1. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Needing A Little Advice.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by cutecat22, Sep 22, 2014.

    Not sure if I'm in the right thread here but I could use a little help if you don't mind giving it.

    I've been invited onto a small radio programme to do an interview (live and over the phone) and I am absolutely petrified!

    I've never been one for speaking to a crowd and I am looking forward to doing it but I can't help feeling that I'm going to end up stuttering, going off at tangents and basically make myself look/sound like a bit of a prat.

    So, any advice for keeping my nerve and not coming across as a bit of a schmuck??

    Thanks x
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    If the host who is doing the interview knows what they are doing they should be able to lead you with good questions and be able to keep you somewhat on track. Just be honest and yourself. That's always the best bet. That is unless you are hiding from the mob, in which case you should act nothing like yourself and give off the wall answers to throw everyone off your identity.

    I hope that helps. :agreed:
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Can you ask for the questions ahead of time?
     
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  4. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most fundamental advice I give to speech and debate students about speech anxiety:

    If you are both nervous and looking forward to it, then there is exactly one reason for that: you care about doing well. The more you care, the likelier you will do well. Remind yourself of that. There is no way to eliminate the nervous energy but you can redirect it into excitement.

    "I care about doing well; therefore, I will do well." Keep repeating that to yourself.
     
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  5. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    I have done several over-the-phone- podcast interviews, and while they always worked out very well, I was nervous too. I'd just say be yourself. Try not to overthink things and answer questions the way you would if your friend was beside you asking them :)
     
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  6. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee yes, the guy is sending me the questions a few days before. He's read one of my books and is onto the second so I know he will be asking me about both of them. He's also picked up on the fact that the fiction is set in a place I've researched but have never been to although he himself has, so no doubt there will be questions about that too.

    The thing I'm most worried about, is going off track because, when I talk about my books and my WIP (which is a follow up to the fiction) I get really excited, like a kid in a candy store and I start to ramble about the characters and the plot. On more than once occasion I've said to a friend of mine "Oh good God, I really want to tell you what happens next ..." and her reply has always been to stick her fingers in her ears and shout "no! I'm waiting for the paperback!"

    I've also been told that I talk too fast - so I really need to try and slow myself down.

    Thanks for all your advice, I will do well ... I will do well ... I will do well ...
     
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  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    You need to be yourself, but at the same time, you need to decide what kind of public 'persona' you want. My rule is to approach any such situation as a professional. What do you want your readers to know? Take time before answering questions, don't just fire the answers back. And if you get uncomfortable about anything, you can always stop the interview. Good luck!
     
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  8. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    This is another reason why I have a pseudonym, so I can be the author person or the private person.

    Yes, I could stop the interview, except, it's live ... (gulp)
     
  9. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Sure it may be live, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer through something unbearable.

    That said, just wait. I'm betting you'll do great, and will have many more interviews to look forward to in the future :)
     
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  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If he's sending you the questions, type out your answers beforehand and read them during the interview. No one will know. Good luck!
     
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  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's their problem, not yours ;)
     
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  12. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    If it helps just imagine everyone that could possibly be listening to the interview on the radio as naked. Just don't laugh at my... wait I'm not in the U.K. :pop:
     
  13. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    That's ok because, it's a USA radio show ... will be thinking of you, @Lewdog :angle:
     
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  14. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    @jazzabel I've finally worked out your avatar, is it from Zoolander, the one where he wants to open a school for kids "who don't read good" ?
     
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  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    In case this helps, whenever Nabokov gave interviews, he always requested that the questions be given to him before the actual interview. That way he could write the answers down and read them back to the interviewer. He even did this for TV interviews! In one of his TV interviews (the one where he's discussing Lolita), you can clearly see that he's reading off the notecards he's holding in his hands.
     
  16. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I'll be getting the questions a few days beforehand so I think that's what I'm going to do.

    I wrote a bit of a speech for my fortieth birthday (there were people I needed to embarrass etc) and I ended up waffling so if I do write my answers, I will need to make sure I write as I talk and stick to what I've written!
     
  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes! When he smashes the model of the school because it's too small, and asks for it to be at least "three times as big" :D The girl is Katinka Ingabogovinanana, the evil one working for Mugatu.
     
