Nothing is more awkward than being trapped in a bad interview. Whether you’re an applicant seeking employment, a teacher trying to determine if a student should receive a scholarship or –as in my case from time to time–a journalist trying to draw out some interesting, orginal tidbits from a tempermental celebrity. It has long been my pet peeve that so many of today’s stars are unprepared to shine!
In the glory days of the silver screen, celebrities were as trained in Public Relations duties as they were in elocution, dancing or stage fighting. While it’s nice to live in a more spontaneous age, it’s disheartening to encounter a star who can win Oscars and rule the box office, but can’t carry on a few minutes of stimulating chat. I believe that the best raconteurs enjoy far more than “15 minutes of fame” thanks to the fact that they are popular, sought-after conversationalists. (In my experience, some of the best include: Anthony Hopkins, Julie Andrews, Viggo Mortensen, Anna Faris, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Meryl Streep. The worst? I’m not sayin’!)
One of my many sidelines is Media Training for actors, athletes, authors and other professionals. Sooner or later, almost everyone lands on a TV talk show, news programme or some other arena of public speaking. It’s smart to be prepared! I’m going to be conducting intensive seminars next month in Manhattan and am looking forward to helping folks improve the way they present themselves. If you know anyone in the NYC area, by all means invite them to check out this opportunity:https://www.thenetworknyc.com/product/show/pid/2724 https://www.thenetworknyc.com/product/show/pid/2725
Of course not everyone has access to a Media Coach, but we can all hone our verbal communication simply by sitting down to a meal with friends and family. Turn off the TV, games and gadgets…eliminate those distractions and engage in face-to-face discourse. Remember, it’s important to LISTEN as well as TALK (you want repartee, not a monologue!)…and ASK QUESTIONS! Even if it’s your Grandma or the little old man next door: make their day and ask them to share some stories or observations. You’ll not only make their day by showing them some attention, you might learn something fascinating. Next thing you know, you’ll probably be bantering back and forth–finding a level of kinship you never expected.