I remember my first on camera interview. It was a rare opportunity, a daunting task, a milestone if I may, in my Berklee education. Many will go through school without having an opportunity like this. What do you do if you’re put on the spot? How do you prepare for those moments? …shake off the jitters for starters, and let your personality come through. City Music Boston students were challenged this month with that very task, to speak openly in a professional on-camera environment.
We started with a short discussion, hashing out the do’s and don’ts of public speaking. First, we must eliminate the nervous ticks to focus and deliver our message. To exercise some of these skills, the students were paired off, having the opportunity to both speak and interview. A fun everyday challenge might loosen things up… but what happens when the cameras turn on, and you find a spotlight staring you in the face?
Everyone rose to the occasion, and delivered brilliant on-camera interviews, telling stories about their upbringing, how they became musicians, and what lies ahead. Despite the pressure of this challenge, students never failed to show their strengths… as well as some weaknesses. I can’t think of a better way to address those weaknesses than to face them head on. In instant-replay, students watched themselves in action, with every “like” and “um” resonating for all to hear. We finished things off by sharing our thoughts on high and low points, as well as hearing students’ responses to the experience.
“It helped me understand generally how the interview process works. I learned to focus not on being nervous, but on the interviewer and just have a conversation.” -Alan DeSouza (student)
Going into the workshop, I could see the apprehension on people’s faces. Despite the lingering nerves some may have faced, most were able to laugh it out. By the end of the workshop, it was clear that everyone had a good time (come on, there were free snacks)!