On Tuesdays, we watch talks or interviews with artists and designers and discuss how to present our work clearly and with confidence. This week we’ll hear from Saudi fashion designer Noora Hefzi.
As you watch this interview, consider these questions: Does the designer speak clearly and with confidence? Does she use gestures and intonation to emphasize her points? Does she smile and look at the camera? Does she use professional vocabulary?
What does Hefzi do well? She has a comfortable and relaxed posture, and she looks at the interviewer when she’s speaking. She speaks clearly and is easy to understand. Her speed and volume are good, and she smiles occasionally. She seems comfortable and fairly confident, but she could also improve in a few ways.
What could she improve? Although she seems fairly relaxed and confident, she doesn’t really seem very interested or passionate. I get the feeling that she doesn’t really enjoy being interviewed or wants to be somewhere else. Part of the reason for this is that she doesn’t use a lot of vocal variety. She uses it, but not a lot. Vocal variety is one of the most important ways we show our passion for a topic in English. If you don’t use it, you sound bored. Another way we show we’re passionate is with gestures. She doesn’t really gesture at all. In addition, she uses a lot of filler words and some uptalk which make her sound kind of unprepared or distracted.
What professional vocabulary does she use? She begins by talking about what makes her designs unique. She creates ready-to-wear clothes and dresses, as well as caftans for the Ramadan and Eid season. (These are special days of fasting and celebration in the Islamic calendar.) She describes her designs as playful, fun, modern, and classic with a lot of emphasis on details like beading and texture. Next, she explains how she got started in fashion design. She says she would often change the clothes she bought because she liked them to be unique, so she started designing for herself and her family. Finally, she talks about her signature caftan with a palm tree design. She feels that palm trees are inspirational because they look royal, regal, and elegant.
Even if your English is perfect, you can still give the wrong impression with your body language. A good language coach can help you both with the words you use and how to use them effectively, so you give the best impression when you have a talk or interview.
At Artglish, we help artists and designers to speak confidently about their work. We coach you to speak professionally using the best vocabulary and correct pronunciation. If you want to learn more, click here to join The Studio and try some free ways to improve your English, or check out our Lessons page to learn how Artglish can help you succeed.
I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.
To see the original video, posted by Harper’s Bazaar Arabia on October 28, 2017, click the link below: