Communication is the very essence of speech language pathology. Practitioners and students in the field are keenly aware of what constitutes functional and dysfunctional speech, and alternative methods that can be employed when oral communication is impossible. Even if you are up on the latest methodologies and research, you might be unaware how alternative communication affects your own life. This is particularly true when it comes to body language, especially body language in the workplace. Employers rely on first impressions and not just how you are dressed... but your posture, your handshake and even how you sit. They make judgements about you as a potential employee within seconds of meeting you, and your nonverbal communication may be the difference between getting a job or not.
We have compiled a list of the top tips, for this aspect of the interview process, from a variety of sources such as Forbes Magazine and Harvard Business School:
- Practice, practice, practice. Your mother always said “Practice makes perfect” and she was right. The more you rehearse your entrance and departure, including greetings and goodbyes, the more you build confidence, reduce stress and lessen the probability of non verbal missteps.
- Maintain appropriate levels of eye contact. Although shifty eye contact is often attributed to nervousness and even lying, staring is just as damaging and can make your potential employer uncomfortable. Experts recommend maintaining eye contact for no more than 10 seconds, chiefly during introductions, handshakes and job-related questioning. You should break and return to direct contact when appropriate.
- Watch your posture. Sit straight, particularly at the beginning of the interview, as slouching conveys disinterest and a lack of confidence. You can maintain your position comfortably by keeping your back flush with the back of the chair. It is also a good idea to shift positions from time to time in order to stay relaxed. Achieve this by turning your shoulder towards the interviewer, tilting your head and leaning forward a bit, all of which show investment in the conversation and relax the body.
- Your hands can be your ally. Even the most confident person can have sweaty palms during an interview. You will want to greet your interviewer (s) with a firm handshake showing confidence, not a weak, limp, wet grip. To offset this, wash your hands just before your meeting and/or carry tissues with you to wipe the palms dry if necessary. It is best to position your hands loosely in your lap or on the chair’s armrests throughout the process. You will appear calm and comfortable even if you are not. These positions also leave your hands available for gesturing, which is seen by employers as a sign of enthusiasm and expressiveness. Experts advise increasing the use of gestures over the length of the interview and always use them in moderation.
- Don’t forget to smile. Smiling sends the signal that you are at ease and enthusiastic about the conversation, but also friendly, warm and open, assets every employer values. Smiling can also help you to relax if feeling anxious or nervous.
Other nonverbal don’ts and their interpretations:
- drumming your fingers - indicates boredom
- rubbing the back of your neck- signals disinterest
- folding arms across chest - means unfriendly or disengaged
- touching nose - implies dishonesty
- shaking leg or foot - sign of nervousness
- pointing feet towards door - conveys impatience/desire to end conversation
- looking away mid-sentence - suggests distraction/lack of focus
Contact Centra at 800 535 0076... we can find you a great new Therapy Job. We will help you through the process from start to finish so that you can put these and other useful tips to work to achieve a successful outcome.
- Category: Career Advice
In film as well as television, characters with speech impediments, particularly stuttering, have often been portrayed in a less than positive way. Arguably, “The King’s Speech” may going forward change perceptions, both in Hollywood and the rest of society, of people suffering from various communication disorders. Nonetheless, we would like to recommend the following movies which present some distinct teachable moments, and are entertaining as well as thought-provoking.
- “The Music Man” (1962): How a con artist changes a small town and himself in the process. One of the townspeople transformed is a young boy with a lisp. Starring Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett and Ron Howard.
- “The Miracle Worker” (1962): The true story of Helen Keller, a deaf-mute, her exceptional, and legally blind, teacher/therapist, Anne Sullivan, and how she learned to communicate and acquire speech. Starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke.
- “My Fair Lady” (1964): A professor of elocution transforms a Cockney flower girl into a lady of high society through accent modification, and in the process gets more than he bargained for. Starring Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn and Wilfride Hyde-White.
- “L’Enfant Sauvage” (The Wild Child) (1970): Acclaimed French director François Truffaut’s take on the true story of a feral child, the doctor who befriends him and, with the help of his housekeeper, attempts to teach him rudimentary speech and manners. Starring Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Cargol and Françoise Seigner.
