You can teach an old(er) cat new tricks
Is there anyone who likes speaking in front of an audience or on camera? I actually do, but despite kudos I’ve received for it I’ve often feared I must sound just like that teacher in the Charlie Brown TV specials. We all think that way. It’s human nature.
But, really, I’ve had no reason to feel ill at ease. I’ve been a professional communicator my entire career. I also spent 20 years performing onstage and directing theatre, which requires an understanding of how to put your best foot forward and, in the case of directing, teaching the skill to others.
At Netroots Nation 2013, a conference largely devoted to using technology to amplify voices and influence public debate, I attended a training session on how to be a “media star.” It was led by Joel Silberman, who brings years of theatrical experience to his work as a media strategist and trainer for organizations, online activists and candidates.
Even if he hadn’t uttered a word about how to be authentic and put forth a presence while in the eye of the media, his own skills would have illustrated it perfectly. The advice and guidance he shared was invaluable, whether I’ll be on camera or coaching someone who will be. And I had the exhilarating, enlightening experience of being selected to receive one-on-one coaching in a mock on-camera interview.
I’ve never felt more self-assured and articulate on camera. I feel like I’m ready for anything now. Including my close-up.