At Commtract, our community of experts are the lifeblood of our business. One initiative we are taking on is featuring more of our experts to showcase their unique talent, ready to be engaged on our marketplace! We interviewed writer, journalist, media trainer and presenter, Theresa Miller – keep on reading to find out all about her!
1. What are you famous for? I am known for asking lots of questions and my speedy writing skills. Uni students like my entertaining tutorials and my media-training clients say I’m an engaging presenter.
2. What interesting skills and experience do you bring to the table as a contractor and media trainer? As a former TV journalist I work well to a deadline. I’m also good at translating offialese into plain English and getting to the heart of the story. I like helping company spokespeople get their message across without being derailed by a journalist with an agenda. My super powers are writing content, coaching clients in presentation skills, how to handle media interviews and how to write more professionally. I also make corporate videos with my cameraman husband.
3. I became a journalist because… I was bad at maths! Actually, I wanted to be a novelist and actor from the age of five but growing up in suburban Adelaide I didn’t even know that was possible. My father talked me into becoming a TV journalist, which turned out to be a good choice. I worked in London for Sky News and Good Morning Britain and later in Switzerland for The European Business Channel and CNN. Back in Australia I worked for Channels Seven, Nine, ABC and SBS. I was a reporter on Australia’s Most Wanted for almost three years but when Channel Seven axed the show I cast around for a new job. It was the lead up to the Olympics in Sydney and I was offered a job as the Lord Mayor’s media advisor, which I jumped at. It was a lot of fun and I learned how to craft speeches and key messages. After that I moved into media training, which was not as common then as it is now.
4. Any wise words to share with other professionals in contracting?
The problem with contracting is that you can be sitting around twiddling your thumbs for a couple of weeks, fretting that you’ll never work again, and then BOOM you’re hit with three jobs at once, all with tight deadlines. Managing that boom/bust cycle is key to surviving as a freelancer. Also learning to save money for the leaner periods…such as over Christmas and January is also crucial. During your down time it’s a great opportunity to refresh your skills and learn new things. It’s also important to relax, recharge and have faith that work will come in. Also… clients are like your boyfriends/girlfriends – they don’t want to know that they are not the only one in your life.
5. You won a role with us as a voiceover artist, and you have done lots of acting work – how did you get started, and can you tell us something interesting about this kind of work that people might not know?
I started doing drama classes as a kid and was often in pantomimes during the school holidays. When I moved to Sydney in 1993 I found an agent and did quite a few TV commercials and a few stints in soapies. I once played a mum in a Cadbury Roses Mothers Day ad – I had to lie in a hammock eating chocolates for hours…which sounds like heaven but in reality I had to spit the chocolates out and the hammock was pinned to my backside so I every time I moved I got pricked. Also, when you are being filmed talking but with no audio…it’s important not to say anything inappropriate because there are plenty of viewers who can lip-read! After 23 years of being with my acting agent, they went bust –- they still owe me money (and a lot of other actors too) funnily enough, for a funeral commercial.