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  18. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    While it's going on try to not think 'This is being recorded' and relax, and more importantly, have fun. Really these sorts of things are not amazingly different from a job interview.
     
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  19. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I once read somewhere that telling yourself "it's no big deal" or "don't be nervous" is actually counterproductive, because you know it's not true and you still feel nervous.

    Rather you should direct your energy towards something positive, apparently. Instead of saying, "I'm nervous," so something like, "I'm excited." Instead of, "It's difficult," say, "It's a challenge." This way, you acknowledge the tension in your body/mind rather than dismiss it and pretend it's not there. You acknowledge it and then you redirect it to something that would help you see it differently.

    I've not really tried, to be honest, so I can't say how effective it is.

    For me, what's been effective when I get nervous over standing in front of a new class is to remind myself: the kids are more scared of me than I am of them lol. In other situations such as yours, remind yourself that nobody cares if you slip up on a word or two, that people like to laugh and it's ok to crack a few jokes and laugh at yourself a little. That people are forgiving and they want you to do well as much as you do - they're your friends, not enemies. They're not watching for the moment you're gonna slip up - they're listening because they're interested in you and they want to forgive your slip-ups, because they get that you're human and want to see you do well, because it makes a better show for them lol. But either way, they're not there waiting for you to fall so they can laugh at you. It's okay to be nervous, it's okay to laugh, it's okay to babble a bit. If you don't make a big deal out of it, no one else will either :)

    Btw I get terrible stage fright and this is what I actually tell myself :D It helps a little lol.

    PS. Take your time. If you speak slowly, you're less likely to slip up :p
     
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  20. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    That's right, he's part of the Derelicht modelling thing, with the clothes mad from trash, all his looks are the same pout and have names like Mangum and, I think, Blue Steel??

    My hubs hates the film but it has me laughing my socks off. I love it!
     
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  21. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Thanks, @Mckk will take all that in, especially the talk slower bit. (((eeeekkkk!)))
     
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  22. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @cutecat22 : I'm lucky, my hubby and I have very similar sense of humour, so we tend to like the same movies. 'Zoolander' is up there with our favourites, as is 'Blades of Glory' and 'Napoleon Dynamite', have you seen those?
     
  23. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Yes on the Blades of Glory, no on Napoleon Dynamite. Hubs and I like some of the same stuff but not much. He would rather sit and watch war films and I would rather watch Little Shop of Horrors, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Sweeny Todd!
     
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  24. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Instead of writing your replies word for word, I'd say write a cheat sheet: list the important things e.g. with bullet points 'cause having fully written answers can make you sound unnatural, like you're reading from a paper (well, duh), it sounds stiff. With bullet points and just the important points, it reminds you of your "themes," but you'll sound natural and conversational because that way your replies are improvised save for the subject.

    Also, you'll have adrenaline in your body, that's unavoidable: it has several symptoms that vary from person to person, and we all get our own cocktails. E.g. "speech diarrhea," dry mouth, shaky hands, cold sweat, cold hands (poor circulation to your extremities), shaky voice, tunnel vision, time distortion (either seems to move too fast, too slow, or both) etc.

    The time distortion is there almost always because adrenaline quickens youur natural reflexes, so it feels like everything around you happens in a mild slow-motion. That means you're likely to speak too fast, so keep reminding yourself (e.g. jot it down several times on your bullet point cheat sheet) to speak slower. That means people will have an easier time understanding you, you will stumble on your words less, you have less trouble transitioning between the subjects lined out in your bullet points etc. So again, speak slowly. You probably won't be able to overdo it.

    That being said, don't fight it; adrenaline aka fear is your friend. It super-charges your body and mind for fight or flight, sharpens your senses, makes you almost immune to pain etc. Instead of trying to fight it, ask your body for more, embrace it, and suddenly the symptoms will lessen and you'll regain control over yourself, you'll be able to stay calm and perform well. If your hands or voice shake, you have dry mouth (ask for water beforehand!), let them; so what? Just don't try to fight it, allow whatever symptoms come to come; after a while they'll fade.

    Good luck! :cool:
     
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  25. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I'm not sure if that's made me feel better or worse! :oops: :rofl: But massive thanks for your suggestions. I will be thinking about them all and doing a little practice run once I get the questions sent to me!

    xx
     
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