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Speaking About Media Arts Jobs

Posted on Fri, Mar 29, 2013

    


WhatuSay, SpecsHoward  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 broadcastingdigital media, graphics, or, in fact, in any field, getting past the first interview is critical to getting started.  When you meet that potential employerM R Ducks, Specs Howard for the first time, how much do they really know about you?  You’ve 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 don’t 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 I’ll 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 Those are ducks, Specs Howarddoing was is natural to them, or being “comfortable”.  It isn’t necessarily about communication, especially when you’re speaking with someone who doesn’t 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 you’re talking to will understand you and that your speech will not adversely affect that person’s 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.  Don’t give that person a reason to not hire you because of how you speak.  Open your mouth, enunciate, use correct pronunciations of words, don’t 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 you’re 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.  

Or, as Larry the Cable Guy says, “Git-R-Done”.

 

 

Tom Profit is Director of Technical Operations and Grammar Guru for Specs Howard School Of Media Arts. Although Tom Profiteach day is quite unpredictable here at Specs, one thing remains the same, each day is filled with humor. Whether he is proofing copy prior to its release, correcting students and staff in need of a grammar or pronunciation check, or heading up the Operations Department of the school, Tom brings his sarcastic sense of humor with him everywhere. One can just imagine him on the microphone at any one of the numerous radio stations he worked at before his career as a "techie" began.  Tom has been with the school for over 25 years and has overseen three major expansions and everything in between.  A master at understatement, Tom's patient nature and ability to fix a problem is what keeps Specs moving -- quite literally. 


Topics: Career Service, digital media industry, Specs Howard, graphic design industry, Broadcast Media Arts

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