Monday, January 31, 2011

Putting Forth Your Best You

Have you ever wondered why you've been going on all these interviews but haven't been getting any call backs? 

You think back and try to remember if you said the wrong thing or maybe wore the wrong outfit.  Or maybe, you just didn't exude the confidence or enthusiasm that they were looking for.

Maybe you're right in your assumptions, and then again maybe you did everything right and as it turns out you just weren't the person they needed for that position, but in any case if you can become more confident in your interviewing skills then you can put yourself in a better position to alleviate more than half of your anxieties. 

Bad interviews happen to everyone, but they don't have to happen more than once. All it takes is a commitment from you to remember a few key things and you'll be well on your way to becoming more effective in your interviews.

Due to the fact that I have interviewed a lot of different people in various capacities, and I have also been interviewed for everything ranging from jobs to promotional opportunities for my various personal projects I have been afforded the opportunity to experience being on both sides of the fence. So it is with that experience in mind that I wanted to share a few jewels with the masses.

#1- Always be on time. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, worse than being late for an interview, whether it's for a job, your album, project, or whatever...don't be late. As an interviewer, nothing would put me in a worse mood than waiting for someone who wanted something from me, yet didn't respect my time enough to arrive when they said they would. You should get in the habit of arriving to your interviews 10-15 minutes earlier. Not only does it look good, but it shows that you're serious.

#2- Always be presentable. For a job interview "conservative" is the word of the day. For the guys, a suit (preferably black or dark blue; no pastels or florescent colors) and a tie is preferred but a nice dress shirt and tie with dress slacks will do as well. For the ladies, business pant suits, skirts (below the knee) and blouses, modest earring and a sensible pair of shoes.  Unless you are actually auditioning for a rap video, don't go to a job interview looking like you just came from one.

If you are an artist, do you but keep it classy. Guys: no one wants to see your behind, underwear, etc... Ladies: try to leave something to the imagination, the person you're talking to will need to concentrate. M'kay? Thanks.

#3- Never chew gum. The only thing worse than an interviewee being late is having someone smacking on gum while they are talking to you. Fresh breath is important, so if you need to chew a piece to freshen up remember to spit it out before you begin your interview.

#4- Know your product and speak enthusiastically about it.  You are your product. If you're going an interview it's because someone wants to get to know more about you or what you're. So when you start talking about the business of you, you should always know what you're talking about and be enthusiastic about it.

If you're interviewing for a job, know your strengths and use those as your selling points. Employers want to know that you are one for the job, and if you can sell yourself to them, then in their mind you can sell anything.

If you're interviewing to promote yourself as an artist, know who are as an artist and the specifics of what it is your supposed to be promoting and be excited about it. If you're not excited about what you're doing, why should anyone else be?

These are just a few tips to help you along the way on your next interview. If you would be interested in getting more in depth comprehensive media training, Black-Smith Enterprises offers one-on-one and group sessions. To schedule your session contact us at 734-634-3151.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Networking 101

an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information, or the like: a network of recent college graduates.

Since I started my company in 2004, the most valuable lesson I've learned is the power of networking.  And not just surface networking, but EFFECTIVE networking; everything from the meeting, to the exchange of information, to the follow up. Experience has taught me that 98% of the time, it's not about what you know or what you can do, it's mostly about who you know.

Actually, if you think about it logically, that philosophy makes perfect sense. Think about it: If you are in a position to do business or hire someone that you've met personally and have a great report with as opposed to someone that you know nothing about, which one are you going to choose? Exactly!

People are more willing to help and do business with people they know. So it was with this thought in mind that Black/Smith Consulting created the Moguls and Music Speed Networking event.

This event is a fun way for anyone aspiring to do anything in the realm of business, specifically the entertainment industry, to sharpen their networking skills through a series of 2 minute mini-meetings with industry professionals.

As we embark upon our 1 year anniversary of conducting this event, it has been really amazing to see how many people have benefited from it. I mean we are putting aspiring artists in front of music directors of main stream radio stations, presidents of television networks, film producers, GRAMMY award-winning producers, entertainment attorneys, the city's top promoter, club owners and more.

Why? Because we want you to be equipped with the tools you need to succeed.

So if you are an aspiring singer, rapper, writer, actor, film maker, model, producer, or anything you don't want to miss the next installment of Moguls and Music on Feb 11 at Ambiance Ultra Lounge, located at 211 W. Congress in downtown Detroit.

Because's hardly ever about what you know, it's most often about who you know.

Featured panelists:
David Bangura- President/TV20 Detroit
AP (Absolute Princess)- Radio One/Hot 102.7 On-air Personality
Randy Lynch- Producer & VP of Live the Music Group
Randall Whitely (a.k.a DJ Gurt)- Entrepreneur/Ambiance Ultra Lounge
Eric "Rain Man" Gaston - Drummer/Musician to the Stars
Norman Wafford - Writer and Television Commercial Producer
Andrena Hale- Writer/Film Producer/Segment Producer for Hardcore Pawnshop
Kelli Harrison - Promotions Coordinator/Radio One
Jayne Smith - Creative Director and Owner, Tri- Imagination
Emani Fresh - Event Marketing Professional

For more information please call 734-634-3151 or 248-541-5155.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

How Do Men Really Think

This past weekend, I attended the Mocha Monologues male show, From the Inside Showing Out, that was produced by my literary sisters Adra Young and Tracie Christian, a.k.a The Live Ladies of Literature, and first I want to say that the show was absolutely amazing.

The production was the flip side of their original female monologue series From the Outside Looking In, and this time the fellas got a chance to speak about the way that way they view women and relationships.

There was the womanizer, the good guy gone bad, the successful-but-poorly-dressed-man who gets over looked by the gold digger, the thug and the man with too many kids; each one with an equally compelling story to tell. What really stood out about this show was the way that each of the five gentlemen presented very different, but very real, scenarios about how men are judged by women and treated as a result.

As I sat there listening to the various portrayals, I found myself wishing that there were more young women present in that audience to hear what these men had to say because they were dropping some serious knowledge. And the crazy thing is that the things they were saying weren't new revelations or rocket science, it's just that it seems to have a whole different ring to it when it's coming from male lips.

So now I'm going to summarize for those who missed it:

1. Men like to pursue their prey. Stop being so desperate, too accessible and make that man take the time to get to know you. Ladies, if it's too easy...they ain't gone want it. M'kay?

2. If you start out giving up the goodies for the Rally Burger, don't expect Filet Mignon later on in the relationship. If you get off to a bad start, you can't expect a strong finish. Ya dig?

3. Don't expect to find a dime piece when you're barely a nickle yourself. Before you stack up a bunch of unrealistic expectations for your potential mate, you need to assess what you yourself are bringing to the table.

4. Most men are not going to buy the cow that they're getting free milk from. With that being said, he's also probably not going to take said cow home to meet his mama. If he's been smashing for a while and you still haven't met his people, you may want to move on in your search for happiness.

5. Appreciate what you have. If you are blessed enough to have a man who gives all that you need and is good to you don't take him for granted. All too often women run over and take advantage of the "nice" guy and then turn right around and allow themselves to be heartbroken by the one that dogs them out. Then they want to complain that there are no good men out there.  

6. And last but not least...don't judge a book by it's cover. By assessing a man solely based on what he looks like, what he's wearing or what he's driving, you could very well be cheating yourself out of a blessing. Take time to get to know people, then you can really see what lies beneath the surface because that's what really counts.

And there you have it, straight to the point with no chaser.

Once again, great job to the Live Ladies and kudos to their handsome cast. If you missed it look for the video, it will be well worth the investment.

Until next time!

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