How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication Style

How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication Style

How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication Style

Adjusting Your Communication Style for Virtual Meetings and Presentations by Presentation Trainer Lisa Elia of Expert Media TrainingVideo conferencing can be an extremely effective way to hold meetings and deliver presentations. People tend to try to focus solely on the meeting and ignore distractions because their face is zoomed in on, they are probably less likely to be looking at other devices or whispering to someone next to them.

With this increased focus on one another and with the variation in the quality of each individual’s Internet connection and equipment, there are some shifts you can make to ensure your video calls and meetings run smoothly and effectively and that you deliver confidently and with polish.

Before Your Begin, Prepare Yourself Mentally.

It’s important to clear your head, get focused, and manage nervousness before meetings, interviews, and presentations so that you can be at your best. I put my clients through a series of brief exercises to help them do this and to warm up their bodies and vocal cords. For now, use some of the techniques you might already use that will help you achieve a state of being energized and at ease, such as diaphragmatic breathing, listening to music, and exercising to relieve stress and sharpen your mind.

Greet People Warmly with a Smile.

Adjusting Your Communication Style for Virtual Meetings and Presentations by Presentation Trainer Lisa Elia of Expert Media TrainingSomehow, most people look much more serious on video than in person. Greet people warmly with a smile at the start of the video meeting or presentation just as you would if you were welcoming them into your home.

How much or how often you smile during a meeting will depend on the content and tone of the meeting. Aim to maintain a pleasant resting face.

Don’t Show Shock or Awe Over What You See.

You will see someone’s home or office, which may be messy, cluttered, or more luxurious than you might expect. Someone may attend a meeting having made questionable wardrobe choices. Try to not show surprise, shock or awe over what you see as this could make them uncomfortable. A nice, simple compliment is fine, if appropriate.

Maintain Eye Contact and Avoid Looking Away Too Often.

If you have placed your webcam at eye level or slightly above, you should be able to look at the people you are talking to on your computer monitor and it will seem as if you are looking into their eyes. When in an in-person meeting, it’s normal to look away periodically to gather your thoughts. It’s okay to do this a little bit on video calls, but if you do it too abruptly or too often, people might wonder what you’re looking at and they may think you’re distracted by something that’s going on around you.

If you will need to look at another device or take notes, tell participants on the video call that you will be doing so, so they know why you are looking down or away periodically.

Listen Attentively.

The added challenge of voices being transmitted electronically and potential feedback means you should listen more closely than usual.

Pause More Often Than You Would in Person, Especially on Group Calls.

How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication StyleSince there can be delays in video and sound transmission on video calls, pausing a bit more than usual will give people time to assimilate your message and to respond. Pausing periodically is especially important on group calls where different people may want to speak.

Zoom and other videoconferencing tools have features that allow people to “raise their hands” to indicate to the host that they want to speak, but with smaller groups, especially those with high-powered individuals, they may not want to “raise their hands”.

You May Need to Enunciate More and Slow Down a Bit.

If you tend to speak quickly or run your words together, you may need to enunciate more and slow down a bit to be understood well on video calls. This is something to practice daily. Elevating your communication habits in all situations will prepare you to be a better communicator when participating in video meetings and presentations.

End Your Video Call Clearly and Smoothly.

When the video call is coming to an end, clarify the next steps to be taken, allow everyone to say their thank-yous and goodbyes and then, if you are the host, click to end the meeting quickly. Know where this function is located on your screen so you’re not caught on video fumbling and searching for it.

Be Sure Your Communication and Presentation Skills are Up to Speed.

Whether you are communicating through video, by phone, or in person, the ability to communicate clearly, confidently, and with authority over your topic or material is what’s needed to succeed.

This is part 2 of our series of blog posts to provide tips on how to communicate more effectively when using video platforms. To read part 1 of this blog series, How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Preparing Your Set-up, Your Environment, and Yourself, click here.

To discuss presentation training, media training, investor pitch coaching, or video communication skills training, contact us at 310-479-0217.

Or, email us at [email protected]

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Preparing Your Set-up, Your Environment, and Yourself

How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Preparing Your Set-up, Your Environment, and Yourself

With more people than ever conducting business from home, the use of video to hold meetings, media interviews, sales presentations, and investor pitches is becoming the norm. Even after social distancing measures are lifted, many business leaders are predicting that the use of video conferencing will replace many in-person meetings going forward for reasons of health, cost-savings, and efficiency.

This is part 1 of our series of blog posts to provide tips on not only how to set up your environment, but also the shifts you need to make to communicate effectively in video meetings and presentations.

To read part 2 of this blog series, How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication Style, click here.

How to Hold Effective Video Meetings and Presentations: Preparing Your Set-up, Your Environment, and Yourself

Prepare Your Set-up and Your Environment.

How to Hold Effective Video Meetings and Presentations: Preparing Your Set-up, Environment and YourselfWith video calls, it’s as if you are inviting someone (or a group of people) into your office, so it’s important to create a good experience for them.

