media interviews

A Fun and Different Interview – The Cafinnated Q&A

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It looks like I m in for quite a year of interviews, if the month of January is anything to go by.

My most recent interview was a little different from anything I’ve done before. And it was lots of fun!

Abigail Klopper, from the Cafinnate Academy, who works in the fields of brand management and confidence, has a dynamic Facebook group where she runs a weekly Q&A session with a guest.

Rather than basing her interview questions around the expertise and experience of the guest, the questions are drawn by random and focus on aspects like branding, creativity, content creation and confidence. And it was my turn to be in the hot seat late in January.

That s not entirely fair – while Abigail s questions were often thought-provoking and made me reflect on some of my own processes, I never felt in any way stressed. There was plenty of laughter at some of the questions and my answers.

But, rather than me telling you all about the questions that got me thinking and those that got us
laughing, why not give the interview a listen and see for yourself’

Here’s where you can watch the interview: https://cafinnate.com/cafinnated-qa-lois-strachan/

You can also join Abigail s community of dynamic women on Facebook and YouTube:

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cafinnate
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5jv38ZjkCT8EvLka1Wp3Jw

Some International TV and Podcast Exposure

the image shows Lois speaking into a microphone

One of the best ways an author can introduce their books to new audiences is to talk on podcasts and media stations. I’ve had the opportunity to do so twice in the past few weeks.

The first interview was with one of my favourite podcasts, Blind Abilities. It was my third time being featured on the podcast – the first being back in 2017, and the second being a few months ago. This time the interview focused on the release of my book and a little of my background.

Jeff Thompson, from Blind Abilities, is a skillful interviewer and I have learned a lot about conducting interviews from listening to him. Which, in turn, makes me a better podcast interviewer… At least, I hope so!

You can listen to the interview at https://blindabilities.com/?p=6317

The second interview I did was with Accessible Media Inc – AMI for short – who are a cable station based in Canada. This one was a little more nerve-wracking as it was both a TV and radio interview. The team at AMI were fantastic in guiding me through what would be expected of me, even running a test call to check everything would work properly with the video and audio transmissions.

I am immensely grateful I’ve had the opportunity to become comfortable with platforms like Zoom and Skype in the last 3 years, so I was comfortable with the technology being used. It was just the concept of appearing on TV that made me anxious.

You can hear the podcast from the NOW with Dave Brown Show here.

I hope you enjoy listening to the interviews –they gave me the chance to answer questions about the book that don’t often come up when I talk about it.

Falling Back into the Habit

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I know, I know, it’s been ages since I published an article. It’s certainly not for lack of anything to write about. After all, I recently got back from an amazing trip to Germany and Poland about which I have lots to share. I also need to gather my courage and write a final post honouring my retired guide dog, Eccles, who passed away after a short illness. Then I want to tell you about some of the exciting blind travel work I’m starting on, and a media interview I did recently.

So yes, I have plenty to share with you.

But somehow I’ve just fallen out of the habit of settling down to write…

Today I took the decision that it was time to fall back into that habit. so here’s just a short note to let you know that I’m back – back home, back writing, and back willing and eager to share more of my experiences living my ordinary life without sight.

I was startled to see that Fiji also neglected to write an article while I was away – clearly she was just having too much fun on her holiday from guide dogging. Maybe I’ll wake her up just now and ask her if she actually plans on writing a post this month. But you know what they say about letting sleeping dogs lie?

All I’m saying is watch this space…

From in the Air to On Air

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Okay, so technically I’m still on leave. In fact, I’m probably jetting into Cape Town International Airport right about now. But I wanted to let you know about an exciting event that’ll be happening next week.

I’ve been invited to share some of my experiences of travelling the world without sight on the Travel Show on Hashtag Radio with Marlize Stander and Patrycja Oosthuizen.

The show will take place on Thursday, 28 June from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM and I’ll be explaining how I’m able to build a picture of places I visit using my remaining senses, and sharing some of my stories of the extraordinary places I’ve been and experiences I’ve been privileged to have.

If you want to find out more about the show, here’s the link: http://hashtagradio.co.za/members/marlize/

And if you want to tune in and listen, you can stream the show from here: www.hashtagradio.co.za

This won’t be my first time at Hashtag Radio – a few months ago I was interviewed by Cindy Pivacic about my book, A Different Way of Seeing, which is when the photo was taken.

And, just like last time, Fiji will be joining us in studio and maybe she’ll get to participate in the conversation… you just never know!

