Public Speaking Starts with “Pub”  Because It Should Be As Fun As Drinking. (Responsibly!)

Public Speaking Starts with “Pub” Because It Should Be As Fun As Drinking. (Responsibly!)

In the article “I CAN’T WRITE!”  – Yes You Can! (Tip #1: Stop Saying That!) I started with the premise that if you are among the lucky majority of people who can speak, then the truth is that you can also write, and if you want to – or need to! – then there are some very simple steps you can take that will greatly enhance your ability to do so. I was tempted to begin this article with virtually the same argument: If you can speak to one person then you can speak to a roomful of people. But then I remembered a fundamental difference between people who avoid writing and those who avoid public speaking; the former usually do not like the task, whereas the latter are often terrified of it. So what follows are a few tips that I hope can help you stave off the terror and become such a comfortable public speaker that you may even come to enjoy the process. Tip #1 – Determine a specific, meaningful outcome, and then commit to it fully. You don’t need a dictionary to know that self-conscious means being conscious of oneself. But I assure you that this placement of your thoughts and energy is the number one thing working against you as a speaker, so you must turn your attention, instead, outside yourself. An actor must choose to pursue an objective that is grounded in his scene partner in order to be fully alive and in the moment on stage; as a speaker you must do the same. Ask yourself, “What is it that I want...
Just Say, “No.”

Just Say, “No.”

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse Show business is a tough nut to crack. At every turn the odds are against you, and while I find the phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” to be overly caustic, it is certainly true that at times great contacts trump great work. So, like many talented people I know, I work on both, sometimes spending as much time networking, linking, tweeting, and posting as I do directing, writing, editing, and recording. As a freelancer, I accept that all this effort is part of the job, and I do it vigorously, partly because the relentless pursuit and achievement of excellence is in my nature, but partly because I believe that helpfulness is a fundamental part of our human nature, and so I am sure that all that excellent work combined with all that networking and linking and tweeting and posting will bring attention my way from people who can help open the doors I need opened to do the work I am meant to do. It’s nice to have someone hold open a door. See, people need people for all sorts of reasons, and the truth is that doing a kindness for someone else is at times the most wonderful thing you can do for yourself. It is also just right. It is right and good and human, which is why when a writer asks me to read/edit his script, or an actress asks me to find her a good monologue, or a filmmaker asks for my help with casting or other local resources, I help if I...
How to Maintain a Healthy Attitude Toward Job Interviewing

How to Maintain a Healthy Attitude Toward Job Interviewing

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse. Most actors know that auditions are like job interviews, but I’m not sure how many non-actors realize that the reverse is also true. Since a wannabe performer might go on more auditions in a year than most people will go on job interviews in a lifetime, the tips, tricks, and techniques that follow, which are the same ones I teach my acting students, should be invaluable for helping non-actors successfully negotiate the challenges of any job interview they might face. #1 Not getting the job is NOT a statement of your value, worth, or even your marketability. (If you get only one thing from this article, please let it be this!) In the same way that actors can mistakenly question the level of their talent when faced with some failure to land roles, job applicants can mistakenly question their sense of self-worth when faced with a dearth of job offers. But you MUST keep in mind that any selection process, especially one that ends in the choosing of just one final candidate from among many, is at least as much a matching game as it is a talent contest. That means that just because a handful of people determine that you are not the best fit for their company does not mean that you lack value as a candidate in the job market at large, or even for their company. In fact, if you were invited in for more than one interview then they saw value in your qualifications and considered you a viable candidate, so be buoyed by that success. Regardless, however,...