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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't Bore your Audience

I got bored. I would have left; if not that I had to report on the event. The Compere or Master of Ceremony as he called himself, did his best. Apparently he was trying to impress with many words, but it proved counter-productive. It bored not just me, but us; at least over a dozen people who were seated near me.
What is wrong talking a lot while hosting an event? After all, that’s why you were hired – to talk and engage the audience during transitions in-between items in the agenda.

It will be okay if:

1. The event was organised because of you. Probably, they all came to hear you talk. You can talk all day and they will be fine.

2. You are a super star stand-up comedian. Besides, it’s becoming a norm in my country, Nigeria, for comperes to double as stand-up comedians. So every master or mistress of ceremony wants to make people laugh at all cost, even at funerals.

3. The organiser commissioned you to make the delay the next performance, maybe while they wait for a late-coming ‘guest of honour’.

A few words of advice:

1. Few words, does it. Nobody wants to stay forever in an event, I mean, it gets boring.

2. Stick to the assignment. The assignment is to introduce the next performance. Just do it. Don’t border us with stories that are off-point. Really, jokes should relate to the theme of the event and be palatable to the predominant composition of the audience.

3. Speak clearly. Wrong pronunciation [like Shareman instead of Chairman], and mumbling to yourself can badly damage your brand as a professional compere. I recommend speech training.

4. Be Yourself. There is no need trying to fake accent. If you don’t have it, you don’t. If you have it, there is almost nothing you can do to erase it. Don’t act on stage. Just be yourself.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't lose your job on Facebook

Emmanuel [not his real name] had nailed the job already. He had gone through three stages of oral interviews, and he was successful. At that point, the list of qualified 35 applicants had narrowed down to two, but only one was needed.
According to Emmanuel, the odds were in his favour until, the head of the recruitment team decided to check their online presence. “That is where I missed it” he said.
When the name of the other contestant was ‘googled’, many links showed up; a good number of them contained his achievement in his field – marketing, whereas when Emmanuel’s name was ‘googled’ there was really nothing, except his Facebook profile.
But that was not all the trouble.
Emmanuel lost the job, and he was told that it was because his web personality didn’t fit the status they wanted for the marketing manager of their company. A member of the recruitment team, told him, informally that problem was that his Facebook posts did not in any way suggest that he can organise and lead the marketing team of a big corporation.
His, was a job, yours might be different.
“Mind what you post on Facebook!” It can make or mar you. Your reputation now goes beyond what you do or say, your association on the Internet is now a large part of it.
So, before you add or confirm that friend on Facebook, pause and think, “Will this person on my friends list add to or subtract from my personal brand?” Before you post that article, comment, or like that thing, think, “Will this hurt me or help me?”
The Internet is growing and the trend is irreversible. In the near future, success and failure will have direct link to the way you align yourself on the web.
But the piece of advice is that Facebook and other social media platforms are no longer for informal chit chats only. Whatever you do, make sure you are not throwing dirt on your career path.