It was marvelously entertaining when a bikini-clad Elle Woods used, as Aristotle would say the “available means of persuasion” to convince Harvard Law to consider her application carefully in the blockbuster hit Legally Blonde. Truth is, she was way ahead of her time. This year Tufts University has started to review recorded utterances from its application pool.
According to a NY Times article, Lee Coffin, the dean of undergraduate admissions, said the idea came to him last spring as he watched a YouTube video someone had sent him. “I thought, ‘If this kid applied to Tufts, I’d admit him in a minute, without anything else,’ ” Mr. Coffin said.
For their videos, some students sat in their bedrooms and talked earnestly into the camera, while others made day-in-the-life montages, featuring buddies, burgers and lacrosse practice. A budding D.J. sent clips from one of his raves, with a suggestion that such parties might be welcome at Tufts.
It is one of the reasons that Penn State Lehigh Valley first year experience students in my CAS 100 classes have a video speech of self introduction due first thing every semester.
So, don’t laugh at You Tube. OK, laugh at You Tube. Then turn the camera on yourself and repeat until you like what you see and hear. “All good public speakers were once bad public speakers.” Mark Twain was so right about that. Only now we can erase and re-record until the world sees our best shot.