Archive for the ‘Non Verbal Communication’ Category

Embracing Beauty And Brains?

June 6, 2010

The Caribbean has MANY beautiful bright women. Question is, are we ready to have them succeed for both being gorgeous and being great at what they do professionally? Or are we much more comfortable with our board room bombshells being what many are everyday – conservative in what they say, do and wear?

Case in point. May/June 2010 has so far featured 2 major career highlights for me. 1. Communication World Magazine has

Showcasing Beauty and Brains - Is it too much for us to handle? Nah!

printed an article I wrote on text messaging as an organizational tool (international article publication officially checked off my life long “to do” list. #2 I’m on my 3rd magazine cover (Abstract Magazine) and in the interview once again dodged relationship questions and  personal probes (HA!).  Is being on a magazine cover in a short skirt and featured as a communication nerd too much for some to handle? I say no.

Both are honours. Both are part of who I am. Both put a positive stamp in the Traditional media world. Both help brand women in the Caribbean positively. Question is, while we LOVE to tout beauty and brains in the Caribbean, are we really ready to embrace someone who showcases both concepts?

In my case, I have the pageant background before I became a recognized communications professional so the public tolerates the occasional pic of me in a swimsuit in the newspaper (as ALSO happened this month on the day I was presenting a course on social media management – some students came to class WITH the photo!) or an internet photo (read over 300 photos) of me at parties, events and yes, from fashion shows. But what of the others? You know, the thousands of beautiful, young women being educated across the Caribbean. Are their dreams of being models to be dashed against the rocks of a less than modern mindset?

Can Beauty & Brains be accepted? Ah I hope so!I

Not if Wendy, myself and a few others have anything to do with it. Examples:

Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Universe 1998 raised the bar (LITERALLY) by being a lawyer, successful business woman, runway model, print model and this year SCORTCH MAGAZINE centerfold clad in a flower covered bikini in a bed of roses. She looked awesome and the next day I am sure she was

Wendy Is Still a Professional AND she's STILL Hot!

back in the board room. Certainly the less modern among us (or just the damn haters) made a snide comment.

Anya Ayoung Chee, also a past Miss Trinidad and Tobago, has parlayed that fame into a damn hot and fairly successful fashion line. Anya is more than just creative – she’s smart and the cut of her clothes superior to many aspiring designers far beyond the shores of the Caribbean.

Sharon Impbert, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (a VERY senior position) has for over two decades graced the catwalks of the Caribbean.

Now begs the question – are you supporting the concept that beauty and brains can both be showcased or do you think we’re still too conservative? In the USA, it is FAR from uncommon to see PLAYBOY PLAYMATES become lawyers (Kimba Wood is now FEDERAL JUDGE WOOD for example), authors (Gloria Steinem feminist writer),doctors and yes, models and actresses. I’m not saying in the Caribbean we are there yet but I’m not certain in this day of rogue amateur photographers and videographers poised to catch any “less than publicly beautiful” moment on the camera, many among us realize the day has come where a photo, posed or candid, can help a professional career as much as winning an award or being published in a scholarly journal.

So weigh in folks. Are we in the Caribbean, island nations with at least 2 women that have been heads of Government, ready to embrace the beauty AND brains? Or should we models just realize the glass ceiling is lower for us?

Hugs!

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Does Prepared beat passionate? In Communication YES!

May 28, 2010

Polished and Prepared Trinidad and Tobago PM Bissessar Speaks from Manuscripts

How refreshing it was this afternoon to see Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Persad Bissessar speak from a prepared speech at the swearing in of Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet (full list) on May 29, 2010. There is something about a head of government speaking from a prepared speech instead of from the heart.

Reality check Bissessar haters – Obama has teleprompters so he always seems to have perfect eye contact even though his speeches are prepared – let the hating stop there. He has even been called the teleprompter president.

When a person of significant importance has a practiced and prepared speech, it communicates a level of respect to the audience. The words were thought out prior to the occasion and, given Prime Minister Bissessar’s inflection and stresses, were undoubtedly read BEFORE hand. Ah the lessons many an Executive could learn from this.

No one is saying an honest statement does not add to the message. In fact, today, Bissessar did that as well – her comment about the various religious texts used to swear in her cabinet APPEARED not to be scripted and definitely added some colour to an already good speech. Was it prepared before hand? Maybe. But the practice and eye contact allowed it to appear genuine.

Is a passionate non scripted speech a good thing? Sure. If you’re a priest, making a toast or manage to be unlike most human beings and be adept at avoiding the “foot in mouth syndrome”. When you are prepared, you cover the salient points. When you are prepared, the members of the media can be treated with respect and obtain advance or “as you are talking” copies of the speeches delivered at a NATIONAL event. When you are prepared, you are polished and your speech will be the icing on the polished presentation you put forward (her silk Shantung suit was stunning AND appropriate).

Additionally, the Prime Minister was so prepared she CLEARLY had talking points excerpted from her speech to rehash to the media in a orderly interview.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is early. We have no firm proof the country will be governed flawlessly but so far, the approach to public meetings is refreshingly polished and prepared. That, my dear friends (he he he), is something that impresses me, a communicator at heart and patriot.