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From Princess To Intern, What We Should All Learn From Anne Hathaway

From Princess To Intern, What We Should All Learn From Anne Hathaway

Have you ever walked away from a film and thought about the experience from the lead actor or actress’s point of view?

Anne Hathaway is one of many in the film industry who can vouch for all the ways acting can teach an individual how to grow and improve, not only in their work, but as people, too.

We first spied Hathaway, now 32, on the big screen as Mia Thermopolis in 2001. Since then she has snagged powerful female lead roles in all kinds of film genres, which is, it turns out, exactly what she intended to do.

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Here are a few valuable life lessons we can all learn from our Oscar-winning former princess.

Avoid doing the same thing over and over again

Hathaway’s role as clumsy, quirky Princess Mia in The Princess Diaries could have easily tied her down to a long series of similar acting roles, and she has admitted it was difficult to avoid it at first. She managed to press on, however, knowing she didn’t want to fall into the typecast trap. And for a very good reason, too.

With a goal to act in as many different types of films as possible early on in her career, Hathaway’s determination has allowed her to work with various directors and build a diverse, impressive filmography.

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The lesson: Branch out, no matter your ambitions. Dare to do something different and launch yourself as far outside your comfort zone as possible.

Get hands-on experience, even when you don’t think you need it

Acting often requires much more than just reading through a script and working with a director. To prepare for her role as an assistant to a demanding fashion magazine tycoon in The Devil Wears Prada, Hathaway fetched coffee and did office work at Christie’s.

Getting into the mindset and feel of a particular role sometimes means you have to step away from the script and experience the environment in question firsthand. Hathaway isn’t the first or only professional to do this, but it does say a lot about her dedication to her work and can even teach us about learning in our own fields of expertise.

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The lesson: Get out there and give it a try for yourself. Whether you’re learning a new skill or are trying out a new hobby or career, the best way to learn what it’s really like is to see it firsthand.

Don’t let your haters get to you

Hathaway, loved by many, is like any other successful performer in Hollywood: she isn’t loved by everyone. Some have brought up her age as a potential issue and have criticized her for statements she has made in interviews about her role in Les Miserables. She doesn’t try to be perfect, but critics don’t always hold back their opinions, either.

After a short break from the big screen after her 2013 Oscar win, she returned to rocking her roles and hasn’t looked back. Hathaway knows there will always be those who disapprove, and that wasn’t nearly enough to stop her from doing what she loves to do.

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The lesson: It’s impossible to impress everyone, no matter your talent or career. Everyone makes mistakes and not everyone is quick to forgive. Do what you do the best you can. If you need time away, take it. Come back refreshed and show your haters they can’t knock you out of the game.

As with any other career, actors learn just as much from working on a film as you might have watching it. In watching a successful actor move from role to role, if you look closely, you can see the subtle yet sensational ways they transform and mature.

Hathaway’s career is a prime example, and there’s no doubt she still has plenty to teach us as she continues to learn new lessons herself.

Featured photo credit: Horus Tr4n via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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