CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – OCTOBER 20, 2021- (PT.1)
USE PUBLIC SPEAKING TO NAIL YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW
The “what” can be coached only so much, but the “how” is completely coachable. Here are some unique, real-world tips I’ve picked up over nearly two decades as a media industry executive, a national champion public speaker, a public speaking instructor, a collegiate speech and debate coach… and a failed Wheel of Fortune contestant. But don’t hold the Wheel thing against me — I just didn’t buy enough vowels.
Count on It. Practice your interviewee skills at home, but not with words. Practice by counting numbers instead. It’s what I call “surrogate content.” Counting instead of speaking allows you to forget about what you’re saying and focus on presentation skills like eye contact (give it), volume (modulate it), pacing (steady it), and breathing (do it). A steady, confident, and comfortable delivery will be remembered as much as great content, because …
You Are More Than Your Resume. Thanks to your clean resume and brilliant cover letter, your prospective boss already knows if you have the necessary skills and experience to handle the job, so approach your job interview as if it were a date, only cheaper and less fun. (Conversely, if a date seems like a job interview, run.) Your employer wants someone who will get her jokes — someone she can comfortably swap weekend stories and (inevitably) vent about idiot colleagues with. So just be yourself. Well…be your polite, friendly, decisive, genial, charming self. You can be your other self on your own time. Like any initial date, don’t talk poorly of past relationships and don’t set your hopes on a quick consummation. All you want is a second date.
Assume the Position. Steal a page from strong presidential candidates: talk as if you already have the job. Say “I will,” not “I would.” “I can,” not “I could.” This will remove doubt instead of inject it. Bosses like someone confident and proactive. I know I do, because it typically results in less work for me. Like a presidential candidate, you’ll lose points for flip-flopping and going negative, but there’s no short-term penalty for making promises you can’t keep.
Make It a Period Piece. Each of my public speaking classes starts with a “power period” exercise. Power periods are basically the punctuation with which you ideally want to end your sentences. The alternative is a wimpy question mark. Listen to yourself or someone else and judge if his or her sentences are ending in periods or question marks. Or say the following lines as punctuated:
“I want this job?
Because I have great ideas?
And will find ways to get our message and mission out to a wider audience?”