The official blog of Nancy Marshall Communications
offering tips, techniques, and thoughts from Maine's PR Maven, Nancy Marshall

 

PLEASE NOTE: This blog has been discontinued.
Please visit www.prmaven.com for new material from The PR Maven®.

 

Subscribe VIA Email

RSS Feed
Powered by Google Feedburner

Archives

audition

“Hello Charlie” – 6 Tips for Public Speaking

Charlie’s Angels
Image courtesy of www.tv.yahoo.com

Years ago, when I was a recent performing arts graduate, I took part in a nationwide audition for the remake of Charlie’s Angels. Armed with the bravado and naiveté of youth, I made it to the callbacks, which consisted of an interview and screen test. The audition was also covered by a local reporter.

Facing the three-judge panel, I was able to make it through the basic questions of name, age, and height. And then I was blindsided by, “So why do you want to audition for Charlie’s Angels?” Looking back, this does seem like a pretty obvious question, but in the stress of the moment the wheels came off my interview as my eyes widened and a shocked snort of laughter escaped my lips. In the seconds it took for the panel to put a line through my name, my mind raced through several possible answers – all of which were quickly discounted. I then realized my fatal mistake – I wasn’t prepared.

#1 Prepare for questions

I spent all of my time learning the monologue and never considered the possibility of questions – even the obvious ones. I should have made a list of questions or asked a friend to interview me or a least considered that I may have to say something that wasn’t a part of the monologue.

As I gave myself an imaginary forehead slap, my inner dialogue went into hyper-drive. “You idiot, stop fumbling, just say something. NO, not that – say something intelligent!”

Leading to my next lesson in public speaking.

#2 Never give in to negative self-talk

Judging yourself while trying to present is not only distracting, it’s a sure way to ruin any conversation, interview or speech. Negativity causes your body and your mind to tighten, leading to an inability to speak or think clearly, and excessive displays of nervous habits.

When I’m nervous, I stutter and say “uh” a lot. My hands often take on a life of their own and tend to gesture wildly as if to leave my body or flag down a taxi. All of these habits are distracting and take away from any message I’m trying to deliver. Nervous habits are many times so unconscious that you may not even be aware of them. I wasn’t, that is until a director pointed them out, making this tip #3.

Jim Egerton and Juli Settlemire in ACAT’s Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane.

#3 Practice in front of people

You’re going to be presenting in front of people anyway, so gather a few friends together and review your presentation. It helps hone your message, and develop a comfort level with your material and being in front of people.

In the case of my audition, I had the three-judge panel to my right and a large camera with a blinking red light to my left. As the judges nodded for me to present my monologue I wasn’t exactly sure if I should be looking at them or the increasingly hypnotic lens of the camera. In the end, the camera won out and as I stared helplessly into its vortex of distraction, tatters of my monologue hiccuped their way out of my mouth. Leading to my #4, #5, and #6 tips.

#4 Film yourself

I recommend filming and reviewing your presentation. There’s something about having a record of your speech that adds an extra element of importance, stress and distraction, making it a great warm up for the actual presentation.

#5 Research and visit the venue whenever possible

Seeing the venue helps you to visualize where you and your audience will be. It gives you a context for your preparation and helps with the rehearsal process. Now, whenever I have a speech, I set up my kitchen in a mock-up of the room and practice.

#6 Don’t assume – prepare

I have a B.A. in performing arts, I’ve taken post-graduate improvisation classes, I’m used to being in front of people in very stressful situations. I assumed that I could handle whatever this audition threw at me – I was WRONG.

NMC Business Manager, Juli Settlemire

Now I work at Nancy Marshall Communications and can fully appreciate the importance of messaging and media training. If my epic audition failure taught me anything, it’s that drive and talent only get you so far – you need to properly prepare for opportunities. Keep polishing and adapting your speech for each audience and each situation. And never hesitate to call in expert advice. You’ll find a new confidence in presenting yourself and your ideas in professional and social situations.

As for Charlie’s Angels, you’ve probably guessed, I didn’t make it past callbacks. However, I was featured on the nightly news; apparently the reporter really liked my shocked guffaw.

Contributed by Juli Settlemire, NMC Business Manager

Bases Loaded and Going for the Grand Slam

Maine Maven, Jessica Chahanovich

The Love Gun is just one of the many aliases of this week’s Monday Maine Maven, Jessica Chahanovich. Categorizing just what she does is hard to do because…well, she does just about everything. Chahanovich is the social media guru behind the upcoming dating app, FriendFlirt; works for Fenway Park (possible new public address announcer); writes for the Yawkey Way Report; works as a nanny; co-hosts a radio show; and writes for multiple blogs on dating advice and baseball.

How does she juggle it all? Jessica credits her grandmother saying, “She has Alzheimer’s, and she told me to make sure that I do everything I want to do while I still have the ability to enjoy it all. I took her advice literally and it inspires me each day to keep trying as many fun and new things as possible.”

Chahanovich has many interests, but her major passion is the major leagues. Her love of the Red Sox is prominent on her Twitter page, where she often receives and shares exclusive news and sneak peeks with her followers. Jessica broke every teenage girl’s heart when Justin Bieber recently started following her posts. Her response, “I think it’s pretty hilarious—the kid must really like baseball. I have no idea how he would have stumbled upon me otherwise, unless he’s looking for a new online dating site!”

Jessica’s alter ego, The Love Gun.

One of Jessica’s latest venture has been working as The Love Gun for the upcoming online dating app, FriendFlirt. Chahanovich says, “It’s going to take the creepiness and anonymous feeling out of online dating. It makes it real by using your current social media accounts to find people you might know, or should know, to go on dates with—no outside sites and memberships.” She adds that the first 10,000 people that sign up will receive a free membership.

As the designated Love Gun, she is responsible for their social media posts and blog. Man Candy Monday, Foxy Lady Friday and a weekly post with relationship advice and dating tips are the weekly features. Jessica is also hosting a podcast show with the Big Sauce Radio Show team. The show will include online dating horror stories from fans and weekly competitions for Best 6 Pack, Best Pedicure and more.

Jessica at her home away from home, Fenway Park.

When she’s not blogging for FriendFlirt, Chahanovich is blogging about her love of baseball. Her latest topic has been about the audition process she is going through to become a public address announcer for Fenway Park, where she already works as a quality control team member. She is currently a finalist, and waiting to see if she makes it to the next round of auditions in Fort Meyers, Florida to announce a spring training game.

Chahanovich’s love for baseball has also landed her a gig writing for the Yawkey Way Report. On their blog, she contributes her thoughts on baseball news related to the Red Sox and their players. Her wit and sense of humor shine through and you almost feel like you’re sitting at a bar, discussing the latest over a burger and beer.

While Jessica isn’t quite sure what she loves the most, she hopes that her sentiment will inspire others to pursue their own happiness. She says, “I love to share my passion with people who don’t have it, or better yet, simply haven’t discovered it yet.”

To keep up with Jessica you may follow her on Twitter @RedSoxChach, like FriendFlirt’s Facebook page, read the FriendFlirt blog, read her Red Sox blog, or check her out on the Yawkey Way Report.