Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Consequences of Grossly Abusing Grammar During a Job interview or While Talking to a Client or Customer

This morning, I was interviewed by award-winning journalist David Solano for his upcoming story on how extremely poor language skills can sharply diminish one’s chances of success during a jon interview or sales call. [The story is to be aired early next week on Solana’s station KIAH-TV -- Houston’s Channel 39.]

Here is what I said with regard to the severe consequences stemming from egregious grammar errors:

During a job interview or while making a sales call, murdering grammar can be lethal! [Some examples of outrageous grammatical errors: subject-verb disagreement; using first person subject pronoun “I” when it should be object pronoun “me” and the vice versa; wrong tense or wrong verb form; uttering "aks" instead of "ask."] Among the many reasons why such gross abuses of grammar can sharply diminish your prospects of being hired or of consummating a sale:

1. Unless the listener is intimately familiar with your educational background and the many college degrees you have amassed, he or she will conclude that you are poorly educated.

2. You will give the impression of being a slow, unenthusiastic learner--someone who will have difficulty quickly adapting to a potential employer's workplace culture or way of doing things.

3. As a potential employee, you will be viewed as more of a liability than an asset because:
(i) Your conspicuous grammar missteps are likely to be such a serious distraction--even an annoyance--that listeners will be unable to stay focused on your message, and
(ii) You could even end up becoming a laughing stock among not only your would-be peers but also among clients, thus severely tarnishing the company's image.

© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Uninspiring Female Attire: Example of a Highly Intelligent PR Exec Looking Boring and Unimaginative

Click on the video clip below, a 34-second excerpt from last Sunday’s “ABC This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” You’ll see Torie Clarke, Pentagon’s top PR executive during Donald Rumsfeld’s rule, wearing clothes that are uniformly of one color--a color that happens to be identical to the color of her hair and eyebrows. And further, because the color of her hair is not much different to her complexion, we see a woman looking monochromatic--a vision of one color from top to bottom! I was amazed to see this highly intelligent and super-sharp communicator show up on a major Sunday morning television show in such a boring, unappealing, and unimaginative attire.

What could Torie Clarke have done differently to look more appealing and attractive, at the very minimum? No fashionista I, but two simple alternatives immediately come to mind: She could have worn, for instance, a blue dress (which incidentally would match the color of her eyes) or worn something in, say, maroon, rust, or peach and put on lipstick of a near matching shade for a nice balance. Easy!

© Copyright 2011 V.J. Singal