- “Children of A Lesser God” (1986): A hearing speech teacher falls in love with a female custodian at a school for the deaf who is herself deaf. Their relationship is tested by conflicting ideologies regarding speech and deafness. Starring Marlee Matlin and William Hurt.
- “My Left Foot” (1989): The real-life tale of Irish painter/port/author Christy Brown, who suffered from cerebral palsy and had control only over one part of his body, hence the title. In a funny scene in what is otherwise a drama, his teacher/therapist convinces him to work with her in improving his speech, especially his cursing. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan and Kirsten Sheridan.
- “Nell” (1994): A beautiful, young hermit with a unique speech pattern is “discovered” by the local doctor and a visiting psychology student. They unlock all of her secrets, including the origin of her singular language, and shield her from the intrusions of the outside world. Starring Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson.
- “Behind The Lines” (1997): Based on true events, the film tells the story of psychiatrist/therapist, Dr. William Rivers, who, contrary to prevailing wisdom, used humane, compassionate methods to treat the PTSD-induced speech disorders of his World War I patients, including two of England’s noted poets. Starring Jonathan Pryce, James Wilby and Jonny Lee MIller.
- “The Tic Code” (1998): A young jazz prodigy with Tourette’s Syndrome meets an older musician with the same condition, but who has learned to cover up much of his disorder. The prodigy and his mother, on the other hand, have accepted the boy’s disorder and therein lies the conflict. Starring Chris Marquette, Polly Draper iand Carol Kane.
- “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly” (2007): The real story of Elle magazine editor, Jean-Dominique Bauby and the stroke-induced “locked-in” condition which resulted in paralysis of his entire body except for his left eye. It is also the story of the speech therapist who invents an ingenious way for him to communicate. Starring Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner and Marie-Josée Croze.
- “Rocket Science” (2007): A chronic stutterer joins his high school debate team in order to impress a girl on the team. To overcome his innate anxiety when debating, his therapist suggests that he sing or use a foreign accent. He doesn’t get the girl, but learns a lot about life. Starring Reece Thompson and Anna Kendrick.
We hope you enjoy this short list of communication/speech therapy-related feature films and will add your own favorites. If you are a speech language pathologist and are inspired by any of them to search for employment in the field, please contact the Centra team at 800 535 0076 and let us put you in your next starring role.
May 7-13, 2012 is National Stuttering Awareness Week and watching the Academy Award winning film, “The King’s Speech”, is the perfect way to mark the occasion. It tells the true story of George VI of England, the stutter that threatened his reign, and Lionel Logue, the Australian speech pathologist who helped mitigate his disability. For much of the twentieth century, there were two broad, separate approaches for treating the king’s disorder: fluency shaping and stuttering modification. Logue used a battery of techniques on his royal client, including diaphragmatic breathing, masking, shadowing and speech pacing, all of which are common practices in fluency shaping to this day. But, observing that certain situations and people exacerbated the king’s stutter, Logue instinctively added psychotherapy into his treatment plan. Using reverse psychology, by having George VI concentrate on improving the physical aspects of his stammering the therapist was able to unearth the psychological basis for it, and the monarch was able to come to an acceptance of his condition. Logue’s approach was integrative, holistic and ahead of its time.
Client-led integrative therapy for stuttering has evolved from scientific and technological developments in the field throughout the last century. The establishment of the University of Iowa Speech Clinic in 1927 ushered in an era of treating psychological effects, especially anxiety, rather than focusing on “untreatable” core behaviors. This trend shifted in 1965, when behavioral psychologist, Israel Goldiamond, successfully used delayed auditory feedback (DAF) to correct a core stuttering behavior: non-fluent speech. The predominant theory changed again with the first brain imaging study of stutterers in 1992. That study revealed two neurological bases for the disorder : overactivity in the speech motor control area; and underactivity in the auditory processing area. Newer technologies are being used today to stimulate underactive auditory areas of the brain and studies have also found a link between dopamine levels in the speech center and stuttering. Too much dopamine results in oversensitivity of this part of the brain causing stuttering, but this can be offset by using dopamine antagonistic medications, such as risperidone and olanzapine.
