Karin Reed: Professionally Presenting Yourself in a Video/Virtual World (Ep. #28)

By
The Better Manager Team
BetterManager Executive Coach

February 23, 2021

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #28: Professionally Presenting Yourself in a Video/Virtual World

Karin Reed, bestselling author of "Your On-Camera Coach," joins us to show you how to put your best foot forward in all your remote meetings & Town Halls with Executives. You'll get her best tips to produce better looking, more effective virtual meetings. You'll learn new ways to use your webcam and set up a seamless experience.

In this episode:

Meet Karin:

  • Karin is a confidence creator. Her mission is to empower her clients, whether they come from the c-suite or the sales force, to speak with ease to any audience on any platform – in person, on camera or through virtual communication tools.
  • Her methodology is based on more than 20+ years of experience as an award-winning news anchor, on-camera spokesperson and commercial actress.
  • Karin has been a trusted trainer and consultant for companies ranging from early-stage start-up to Fortune 100. Her warm and encouraging approach have made even the most reluctant public speakers into compelling communicators at companies like Lenovo, SAS Institute and Teva Pharmaceuticals. She’s also developed a strong following in academia – leading workshops at elite institutions such as Stanford, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • Her first book, On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World, was a #1 Hot New Release in Business Communications on Amazon in 2017.

Why On-Camera Presentation Is So Important

  • There's so much time and money invested in meetings. You need to invest some time and money into making them actually work better!
  • A lot of the challenges that executives have are the same for anyone across the enterprise, it's just really getting comfortable communicating effectively through the camera lens, and also understanding the proper approach to keeping people engaged when they're in this environment.
  • The biggest hurdle that most people have is just turning the webcam on! It's imperative that you do because the research shows that it's the single most important factors in determining meeting success and satisfaction and effectiveness.
  • When you have video enabled in a meeting, you accomplish a lot of things. You help people to pay better attention.The camera is a way to help people stay focused, and it also holds them accountable, because it's much more difficult to multitask whenever people can see you.
  • It is also really valuable from just a communication perspective, because so much of how we communicate a message is from our body language.
  • If you don't have video enabled, that body language is silent. It's very difficult to read the intent of the message without those nonverbal cues.
  • But it's also difficult as the speaker to understand the impact of your message if you can't see how people are reacting to it.
  • You create all of these black holes, figuratively and literally if you don't use the webcam.
  • Set up your personal production value in a way that allows for an efficient communication of your message!

Common Challenges

  • There was this lack of understanding of how time spent in zoom feels very different than the time spent in person. And so you had these very long meetings, which might have been done in a conference room, but punctuated with breaks or casual conversation, and it became so draining and exhausting, and non-productive. You have to understand the limits of endurance, and attention in a virtual space.
  • So what I'm hoping will occur now is that there will be a recognition that virtual meetings cannot be two hours long, certainly without breaks, you know, if you have a two hour meeting, then you've got to build in at least a 10 minute break halfway through. But what we found is that the most effective meetings are those that are shorter, and are very purpose driven, meaning Okay, rather than having 10 items on the agenda, maybe you have two items on the agenda, and you do them and you get something done, you have action items, and then you get out of the meetings so that people can actually do work. Because the only thing that happens is people go back to back to back, and there's no time to get the real work done, or to task switch. And we all need to do that. So that we can, you know, shift our brains from the previous meeting into and prepare for the meeting that's coming up. The other thing that I'm often seeing is people are now starting to recognize that you do not need to have 20 people on a meeting unless they all absolutely, positively need to be there. You know, Joe will tell you that the best meeting science indicates that five to seven people is the sweet spot for decision making. And it definitely is true in a virtual setting. Because if you want to have true dialogue, it's very unwieldy if you get beyond five to seven people.
  • "Zoom abuse" is where people force every touchpoint with a person to be on zoom. It really doesn't.
  • Ask, "Does this need to be a meeting in the first place? Or can this be an email? Can this be a text? Can this be as a quick phone call?"
  • If you determine you do need to meet on this, then do you need to have your video on if it is a discussion? I would say you do absolutely need to have it on. The time when I would say you can keep it off is if you know your conversation partner as well, because you have all of this information stored from previous experience with them, so that if you take away the visual, you can fill in the gaps in your brain. But if you don't know the people very well, having video on allows you to continue to build and foster that relationship.

Teleprompter Tips

  • A teleprompter might make you feel more comfortable, but doing that well is is not easy.
  • People relying upon teleprompters are often focusing on the wrong thing: they're focusing on articulating words in a particular order, rather than conveying a message with conviction.
  • The first thing is, okay, you want to use a teleprompter, tell me why. Is there a way that instead of having it scripted, can you change it into bullets, so that you're communicating concepts?
  • You can apply a variation of what's called analytical reading. Analytical reading is a way to mark your text for emphasis and for pauses, because oftentimes, what happens when we read is we lose a lot of our natural inflection.
  • When you go through your script underline the meaningful words and emphasize them by raising your pitch, or pause afterwards, or maybe elongate them.
  • Also ensure that you mark pauses. There are basically two kinds of pauses, a pause for breath and then there's a power pause for impact. After you deliver a key takeaway, rather than just plowing into the next sentence, you want to give people an opportunity to consider what you just said, and ruminate on it and digest it.

Trends

  • The trends indicate that there will be a hybrid approach to work. Primarily for safety reasons, people want to ensure that they maintain their good health and the health of others.
  • As the pandemic starts to wane, there is also going to be an evaluation: some folks who are desperate to get back into the brick and mortar office, and for other folks, remote work has really been great.
  • Virtual meetings are not going to go away, but they're going to change shape.
  • You actually have to get them to all engage together, so that's going to require strong facilitation on the part of the leader.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Karin on LinkedIn here.

Check out Speaker Dynamics here.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

About Karin Reed

Karin is a confidence creator. Her mission is to empower her clients, whether they come from the c-suite or the sales force, to speak with ease to any audience on any platform – in person, on camera or through virtual communication tools.

Her methodology is based on more than 20+ years of experience as an award-winning news anchor, on-camera spokesperson and commercial actress.

Karin has been a trusted trainer and consultant for companies ranging from early-stage start-up to Fortune 100. Her warm and encouraging approach have made even the most reluctant public speakers into compelling communicators at companies like Lenovo, SAS Institute and Teva Pharmaceuticals. She’s also developed a strong following in academia – leading workshops at elite institutions such as Stanford, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Her first book, On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World, was a #1 Hot New Release in Business Communications on Amazon in 2017.

Episode Transcript

Posted on

February 23, 2021