Create a space where you can hold video calls. If you can keep it ready to go with little last-minute modification needed, you can save time and minimize stress. Here are some tips.

Consider your background.

Make sure your background is as free of distractions as possible. Log onto your video conference software or video yourself to see what might cause a distraction in your background. Family photos, artwork or even a stray paper or two can steal focus from you. Books and simple artifacts on a shelf can make for a good backdrop You may decide to set up your video conference/recording area in another part of your home or against a different wall.

Replace your background, if necessary, using green-screen technology.

Zoom video conferencing software, which is what many people are using now, allows you to upload photo and video backgrounds or choose one that is provided. (If you use Zoom, please use a password to protect yourself against Zoombombers, which are hackers that burst into your Zoom meeting.)

Some webcams also allow you to replace your background. These technologies work best with a green screen behind you. You can purchase a collapsible green screen. The ones with the pneumatic frames are especially easy to open and close. Rather than purchasing a green screen, you could paint a wall or large piece of cardboard with chroma key green paint or purchase green-screen wallpaper or wall decals. The brand of green screen that I have seems to be temporarily sold out, but this is a similar one.

Remove distracting items that will be in view on your desk.

Remove distracting photos, knickknacks, and food from the customer’s view. If you have a beverage, be sure the cup or glass you use is something you would use in a professional setting.

Raise your computer.

Place your computer on a stack of books or a box so you’re looking at it at eye level or slightly higher. Avoid having to look down at your computer which will distort your face and can create neck and back problems. If you have an adjustable desk or standing desk, you can use that to hold your computer. If you have an external webcam, place it on top of your computer and adjust the height of your computer so your webcam is at eye level or slightly higher.

Upgrade your equipment, if necessary.

Webcam – A good external webcam can improve the quality of your video transmission through higher resolution, speed, and fluidity. I use this Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam.

Microphone – Poor sound quality on a video call can lead participants to strain to hear, which can lead to frustration and negative opinions and emotions. A good external microphone can be worth the investment. Depending on the sensitivity of your external microphone, place it approximately 4 to 10 inches from your mouth. I sit approximately 5 inches from my Blue Yeti microphone.

Light your face.

Place soft lights behind your computer screen or webcam with the light reflecting on your face, if possible. If you want to up your video game, you can purchase one of the many “ring lights” that are available. Some of them allow you to adjust the tone of the light and they sit on an adjustable tripod so you can raise and lower the light. I recently purchased this light and find it very easy to use.

Test your equipment and set-up.

Create a video or hold a practice video conference with a friend or family member to test your equipment and set-up. If you are able, record the video conference, as Zoom allows you to do. Then, see if there are adjustments you need to make.

 

Prepare Yourself.

How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Preparing Your Set-up, Environment and YourselfDuring in-person meetings, people’s eyes may stray and they may not look directly at you as much as when you’re communicating via video. This is why it’s important to pay extra attention to your personal appearance.

Dress for your meeting.

If you are in sales or making an investor pitch, dress the way you would for an in-person meeting. If you work in an environment where casual dress is the norm, dress accordingly.

Know that you may need to stand up at some point during your video call, for some unforeseen reason, so avoid wearing pajama bottoms or making other clothing choices you will regret.

Avoid wearing noisy jewelry.

This is a good rule any time you will be on camera.

Wear clothing that is not too distracting.

A great pattern that would look fantastic in person can be distracting when you’re viewed on video. Beware of very low necklines or anything that might result in a wardrobe malfunction.

If you wear make-up regularly, you might want to apply a little more.

For people who wear make-up consider adding a bit more or brightening it up a bit for your video calls and meetings. The camera tends to wash people out. If you’re not used to wearing make-up, you may still want some face powder that matches your skin tone to control shine.

Test your appearance and outfit by taking a quick video of yourself moving around before meetings or shooting videos.

Once you know what works and doesn’t work on camera, you can plan your wardrobe accordingly for upcoming videos and virtual meetings.

Request that others around you are quiet and refrain from interrupting you.

This can be a challenge if you have small children or pets but do your best. If possible, have someone watch over them and keep them in a separate room while you are on video calls. If you are interrupted, ask the people on the video call or meeting for a moment to handle the situation, which would be better than trying to shout over a barking dog or noisy child.

Set aside time to prepare mentally for your meeting, presentation or video.

How to Hold Effective Video Meetings and Presentations: Preparing Your Set-up, Environment and YourselfWhen working with my clients, I teach them a preparation ritual to help them manage nervousness and focus their minds before presentations, media interviews, and other high-stakes situations. Shifting your energy and preparing to be fully present for your meeting or presentation can help you to perform better and will make a vast difference in the way you feel and are perceived.

To read part 2 of this blog series, How to Hold Effective Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication Style, click here.

To discuss presentation training, media training, investor pitch coaching, or video communication skills training, contact us at 310-479-0217.

