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 see an interview with actress Charlize Theron about her new film, Tully, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. First, here’s the trailer for the film.

As you watch this interview, consider these questions: Does the artist 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? (This is a clip from a longer interview. If you want to see the whole interview, which has English captions, click the link at the bottom.)

What does Theron do well? This actress knows how to give a good interview. She seems very confident, yet natural and comfortable when she speaks. She looks at the interviewer or the camera while she’s speaking, and she has good posture. She smiles and gestures very effectively to emphasize her points and to make her story more interesting. She speaks clearly, and her speed and volume are good, so she’s easy to understand. She also uses good vocal variety to add emphasis to her interview and make it more engaging.

What could she improve? I only noticed two small things that Theron could do to improve. One is that she uses the filler word like a lot. Many people do this, so it’s not a huge problem, but usually speaking coaches suggest that you should avoid filler words when giving a talk or interview to sound more professional. Also, she scratches her knee and her face during the interview and fidgets with her hands a little. Again, this is natural and not a big problem, but it’s usually best to avoid these things if you can.

What professional vocabulary does she use? First, Colbert talks about how she produced the film and played the character Marlo, a mother of three children. He asks her what drew her to the film. She explains how she read the script when her own daughter was about six months old, so she had just lived through a similar experience. She says that she likes the film because it’s so honest about what it’s like to raise kids. They go on to discuss how difficult it is and how it can be impossible to know everything that you need to do as a parent. Finally, she says that the purpose of the film is to help people feel less alone with whatever challenges they are experiencing in life. 

A good language coach can help you to find and correct the little mistakes that people often make in interviews and presentations. Having someone to give you feedback about your speaking skills can really help you to reach the next level with your interviews or talks. Often changing a few little things can really make a big difference.

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.

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 The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on May 4, 2018, click the link below: