Asking good questions

What makes a good question? Now that’s a good question! Why? Because it’s an open-ended question.

Open-ended questions are questions that cannot necessarily be answered with a simple yes or no. These kinds of questions make for the best interviews. Avoid leading questions, questions that simply make a statement or questions that lack any real conviction or genuine curiosity.
Generally, while it’s preferred you have done some homework beforehand, it’s best to go into and interview with just a natural curiosity. Be authentically interested in the person and the subject matter and your interview should go fine. And as we said in our previous blog on listening, be sure to do that in order to properly follow-up the answer should it lead you down an interesting or informative road.

Occasionally you will get an interviewee that is reluctant or simply not prone to elaborate. In that case, you have to be ready with follow-up questions. I’m not saying to necessarily have a prepared list of questions that you machine-gun at your subject, but rather be prepared to follow-up as a listener, who at least be prepared with the ultimate question of all: “Why?”
Why will literally call into question just about any answer you are given in an interview. If a politician tells you what the new law is, respond with “So, why was it necessary in the first place.” If an athlete tells you “this was a big win tonight,” be sure to fire back, “And why exactly do you feel this is so?”

Personally, I have a pet peeve with reporters who simply make a statement to an interviewee and expect a response. Well, some interviewees will choose to be curt or frankly, will wonder what it is you do want them to say once you’ve uttered your statement. Remember, statements are just those and do not necessarily require answers, or at the very least, thoughtful answers. Good questions are thought provoking and can probe much more deeply into the issue at hand.

Whatever issues you may have regarding your career development as a broadcast performer, we can help. Visit us at http://www.marczumoff.com/

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Do the dirty work and love it!

“I just get coffee.”

“All I do is busy work. It’s stupid.”

“What, I don’t get paid???”

Ah, the laments of the intern, the production assistant (PA), the go-fer. Performing the mundane and wondering, “is it all worth it?” It is. More than you’ll ever know.

Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia is my employer, while I broadcast the games of the NBA’S Philadelphia 76ers. Both of this fine organizations employ various, lower-level employees. Some, like interns, receive credit for their efforts. Others, like per diem or game night workers, receive a modest fee or stipend. Unfortunately, many treat the job like it’s “below them” or has duties that simply don’t match what they’re trying to accomplish with their careers.

Just remember this, any job is what YOU make it. Sure, the duties might be simple and dull. That’s ok. First, these are things that ARE necessary. In fact, if you screw them up, it could cause bigger problems—MUCH bigger problems. Second, this is your opportunity to show people in the business that you can attack these “simple” jobs with alacrity and pride, showing you might have the smarts, character and tenacity to tackle even bigger jobs (promotion!). Third, the truly ingenious and energetic among you who can polish off these smaller obligations might then have the wherewithal to volunteer for more complicated stuff. Again, another opportunity YOU have made to show your worthy of bigger and better.

Listen up all of you interns, go-fers and PAs. You might think no one is watching or realizes what you’re doing. But trust me, they’re noticing—and they really notice when you screw up. If they see you hustling, taking extra responsibilities and really making an effort to perform well, it could bode well for the future. And even if you’re not hired at this place, think of everything you will have learned by keeping your nose to the grindstone while keeping your ears open and your mouth shut. That doesn’t even include the people you will meet on the job, people who can eventually help you to get the job you want.

Those are the very same people who you think aren’t watching you perform the simple, the boring, the mundane. Do that dirty work…and love it!

Find out more about how to acquire these low-level, high-benefit jobs and how they can help in your career development as a broadcast performer. Visit us at www.marczumoff.com

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You’re a tube of toothpaste

Tell the truth, what do you know about toothpaste? Sure, you know some of the buzz words like whitening and cavity-fighting. But what about the real intrinsic values of the product? Do you really have a full, technical understanding of what makes one toothpaste better than another?

Chances are you don’t. Chances are you assume the same posture I do when in the supermarket trying to decide what to use to brush your teeth. Chances are like many people, you make your decision based on one thing—the packaging.

Millions are spent by companies on packaging their products. After all, it’s the first thing you see—before you see, smell or taste. It’s the first impression. It’s the one that many times makes the difference between buying or not buying the product.

YOU are a tube of toothpaste. Remember that as you try to break into broadcasting. That is, people who are hiring to fill positions in radio and television don’t know you from—you’ll pardon the expression—a tube of toothpaste. You literally have to package yourself to look and sound attractive.

In general, this means you have to be unique, interesting and exciting. It goes for the way you produce your demo reel to the look of your resume to the way you sound on the telephone and the way you present yourself at a live interview.

You’re style of performance should reflect the distinctiveness that is you. That includes your on camera (or audio) presentation along with your writing. Don’t be afraid to edit your demo reel in a way that will stand-out and show creativity. Your resume can use a singular font style. And of course, good phone manners and grooming are as important as anything you’ll do in presenting yourself as a viable candidate.

YourAirTime® knows how to make you look and sound your best—so that when it comes time to make that decision, the buyer will purchase YOU.

Tell the truth, what do you know about toothpaste? Sure, you know some of the buzz words like whitening and cavity-fighting. But what about the real intrinsic values of the product? Do you really have a full, technical understanding of what makes one toothpaste better than another?

Chances are you don’t. Chances are you assume the same posture I do when in the supermarket trying to decide what to use to brush your teeth. Chances are like many people, you make your decision based on one thing—the packaging.

Millions are spent by companies on packaging their products. After all, it’s the first thing you see—before you see, smell or taste. It’s the first impression. It’s the one that many times makes the difference between buying or not buying the product.

YOU are a tube of toothpaste. Remember that as you try to break into broadcasting. That is, people who are hiring to fill positions in radio and television don’t know you from—you’ll pardon the expression—a tube of toothpaste. You literally have to package yourself to look and sound attractive.

In general, this means you have to be unique, interesting and exciting. It goes for the way you produce your demo reel to the look of your resume to the way you sound on the telephone and the way you present yourself at a live interview.

You’re style of performance should reflect the distinctiveness that is you. That includes your on camera (or audio) presentation along with your writing. Don’t be afraid to edit your demo reel in a way that will stand-out and show creativity. Your resume can use a singular font style. And of course, good phone manners and grooming are as important as anything you’ll do in presenting yourself as a viable candidate.

marczumoff.com, knows how to make you look and sound your best—so that when it comes time to make that decision, the buyer will purchase YOU.

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Just meet people

There are a lot of pressures attendant to looking for a job as a broadcast performer in television or radio. The very daunting nature of the task can be distressing: finding the openings; getting a leg up on the competition; having the right demo reel.So, I’m here to tell you to take a breath, relax and relieve yourself of some of the pressure.
Don’t look for a job!That’s right. Don’t look for a job. Stop scouring the want ads, the websites and the publications. Stop stressing over the right font type for your resume.Just stop.

You see, you already have a job. That job would be meeting people. That’s right, just go out and meet people. That should not only be your preoccupation, but quite honestly, it needs to become your occupation. Eight hours a day. Fulltime. All of your resources, all of your being, devoted to meeting people.

Meeting the right people, of course, is the key to all of this. People who have a direct or even indirect relationship to some aspect of television or radio. These are the kinds of people who will help you in your search for a broadcasting job as much as anything or anybody.

Developing the right contacts is an art. It takes what we call The Three P’s: Passion, Persistence and Patience. Putting all of these to work in harmony is an important aspect to this new job of yours.

At marczumoff.com,we show you how to meet the right people and how they can help you find the opportunities you’re looking for.

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