Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | Safar 30, 1444 H
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An interviewee under the spotlight...

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Self expression is essential for a healthy mind, but should our urge for expressing ourselves be a torture for others?

A perfect example has been seen on the social media. There are some who want to say what they think it is by posting a statement and a whole lot of others who feel they know better and fill in their thoughts on the comments box.

One of the latest incidents has been the viral post of a person who had those moments when we are lost for words when on air — those blank moments, which can happen to anyone. But to highlight this moment and share this video on social media was not exactly of good taste. What would have been the point? Most importantly the tweets must have damaged the person’s confidence. But you can bounce back.

Stage fear can happen to anyone. Sometimes it needs training and smaller opportunities to partake in public speaking.

A blank moment does not indicate lack of knowledge, it just means the person is conscious of the television lights, cameras and most importantly people — the interviewer, camera people and the viewers.

There are introverts and extroverts. In regard to introverts, their expertise might be high but lack the confidence to put it out together for that moment.

A television or a radio studio is not an easy place as you can literally hear the silence.

So others have been arguing, “If a person is not confident then why accept an interview invitation?”

My response to it is, “Why not?” There should always be a first time.

If the person has the experience he or she has every right to be interviewed. The media fraternity would know how important professionals and experts are. No one is perfect and it is tough experiences that make us learn better. Yes it is a challenging moment when an interviewee does not flow with the answers at ease but this is where the interviewer should step in.

What we need is a sense of humour. To accept others flaws or uncomfortable situations and give them time to recover and not slam them down just because we have access to social media. The technique is simple — this is something the late Shaikh Khalfan al Esry had talked about in our radio programme.

As a matter of fact it is a very thin line between self expression and cyber bullying.

And the same goes with being politically correct and incorrect. On social media language is not a barrier as with one click the text is translated. It is saddening to note when a group of people are talked about and they do not even know about it as in to defend themselves. What’s on social media can stay forever even if it is deleted. It can prove to be an embarrassment if not now, later.

One of the quotes of late Sultan Qaboos which has always inspired me is, “Power is responsibility.”

Freedom of expression is power and power is responsibility.

One post can trigger reactions and influence many other people’s thoughts.

As for this particular interviewee’s predicament I would suggest saying yes again to another invitation for an interview.

The interviewer is comfortable in the setting of the studio so let us not forget to break the ice for the guests to open up.

One of the best ways to break the ice is to ask simple questions about them.

If the interviewer senses discomfort or nervousness, jump in and follow up with an easy question to have a conversation.

We have to always remember the interviewee is the star. They are giving us their time and our objective as an interviewer is information. So the interviewer should not be just equipped with questions but should be alert to pick up signs of discomfort or nervousness.

Enjoy the spotlight and take it as an important platform to share your knowledge.

A conversation is an art and one of the skills that is important to retain the interviewee’s attention so he or she forgets about the camera, lights and viewers. Each interview will build up your experience and confidence.

The saying goes practice makes man perfect but remember, disasters also make us perfect. It is a learning experience. Learning is a continuous process.

So say yes to the next interview and excel!

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