Logue seems to have intuitively understood that there is no “one size fits all” type of therapy. Each treatment has its shortcomings; stuttering modification requires the client to confront fear-producing tasks in order to overcome them; while fluency shaping ignores the psychological causes of the condition; and the present-day emphasis on electronic devices and medications often precedes substantiation of their efficacy. But in combination, the strengths of these different treatments can overcompensate for their separate drawbacks. In 1995, ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) legitimized the integrative approach by incorporating it in their practice guidelines for stuttering treatment. So while “The King’s Speech” may have taken movie-making license with the true debilitating nature of George VI’s stammer, it is a fairly accurate depiction of how communicative disorders were perceived and treated in the last century. By the end of the film, a must see for every speech language pathologist, we are left with the sense that Logue‘s integrative treatment plan was the right one..., at least as far as his king was concerned.
If you are an SLP specializing in stuttering or any other communicative disorder and are looking for new Speech Language Pathology Jobs, please contact the Centra team at 800 535 0076 and let us help you “get it right.”
It is no wonder Texans are known for their hospitality; their state’s name is derived from a Hasinai Indian word, tejas, meaning allies or friends. From “Big D” (Dallas) in the north to “SA-Town” (San Antonio) in the south; from the wildflowers and wineries of Hill Country to the hardwood forests and oil rigs of Piney Woods; from birdwatching on the Gulf Coast to stargazing in the Panhandle... Texas is as varied as it is vast. This is the place where Dr Pepper and Jalapeno Pepper Jelly were invented; the home of the world’s largest rose garden at Tyler and the world’s largest inland port at Laredo; and site of the nation’s first suspension bridge and its first domed stadium. In short, Texas has something for everyone and every lifestyle.
With no state income tax , a reduced cost of living and low unemployment rates, Texas is also a great place to work. Centra Healthcare Solutions has numerous healthcare opportunities available in the state, including Ft. Worth, “Big D’s” down to earth sister city. Ft. Worth seamlessly melds Wild West traditions with modern day culture and the arts. At the Stockyards National Historic District see a live rodeo on weekends, a twice daily cattle drive, or listen to top country performers at the world’s biggest honky-tonk, “Billy Bob’s Texas”. Then head over to the Cultural District and see why Ft. Worth is “The Museum Capital of the Southwest.” If you like some fine dining with your art, try out “The Cafe Modern” at the Modern Art Museum, named one of America’s best restaurants by “Gourmet” magazine. Or if you prefer a more casual atmosphere, Ft. Worth has outstanding and innovative steakhouses, Tex-Mex and barbecue restaurants. Whether you are looking for Western boots, jewelry or furniture; or for designer shoes, clothing and antiques Ft. Worth can satisfy your every shopping need. Go a round on one of the city’s 23 golf courses, attend minor/ major league baseball and football games or take in an Indy/Nascar event at the Texas Motor Speedway... Ft. Worth is a sports lover’s dream.
“Everything’s bigger in Texas” including the employment opportunities. So if you are interested in a Speech Language Pathology position in Ft. Worth or anywhere else in the state, contact Centra at 800 535 0076 and let us help you make the Lone Star State your temporary or permanent home.
May has been designated as “Better Hearing and Speech Month” by ASHA. Building on the slogan, “Connecting People Through Communication”, the goal is to raise public awareness concerning various communication disorders that affect about 14 million Americans. Some of these are “curable”, but for those that aren’t, Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) can teach their clients coping strategies to overcome their disability. Centra Healthcare Solutions recognizes the significant role Speech Language Pathologists play in ensuring that patients live productive and fulfilling lives and is dedicating this month’s blogs to topics relevant to the field.
To start, here are the top ten 2012 best schools for Speech Language Pathology as ranked by “US News and World Report” :
1. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
2. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
3. University of Washington, Seattle, WA
3. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
5. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
5. Purdue University-West Lafayette, West Lafayette, IN
5. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
8. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
8. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
10. University of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX
If you are a graduate of one of these or the other fine schools of Communication Disorders, and are looking for new and exciting Speech Language Pathology contract or permanent job opportunities, call the Centra team at 800 535 0076 and let us assist you in reaching your goals.