Who is Joel Manning?
I am really just an everyday lad who enjoys soca, sports, a good laugh and is passionate about challenging myself and challenging others.
Tell us a bit about what you do.
By profession, I am a self-employed Speaker and Host. I don't categorize myself as any one type of speaker or host: For example, motivational speaker or sports host because I enjoy all forms of it and look forward to speaking in almost any capacity. With that in mind, I have spoken at numerous schools and organisations in a motivational capacity, various forums and panel discussions in a public speaking capacity and hosted/mc-ed occasions which include pageants, graduations and sports events.
In addition I also do freelance PR and marketing, primarily in the form of radio segments which I thoroughly enjoy especially during Crop Over time and I do voice-overs and ads.
I have been privileged thus far to use my talents in Barbados and a few other Caribbean countries and hopefully one day at the international level.
What have you been up to recently?
Recently I guess I have been chasing my dreams somewhat. I am currently pursuing my MA in sports journalism at the University of Sunderland. Outside of that I am really just taking it day by day trying not to let my thoughts for the future overwhelm me.
What led you to pursue a Masters in Sports Journalism?
Yes it is known that I have a Bsc in Management and an Msc in Financial Management but these courses were never ever my passion. They both just happened when they did. So in pursuing the MA in Sports Journalism now, it's not a career shift but just actually the first time I am studying in a field that I love.
In terms of jobs I've done, I started out at a very young age working as a checkout at a local supermarket. I then over the course of a couple of years worked in almost every department of that supermarket. In 2014 I started journalism doing freelance work and in 2015 got my first opportunity in front of the camera. Ever since that day, (May 1st, 2015) I have just taken every opportunity to further myself as a speaker and host. This Masters serves as one of those opportunities.
How do you manage to overcome fear and doubt while hosting and presenting?
For me, there is no fear or doubt once I get on stage. I love and live in the moment without thinking about possibly messing up. My fear or doubts come in the preparation phase before getting on stage. Reason being every time I am preparing, my goal is to ensure that I am better than the last time. But if the last time I got off stage I told myself that was my best, I simply don't know how I will top it and that adds the pressure. Beyond that, I am driven by 'you are only as good as your last performance' because that is how people will remember you.
How do I manage to overcome the fear and doubt before hitting the stage? I just keep preparing over and over and over again like if I am on stage every single time. I don't stop when I am tired, I stop when I feel in my heart that I have given my best. Then if anyone has seen me right before I go on stage I have a bit of a routine. I tap my heart, kiss my hand and then point above my head. That is my way of reminding myself that, what I am about to do flows from my heart to my mouth but everything is given to me by God above and then I walk on to the stage.
Any advice for someone who is interested in pursuing a similar career path?
My advice would be, you better be passionate about it if not you will drop out in the early stages. People see hosting and presenting and being in front of the camera as a glamorous job and are fooled by the optics of it all. There are so many struggles that are a part of it especially in creating a brand for yourself in an area which technically everyone can do which is talk.
Providing you have the passion for it though, go hard and don't be afraid to put who you genuinely are out there because people will want to know what is different about you and why should they hire you. Who you are, your personality, your style and delivery will quite often be that difference.
Your popularity has increased even more, given the skits that you’ve been creating and sharing across social media. What sparked the idea?
To be very honest I have no idea what truly sparked it lol. It was suggested that I join Tiktok but I'm not a dancer and I had little interest in copying what was being done so I told everyone I wasn't going to start. Then one morning randomly at 1 am an idea hit me to create a video of the songs that play before the evening news, and that became my first one which was well received. From there I did a recreation of John King's song "How Many More", but decided after that, if I was going to continue doing videos they would be videos of me talking so that I could highlight what I do for a living.
How have you been coping during this period of the COVID-19 lockdown?
I reckon I've been doing okay. I have little motivation to do any school work that's for sure, but outside of that it's not been too bad. Exercising, television and games have been keeping my company well!! In terms of the employment opportunities situation, I have been trying not to think too much about it until we start to come out of the lockdown period.
What’s next for Joel?
To be honest I really do not know. For me right now it's just to complete my current masters and be on the lookout for a