Sunday, April 17, 2011

Captivating An Audience Is More Than Being Charismatic

How do entertainers and other professionals woo their audiences? Are some people born with the ability to perform? Why are some people better at public speaking than others? 

Getting someone's attention during a speech, a performance or an interview takes more than having charisma. There are people today who are great speakers and some who wish to have the ability to connect with an audience. After viewing "es el momento,"(this is the moment) a town hall meeting with president Barrack Obama and A.J. Jacob's web video "year of living biblically," one finds that public speaking requires confidence, preparation, trying new things, having a sense of humor, and being skilled in a trade. Regardless of issue or subject in highlight, A.J. Jacobs and President Obama are well prepared and know how to connect, respond and share ideas with their audiences. 

A.J. Jacobs is not only an author, but also a philanthropist, prankster and a journalist. In his web video "living biblically," Mr. Jacobs discusses how he adopted the bible and how the bible became his way of life for several weeks. With light humor and showing pictures of his lifestyle changes, Jacob gave detailed information to the audience of how he grew a long beard, changed his attire and his beliefs to "live biblically." The audience seemed amused and intrigued with Mr. Jacob's experiment. Mr. Jacobs steps out of his cultural customs and lifestyle, to adopt different roles so that he has a better understanding of a culture, way of life or concept. 
The "es el momento" was a televised town hall meeting with president Obama, to discuss education, immigration and how the issues affect the Latino community. Although the program was televised in the Spanish language on Univision (Spanish television channel), the president received English translation via an earpiece he wore during the meeting. The president answered a variety of questions ranging from college education, school bullying to parent education. He remained calm, stood his ground and even shared his own personal experience, of how he was bullied as a child.  

In both cases, A.J. Jacobs and president Obama are confident and are able to address topics that may not be within their cultural context and or relevant to their personal experiences. They both are open-minded, share their own experiences, and captivate audiences by using humor and address topics in a respectful manner.

Regardless of the profession, one should keep in mind that, being confident, sharing personal experiences and discussing issues outside of personal context is a great way to connect with a live audience. 

Go ahead, it is never too late to share your moment and be in the spotlight! What are you waiting for? 


A.J. Jacobs' Year of Living Biblically 

Es el momento: A town hall meeting with president Obama

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA): Review of the LA Chapter Website

Students and professionals living in the Los Angeles area pursuing a career in public relations, can obtain the latest information and resources on PRSA-LA (Public Relations Society of America Los Angeles chapter) website. Sources say that the Los Angeles Public Relations Society of America is one of the largest and prestigious associations for public relations professionals. PRSA connects students, mid-career professionals, and or seasoned veterans to the latest communication strategies and skills in public relations. Members can take full advantage of the PRSA services versus non-members. Non-members can only access event information, view PRSA-LA news, access membership information and learn about programs. Members can access not only PR news but can receive discounts on upcoming events, learn about sponsorships, apply to committees, access resources, attend professional development seminars, apply to grants, enter local and national award programs, create a member profile and access jobs and internships. Whether you are a mid-career professional, or someone trying to revamp your PR skills and tactics, the PRSA-LA website does more than provide resources, it lays out the tools necessary for professional development.

Grants and award programs

Members can receive recognition in a variety of ways. The Los Angeles PRSA's award programs acknowledge public relations professionals and PR businesses that have been superior in providing excellent products and services. The annual PRism awards program honors outstanding programs and materials that are created by public relations professionals. The winners of the PRism awards are honored every year during October, at the Prism award show and banquet. On a national level, PR professionals and organizations can obtain recognition by achieving the PRSA silver anvil award or the bronze anvil award. The silver anvil acknowledges organizations that have addressed a contemporary issue with creativity and professionalism. The bronze anvil recognizes individuals for their uniqueness in service components and outstanding use of PR tactics. PR professional of the year, PR team of the year, outstanding citizen and Joseph Roos community service are part of the annual special awards. Non-profit organizations seeking to minimize their costs in public relations activities can apply for a chance at winning the annual Don Perkins grant. The winning organization receives 10,000 dollars.

PR certification for young professionals

Young professionals can also obtain recognition and receive certification. The LMU extension gives young PR professionals an opportunity to obtain a public relations certificate by completing a 12-week, high-speed course taught by a highly respected, former Los Angeles journalist.

Exposure and other benefits through sponsorships

Businesses and professionals can market their business by doing sponsorships. Members with 500 dollars or more in sponsorships are able to market their business through website advertisements, receive recognition during events and receive tickets to annual events.


The PRSA Los Angeles is a great source because it provides current news and information on public relations; members can market their business as well as their professional profile by attending PRSA events, participating in seminars and or entering the annual award programs. Aside from the resources one can obtain, the website is great place to network, learn about other PR companies and apply to internships and jobs that are not visible to non-members and the public. Overall, a great website that provides tools that enhance PR skills, encourages professional development, unites PR professionals and creates marketing opportunities for businesses.

Public Relations Society of America- Los Angeles Area Chapter