By Tom Profit Does it really matter how well you speak to someone? With the use of the abbreviated language of text messages and Twitter, conversating, and other modernizations of words in our world today, does anyone really care about the proper use of language?
To pursue a career in broadcasting, digital media, graphics, or, in fact, in any field, getting past the first interview is critical to getting started. When you meet that potential employer for the first time, how much do they really know about you? Youve provided some information about yourself on the resume, maybe even embellished it a little, and your cover letter says that you are motivated and you are eager to get started in your career of choice. Then you meet that employer for the first time, open your mouth, and start what may be the most important speech of your career. What are you going to say, and more importantly, how are you going to impress this person to hire you?
The content of that conversation is only a part of the process. How you present yourself verbally is a major part of the process, also. What kind of language skills are you going to demonstrate to the interviewer that will prove to them that you can communicate effectively? Based on your vocal presentation, can you prove to that employer that you can entertain an audience, impress a client, persuade a potential buyer, or, if necessary, you could write a script, proposal, or letter, that will represent them and their company in a way that will invite other companies to do business with them? Do your speech skills present yourself in a manner that is professional, efficient, easy-to-understand, and personable?
There is an exercise that is used in some Broadcast speech classes:
M R DUCKS
M R NOT DUCKS
O S M R
C D E D B D WINGS
L I B
O S M R DUCKS
In case you dont see it, the exercise can be read with what could be described as a Southern accent:
Em are ducks.
Em are not ducks.
Oh yes em are.
See dee eedee beedee wings. (See the itty bitty wings)
Well Ill be.
Oh yes em are ducks.
The point of the exercise is to point out that sometimes we speak in a manner that other people will not easily understand, and, if you had to write it down, it might even be more confusing. Speech habits of this type are the product of a person being themselves and doing was is natural to them, or being comfortable. It isnt necessarily about communication, especially when youre speaking with someone who doesnt know you and your speech habits. This then presents the question: Do you speak in a manner that is based on your comfort or in a manner that will present yourself in a manner that will ensure that the person youre talking to will understand you and that your speech will not adversely affect that persons image of you?
Keep in mind that the person conducting the interview is looking for reasons to hire you, and reasons to not hire you. Dont give that person a reason to not hire you because of how you speak. Open your mouth, enunciate, use correct pronunciations of words, dont try to impress them with language skills you may not have. How many times have you heard a person mispronounce a word, and what is your first reaction? In most cases, we laugh at the person and then make fun of them, maybe not out loud, but in our minds. That interviewer has the ability to do one more thing: not hire you.
Using poor enunciation, mispronunciations, inability to express yourself verbally, poor language skills- these are all reasons that a potential employer may use to not hire you. Broadcast, digital media, graphics these are all communication fields, and you need to show this potential employer that you can communicate well with others. You will have bosses, co-workers, clients, or an audience that you will need to communicate with everyday.
The first thing to remember is that the interview is your time to impress the interviewer with your skills, all of them, but at that moment in time, the first thing you need to impress them with is your ability to communicate well verbally. Take the time to make yourself aware of your speech habits. Ask other people, who are not your friends, preferably teachers or people from the industry in which youre interested, to give you an impartial opinion of your speech skills. Take their advice seriously, and then work to improve your skills to be able to impress that interviewer and get that job that you want.