Lights, Camera, Action!

Marco Spaumer is a South African actor and presenter best known for his starring role as Chris du Plooy’s son Tim in the kykNET soap opera Suidooster. Marco chose Salesian Life Choices as his organisation of choice as part of a charity campaign with DSTV, the Cape Town Cycle Tour and several other local celebs.

Marco had been getting to know the organisation by visiting each department, and when it was New Ventures Studio’s turn to play host (always looking to leverage opportunity), we aimed to kill a few birds in one session:

  • Marco gets to know the program and it’s entrepreneurs
  • The entrepreneurs learn from Marco’s media and public experience
  • Content is created to be shared with the rest of the world

On Saturday April 7th, Marco joined us for a Camera-readiness and Interview workshop hosted at Salesian Lifechoices and attended by the New Ventures Studio incubatees.

Some key takeaways from his session were:

1. What to expect?
“Expect nerves, expect excitement, expect growth, and expect good and bad interviews.
Nerves keep you on your toes and alert. You should never become complacent in interviews so be nervous, but learn to control or use the nerves to your advantage.”

2. Confidence for your interviews

Rule 1: Honesty and vulnerability.
“In a world oversaturated with content and new ‘ventures’ – we cannot afford to see something fake, something that’s not YOU. So in an interview, be true and honest and share from your heart what your business means to you.”

Rule 2: Comfortability
“This is your moment, your interview – be comfortable. I know people who take their shoes off in interviews because that’s who they are and that’s what makes them comfortable. If you’re on a financial show or if you have smelly feet then probably don’t do it… But for me, tea makes me comfortable. So I’ll always have tea with me when I go into an interview.”

Rule 3: Observe
“Probably my most important tip! As an actor we observe people CONSTANTLY so that we’ll portray them truthfully on stage or screen. Even when I have to do a presentation like today, I observe how other people do it.
Top tip: ‘Steal like an artist’ (Watch Ted Talk by Austin Kleon).”

Rule 4: Bring the passion
“When you go into any form of interview, this is an opportunity for you to ‘share your toys’. Bring that sparkle in your eyes – the nerves will be there, but if you channel your passion through them – I trust it will override your fears.
Make your interviewer passionate about what you are passionate about. Make them believe the things you believe.”

Rule 5: Clarity
This is a tricky, but very important, tip: Don’t over explain. Here’s the tricky part: don’t give one sentence answers. It’s the worst for any interviewer to try and tease things out of you.

So my advice would be: arrive prepared. Know exactly what you NEED AND WANT to say and leave room for the unexpected questions. If you’re prepared, you’ll never over explain your story.

A Few techniques before you go live

Breathe/centering prayer
Religious or not, a form of meditation or deep breathing before any interview will centre your spirit and thoughts.

Power stance
Check out this TED talk and the science behind powerful stances. 2 minutes with your hands on the hips, chin pointed skywards, breath deeply… TRY IT!

Positive Self Talk Affirmations
These are personal mantras to help build your self-confidence. Smile as you repeat them. Breathe as you repeat them. Write them down, say them out loud.

Lip drills
Any form of loosening up the vocal box. Stretching your neck; humming; warming up the mouth muscles etc.

You DO NOT want to get caught in an interview with a dry mouth.


Blog Author
Mathew Fisher
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