Thursday, April 22, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
To battle my fear of public speaking, I attended a few media-training seminars hosted by EMMY Award winning producer and national PBS host Shawne Duperon. Shawne has trained many business owners, professionals, and executives to be better on camera and grow their fame – and she’s damn good at it. While Shawne’s seminars are geared towards PR people and those who want to better promote themselves in the media, her tips apply to many areas of life. Here are just a few of them to help manage fears:
Get out of your comfort zone. Engage the uncomfortable situation head on. Suck at interviewing? Attend interview-training sessions on campus or call employers to chat about their company. Having trouble approaching that girl on the other side of the bar? (Yeah, me too.) Make an effort to go strike up a conversation. Remember, shame is overrated. You’ll be surprised as you open yourself to others how they reciprocate your openness. Living out of your comfort zone will give you the strength to overcome your insecurities.
It doesn’t matter what you say – it’s who you are being. Smile. It’s all about your attitude and personality. If you convey confidence, the people you are speaking to will feel confident. Practice this wherever you go, even if you’re not speaking to a group or interviewing for that big job. Practice does make perfect.
Everyone messes up. And people relate to that. Whether you’re nervous or just make a mistake, people are forgiving – it’s how we’re designed. Don’t let it affect your confidence or routine. Acknowledge your misstep, then quickly recover and get back on track.
Whether it's public speaking, interviewing, or influencing others, living in discomfort will prepare you for pressure situations. While easier said than done, overcoming your fears will open up new opportunities and make life a lot more enjoyable.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
No athlete has experienced such a drastic fall from grace as Tiger Woods. From being on top of the sports world to becoming a punch line on late shows everywhere, Tiger finds himself in a public image nightmare. A notoriously private personal life is now under the spotlight of the tabloid circus, which flips and shapes the story to fit every new claim made by a Hollywood waitress.
No doubt this is a trying time for the superstar athlete. But does he deserve such intense media scrutiny? And is the multi-million dollar brand that is Tiger Woods threatened?
As much as Tiger says this is a “private” matter, it is not. While he himself didn’t open the doors to his private life, his position as an immense public figure warrants the attention. Unfair as it may be, his golf skills made him a superstar; his private affairs will bring him back down to reality.
Tiger himself never asked to be framed as such a squeaky-clean persona. The media and his endorsements painted him as such. Consequently, in the age of the 24-hour news cycle, perception = reality. With millions made from selling that flawless public image, he now has to defend it against the same people who just weeks ago did nothing but sing his laurels. That’s just how it is.
The chance of Tiger losing his corporate sponsorships is still unlikely. However, the volatility of this continuing saga may be beginning to catch up with him. Bloomberg reports advertisements featuring Tiger Woods have disappeared from prime-time broadcast television and many cable channels following reports of his extramarital affairs, according to data from Nielsen Co.
The longer the tabloid-driven story continues to gain momentum, the greater the danger it has of permanently tarnishing the Tiger Woods brand. As many PR gurus have suggested (who I won’t even pretend to be in the same league as), Tiger needs to get ahead of the story and come clean. The devil is in the details, and right now the tabloids are filling in the details. Staying silent will only continue to fuel the fire.
In the end, Tiger can take a page from Kobe Bryant and Michael Phelps – by putting as much as possible out in the open, apologizing, and then immediately begin rebuilding himself and his family.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The debate centers over whether an ISP’s ability to “discriminate against” certain data on its network should be regulated by the government. This debate reached my Electronic Media Operations class (by me arguing with my professor) after the TA showed the following video and proclaimed, “All corporations care about is money.” Check it out...and beware the evil corporation spaceships.
The video makes some very legitimate points, but blatantly expresses an ideological point of view. (Did you catch it?) If you missed it, here’s some knowledge…
Free Press, a so-called non-partisan media advocacy organization founded by Robert McChesney, sponsors “Save the Internet.” McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the former editor of the socialist Monthly Review. Here is an example of what McChesney believes, taken from his article, “The New New Deal Under Obama.”
"These gains will only be made through an enormous class struggle from below. If won, they will not, we underscore, eliminate the evils of capitalism, or the dangers it poses for the world and its people. In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles."
Monday, November 9, 2009
The past few years have not been kind to Detroit, most evident in the fact that its unemployment rate sits at 28.9%—the highest in the country. That figure, along with a government full of corruption, doesn't give Detroiters a lot to brag about. The city has become the brunt of many jokes in the media and its reputation as a graveyard to those outside the city seems to have spread.
So where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
Detroit is looking to become the epicenter of the green job revolution. The Green Jobs Initiative, as it is being called, will invest $6 million into training for jobs that can be classified as energy efficient. However, unlike the energy sources this initiative promotes, green jobs themselves have yet to be proven sustainable in our economy.
Still yet, Ford recently posted a surprise third-quarter profit of $997 million, its first profitable quarter in North America in more than four years.
Finally, Forbes recently released a study that places Detroit as the 12th safest city in the U.S., ahead of Chicago and Pittsburgh among others. This announcement comes just six months after the magazine named the Motor City the most dangerous city in the United States. For a place that used to have the highest rate of violent crime in the country, that ain't too shabby.
Detroiters have always been a proud and hard-working people, and this attitude continues to shine through in the face of adversity. Detroit is still the beating heart of the auto-industry, the birthplace of techno, and Hockeytown.
The next time someone makes an unwarranted comment about my city, I may have to call up the boys down on 8 Mile and Gratiot to pay them a visit.