Tuesday, January 18, 2011

King George & The Impostor Complex

I highly recommend you see “The King’s Speech.” Colin Firth, as King George, battles a painful upbringing overshadowed by a charismatic brother, an inhibiting stammer and his belief that he wasn’t fit to be King. He dreaded public speaking. Geoffrey Rush plays Lionel Logue, an uncredentialed speech therapist/coach with unorthodox methods who is able to help “Bertie” manage his fears and speak to his nation on the eve of war. Firth’s sister is a speech therapist and supplied the exercises used in the film.

The 73 yr old author of the screenplay, David Seidler, was a stutterer himself and was inspired by the King’s determination to overcome his affliction. The royal family was embarrassed and hid any mention of a therapist but Seidler was able to locate Logue’s son. He was given access to notes Logue had recorded of his sessions with the King. However, Seidler promised Elizabeth, the Queen Mum (Helena Bonham Carter) that he wouldn’t publish the story until her death and she didn’t pass until 2002 at 102 years.

“Stutterers,” Seidler explains, “grow up feeling they have no voice, that they can’t be heard: they see in the eyes of their pained listeners that they have no right to speak. I was overwhelmed,” he said, “when the audience applauded at the end of the movie. Because for the first time ever, the penny dropped and I felt I had a voice and had been heard.”

It might surprise you or be reassuring to learn that even Colin Firth admits, “I’ve never stuttered, but I’ve had the same drowning feeling from stage fright. When I forget my lines, I forget who I am, where I am. It feels like an eternity until I come back.” This amazing actor has not let his fears destroy his performance but says he has found he can turn his tension into a positive thing.

We’ll blog more next month about fears and ways to challenge the feeling of being a fraud. Have you ever felt you were an impostor?
After you’ve seen “The King’s Speech”, check out the site below to hear King George making the actual speech from the film on the radio.


Jan D'Arcy


Monday, January 3, 2011

Communication Skills for Job Interviews

According to a recent survey by job-placement firm Manpower, 84% of employees plan on looking for a new position in 2011. Do you feel you’re growing in your current job? Do you feel challenged or like you’re wasting your time? Are you preparing to “maintain and campaign” for a move this year?
The job market is slowing improving but you’ll face plenty of competition. Superior communication skills can give you an edge in a face-to-face interview for that promotion or new position.

1. Dress appropriately, have a confident posture, a strong handshake with direct eye contact and a pleasant smile. The interviewer forms an opinion from your non-verbal communication the minute you walk into the room.
2. Select five adjectives ( i.e. confident, calm, decisive, trustworthy and enthusiastic) that best fit the job-description to describe how you want to come across. If you review these as you introduce yourself, your body and voice will respond appropriately.
3. Use your space well. A video-tape showed women make several more adjustments with their purse, portfolio, clothing, jewelry, hair, etc. than a man does. Be lean and clean.
4. Be attentive and listen carefully. Keep your answers concise. Talk about what you can contribute, not what you expect. Show you are easy to get along with.
5. Rehearse possible questions so there are no long hesitations.There are no right or wrong answers. The interviewer is simply trying to understand how you behaved when you faced adverse circumstances or had a tight budget. Do your homework so you can give an example of how your problem-solving transfers to his/her organization.

Good luck!

"Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly."… St. Francis de Sales