I use to always get jittery and tense when it was time to present in front of colleagues. You would think that someone who wanted to pursue acting and be on television would be the exact opposite.
In 2012 I had the opportunity to host the 3rd season of BTC Starmaker. I was alright, but in TV, you can’t simply be “alright” and I’m my toughest critic, so “alright” wasn’t going to work for me. I wanted to improve the way I spoke on camera, so I sought help. Moya Thompson, who worked on the Starmaker set, referred me to Ms. Kim Welcome. With a name like “Welcome” you can’t go wrong. I met with Ms. Welcome once a week for 4 weeks. It may seem like a short period but I saw so much improvement in myself during that time.
One of the most helpful tips of Ms. Welcome’s was humming the “Happy Birthday” song before I spoke. Initially, I found this tip to be so strange. Why hum “Happy Birthday” if it’s not even my birthday, but when she explained why I should, it all made sense.
Whenever I (and other people) get nervous my voice gets higher. She suggested humming the birthday song right before I spoke so that I can find my speaking voice. I still use this tip a lot and it really does work! The humming also helps me to focus and relax.
Another tip I found useful was imagining speaking to a friend. My body would get so rigid in front of the camera that it would show on TV, almost making it hard for me (and probably anyone else) to watch. So she told me to block out the camera and put a friend in it’s place. When I did that it, “Eureka!” was the only thing I could say.
Ms. Welcome is so warm, patient and kind. I found her tips to be helpful and insightful. She didn’t lecture, she taught. She didn’t just give a tip and then moved on, she explained why that tip worked. I love that she takes her time with her clients and never rushes, she makes every second count. My time with Ms. Welcome certainly wasn’t a waste. I definitely saw a change in my performances on TV, in front of class, on the radio and even on stage. My fear, nervousness and insecurities melted away and my confidence shined through.