This is my first off the cuff post without using an article to discuss. I have been thinking more and more about how both my career and entrepreneurship endeavors have benefited from the fact that I am comfortable with public speaking and communicating through various media - such as the written word, audio and video. A lot of my comfort has come from the fact that I have been a professor for over 12 years and practice definitely helps make close to perfect. Shooting the promotional video for my class up at Wagner College for the Office for Lifelong Learning on Monday made it clear that I was pretty comfortable communicating my enthusiasm and passion for this project - in fact, the person who made the video said that after hearing me she wanted to register for the class, too!
Today's job market is a tough one - there are many people who are qualified and looking for their next step. Something to set yourself apart is the ability to speak/present - I can say with authority that all of my work experience with Corporate America was as successful as it was due to the fact that I could present. When a company I was working at needed training done for senior management at a conference, I was the one asked to do it. When a project in Singapore was struggling, I was the one on the plane. And that meant exposure, that meant more opportunities and that meant great things for my resume and my planning for my next step.
So, why do I think media training is important? Of course, the most important first step is your resume - it must be as close to perfect as possible to get you to the next hurdle to pass - those of the interviews. Your interview might be done over the phone with just audio - how do you convey your enthusiasm, interest and capabilities using just your voice? Or your interview might be done using Skype where you and the interviewer(s) can see each other - how do you use the video medium to connect? The worst type of interview is one that I have only recently heard of and it seems to be a weeding technique - the one sided video interview. You are given a teleprompter via your computer and you are taped by your webcam with a certain amount of time for each question and then the videos are sent straight to the company interviewing you - you may or may not get additional takes. How can you be prepared for something like that? When the video is going for this type of interview, there is no preview screen so you do not know how you are coming across or if there is spinach in your teeth.
Media training is something I am considering offering training on to help prepare my clients for their next step. This would help you practice your phone interview skills as well as prepare you on how to present yourself on screen - it is different being on video than being in the room. You have to sit a certain way, you have to try to make eye contact seem possible (though it is very hard to do so because you cannot always clearly see who is speaking to you) you have to speak clearly and not too quickly and most importantly, you have to not fidget or do any of the things you might do when nervous like bite your nails or tap your foot.
What do you thing about media training? Is this something you think job seekers of today need? What about for those of you considering being an entrepreneur - do you think being comfortable over various communication mediums is important? I am including the link to the video I made this Monday - what do you think? Am I equipped to provide media training? Happy Hunting!
Lisa Vento Nielsen