by: Simone Baptiste, Beverly B. Media and Communications.
The title of this article is clearly a rip off from the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha as it was meant to be. Nearly four years ago I was a PR Manager for a television station when I first saw Memoirs of a Geisha on DVD. Upon viewing the movie it made me think…some of the training that made a good geisha in the early 1900’s also makes for a good PR professional. Get your minds out of the gutter; the training I speak of is purely mental.
In the movie a young girl named Chiyo is mentored by Mameha, one of Japan’s top geisha’s. Under Mameha’s guidance Chiyo was transformed from a shy young woman into one of the most sought after geishas of her time. But what did Chiyo learn that lead her from obsurity to noteriaty? In my obeservation Chiyo was taught confidence and given knowledge.
There is a famous scene in the movie where Mameha tells Chiyo that a true geisha can stop a man in his tracks with just one look (the scene was used in the trailer and even spoofed by Mad TV.) Good looks can take you far but confidence can take you even further. It was not just her good looks that made the young man take a second look it was here belief that she could make it happen. As a PR professional, maybe one just starting out, do not define yourself by others, by failures, or by success, or else you will never know who you are or what you can accomplish.
What I am talking about is not conceit; confidence and conceit are often confused. Conceit has to weaken others to make itself seem strong; confidence strengthens others because it has so much strength to give.
THE ART OF CONVERSATION
Chiyo, the young geisha, was also trained in the art of conversation, in other words small talk. Small talk can be very difficult, how do you approach? How do you start a conversation? What do you talk about? I have one word for you…read. As the saying goes knowledge is power. The young geisha was taught to speak on every topic with confidence and accuracy. Don’t be afraid to read, read the most mind challenging article to the fluffiest piece of writing you can find, you can learn from everything and from everyone.
Everything is a learning experience, take the time to teach and more importantly take the time to be taught.
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