Xtraordinary Woman of the Month Award – March 2017

I’m thrilled to announce that I have been recognised with the Xtraordinary Women ‘Woman of the Month’ award for March 2017.

The nomination was in recognition of the work I’m doing de-mystifying the abilities of those living a productive life without sight.

You can read more about the award here.

I love the aims of this great organisation – here’s a little about them, taken from their website:

Xtraordinary Women is a platform that Leads, Inspires, Supports and Recognises Entrepreneurs in South Africa. It takes a community to build a business, and Xtraordinary Women is that community.
Our Purpose:
To encourage and support Ordinary Women to do Extraordinary Things.
Our Vision:
To support the South African economy by building a community of successful women in business and to showcase what South Africa has to offer.

Find Xtraordinary Women here:
Website: http://www.xtraordinarywomen.co.za/
Twitter: @XordinaryWomen

Yay! International Media Exposure!

IMG 20160611 WA0001Whoever would have thought that they would get international media for simply doing what they love? Well, maybe some people might, but I certainly wouldn’t number myself amongst them! And yet, that is what happened…

And what wonderful exposure it was – an article about me in the toastmasters International magazine, that goes to 325000 Toastmasters in 135 countries around the globe.

This story starts many months ago. Back in January I was asked if I could be interviewed for the Southern African toastmasters website. I was honoured and excited to be asked –especially since the article was being written by Zoya Mabuto, the southern African speech champion for 2015/16

I had the opportunity of meeting Zoya just before she was announced as the Southern African champion and was immediately struck by her energy and passion.

Through the article I enjoyed getting to know Zoya a little better. She is passionate about our beautiful country and our diversity of people, and her message is often one of hope, which strongly resonates with me. I guess it’s no wonder that our half hour Skype interview lasted far longer than we had anticipated– we had sooo much to talk about! The article Zoya crafted captured exactly what I would have wished.

Both Zoya and I were excited when one of the Southern African PR Editorial Team suggested submitting the article to the toastmasters International magazine – and it was accepted. The article was published in the June 2016 issue of the Toastmasters magazine.

Here’s a link to the article. Member Achievements.pdf

And a link to Zoya’s “Zoya Speaks” Facebook page

Cape Pulpit Interview

Cds 2015 08 20 22 59 54My second Casual Day interview was with Radio Cape Pulpit 729 AM today.. Only this time it was a pre-recorded interview and, right now, I’m not sure when it is going to be aired, though definitely before Casual Day on 4 September.

This time I was not alone, as my amazing fellow Cape Town Casual Day Ambassador, Simone Botha, who is a hearing impaired professional ballerina, was also interviewed.
Here’s something you may not know: a person who is hearing impaired and uses a cochlea implant to assist them in hearing, generally will do an in-studio interview as a telephone interview poses challenges.

The previous interview I did focussed on Casual Day, the positive change that the Casual Day event has on changing lives of persons living with a disability, and on where people could get their Casual Day stickers. This time, it felt to me like the focus was on me- and what it was like living without sight… and that made me a whole lot more nervous – I’m not sure if that was a hangover from my previous reticence to tell my own story, or whether I was merely startled as I had assumed the focus would be on Casual Day, but that’s how I felt!

Still, I found myself enjoying the experience of this interview, and especially of sharing the experience with Simone – though we were interviewed separately, Simone sat in on my interview and we took advantage of the opportunity to get some photos.

I’m loving the time I’m spending as a Casual Day Goodwill Ambassador, and doing my small bit to make a difference!

CCFM, Here I Come!

We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried – the day I was featured in the People’s Post newspaper, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, was also the day I was scheduled to do my first Casual Day media interview, on Radio CCFM 107.5, in Muizenberg.

Thanks to Andrea Vinassa, our PR Champ at the Casual Day office, I was well briefed on what types of questions I might be asked, and she gave me all the salient facts that I would need to sound like a great ambassador during the interview.

Fortunately I had the chance to chat to the interviewer for a few minutes before we went on air so I had a good idea of what to expect… although, knowing what to expect and being efficiently prepped only helps with part of the nerves!

But, as I always say, it is those nerves that keep me focussing on what I’m doing and saying… it’s only when I’m not nervous that I mess up!

In general, I felt the interview went well – thanks in no small part to the preparation given to me by Andrea, and to the experience of unprepared speaking that I have gained as a member of Toastmasters International –I am living proof of the fact that Toastmasters works!

If you’d like to listen to the interview, you can do so below.

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