Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In the Spotlight But Not Shining?

I recently got an email from a woman who got anointed "spokesperson" by her company and is utterly miserable. Secretly, she had always dreamed of a gig like "spokeswoman" or even "spokesmodel," but the reality has left her feeling boring, robotic, and dull. She's vibrant off camera and away from the crowd... there's some sort of disconnect.

Even though you're brilliant off camera, you may find yourself shell-shocked in front of the media or during an event. The culprit can simply be personal fear and self-consciousness. It's been my experience that fear is alleviated through preparation. Training yourself on the speaking points until they become second nature is crucial if you want them to flow and not seem robotic.

It's also helpful to concentrate on the aspects of the business that fascinate you and ignite your passion. For instance, if you're particularly passionate about the staff and have personal stories about certain workers, try to incorporate these stories into your speaking points. The media and onlookers will respond to your sincerity.

Another possibility is incorporating your outside interests into the campaign wherever you can. If you love golf, involve yourself in a golf fundraiser and then use the press from that activity to further your message and your image.

Being your authentic self during your public appearances will help the experience seem less alien and stressful while helping you be genuine and interesting.

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