigh who started on traffic and travel and Orla Guerin who has reported from war zones all over the world.  They worked very hard for success.  She has unsociable hours and a very supportive husband.  Donna admitted to getting very nervous, for example at the recent Easter Rising Commemoration.   She has presented the G8 Summit and the Ceasefires which have been a privilege and the Tall ships and Balmoral Show which have been uplifting.

Listening to women and the victims of domestic abuse never leaves her.  They have described things very vividly and she always remembers.  Her tips:  never leave the radio microphone on when going to the loo and check the names of the guests.

After 51 years she is glad to get there and is comfortable in her own skin.  She advocates:

o   Be yourself

o   Push yourself and

o   Continue to learn.

 She writes most of what she reads.  She always has a script and does not depend on the autocue.  She can change the next link on her laptop and pedals the autocue but makes sure it is professionally done – especially material that has been  ‘lawyered’.   She views a sad report before hand – to get over it so she is not emotional on screen.  The same goes for funny stuff. When she performs – she is performing in the News Room.  She does not get depressed and let down.  She is a ‘glass half full’ person. 

Asked about her wardrobe she confirmed that she does not have a wardrobe diary or a wardrobe allowance.  She has a black suit and a navy suit and changes her tops.  She admitted that Granny Traynor used to criticise her colour schemes. 

 She presented the Queen’s visit to Dublin and Cork and loved being in Children in Need particularly delivering cheques to charities. For those young people wishing to get a foothold in broadcasting she advises that they become multi-skilled and go getters.  They need to be able to spell and have good grammar for the BBC and be able to produce their own videos as exemplars. 



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