Or, email us at [email protected]

Disclosure: Please note that purchasing items through the links provided may result in commissions to me, at no additional cost to you. These links were shared to answer the inevitable “What would you use?” questions. Please only purchase items that you believe will be beneficial to you.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

How to Deliver Dry Information with Style – A Lesson from Spirit Airlines

How to Deliver Dry Information with Style – A Lesson from Spirit Airlines

On a recent trip to Denver, my husband and I flew Spirit Airlines. If you’re not familiar with Spirit Airlines, imagine the most basic, no-frills, charge-you-for-everything airline you can fathom. That’s Spirit. Apparently, even a seat-back pocket to stow your goods while you fly is too much to ask, so there are a few bungee cords crisscrossed across the back of the seat in front of you to hold whatever is large enough to not fall through the giant empty spaces it leaves. The experience is so spartan that it’s actually kind of funny, and a sense of humor goes a long way when you’re known as one of the cheapest airlines around, as we were about to find out.

The pre-flight safety speech started out on an unusual high note when the friendly-sounding airline attendant said, “For those of you who swore you would never fly Spirit again, welcome back.” We could relate to that. After flying Spirit last year, I told my husband we should never fly it again, but when it turned out that a Spirit flight was our best option for the short 2-hour flight to Denver, we decided I would be okay. Clearly, we were not alone in our decision-reversal.

When the airline attendant peppered her safety speech with humor, even saying something to the effect of, “After you’ve adjusted your life jacket, check your hair and make-up, and safely exit the plane.”

I had a quick chat with the woman who delivered this fresh, funny safety speech. It was so well constructed that I thought it was written for her. She told me that she had written it herself and she had been tweaking it over time.

You can use some of the techniques that the airline attendant incorporated into her humorous, yet informative, safety speech. She…

  • added the element of surprise (e.g., making fun of Spirit’s austere approach to service);
  • lightened the heaviness of potentially dire warnings with frivolous details/recommendations (e.g., checking your hair and make-up before grabbing your flotation device);
  • and used a happy, bouncy tone, even when talking about serious topics (This worked because she began her speech with humor, setting the tone for the entire talk.).

Use your best judgement when incorporating humor into speeches. Avoid emotionally loaded references. If you’re not sure if your use of humor is appropriate, run it by a few people. Record yourself delivering the speech and then listen to it as if you’re someone else. Continue to modify it until you’ve achieved the balance of enough humor to keep people’s attention and enough solid information to effectively convey your message.

If you’re interested in improving your presentation skills, you can arrange a complimentary discovery call with Lisa Elia by calling our office at 310-479-0217 or emailing us at [email protected]

In the meantime, here are some other articles to read:

6 Tips to Make Effective Presentations

Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Six Essentials to Make Your Business Appealing to Media and Customers

 

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

How to Prepare for Investor Pitch Competitions and Win

How to Prepare for Investor Pitch Competitions and Win

Investor pitch competitions can be a great way to be seen by potential investors, build your network and, if everything aligns well, win some prize money for your startup.

Last night the winner of the Women Founders Network 2017 Fast Pitch competition was Sashee Chandran, the founder of Tea Drops. I was ecstatic because I was her pitch coach. As a coach and trainer, there’s nothing more gratifying than when you see the people you work with do what it takes to excel and reap the rewards of their hard work.

Tea Drops makes a great product that hits on many levels – it’s delicious, healthy, organic, fair trade, made in the USA, convenient, and visually appealing. Clearly, Sashee was off to a great start before she began pitching investors.

The other CEOs who pitched their companies last night were also impressive. Quite often, even the people who don’t win pitch competitions, but pitch very well and have a great business concept, receive funding from investors who saw them pitch. If you’re planning to enter a pitch competition, assume the other pitchers will be great and prepare thoroughly so that no matter what you will have no regrets.

Here are some tips to ace investor pitch competitions. There’s more involved in the process, and success comes from how you complete each step, but this will provide a roadmap to get you started. These are the steps I took Sashee through to help prepare her for the competition.

Refine and streamline your pitch deck.

Be sure your deck answers the major questions that will be in the minds of your audience in your presentation. Address the problem, solution, market size, potential, competition, financials, marketing plan, team, and how you use the funding.

Have your pitch deck reviewed by someone outside of your company.

This is always where I begin when people come to me for pitch coaching. When you’re too close to something, it’s hard to see it clearly. Having your pitch deck reviewed by someone who has looked at hundreds or thousands of them with a professional eye will help you to see where the holes are and what needs streamlining.

Refine your deck again.

Although it may be tempting to try to slide by with your current deck, take the time to make the necessary changes that you were advised to make. (This is one of the first things I admired about Sashee when we first began working together. She listened to my feedback and immediately went to work on refining her deck after I reviewed it.)

Rehearse delivering your pitch until it is IN you, and continue elevating your delivery.

Most people underestimate how many times they should rehearse a pitch or presentation. My recommendation is to rehearse it as many times as it takes for you to run through it without wondering what comes next. When you can deliver your pitch as if you are fluidly telling a story that you know inside and out, your mind won’t be focused on trying to remember: you will be more fully present in the moment and able to share your passion.

Get feedback on your delivery.

You might video yourself and watch your video to try to improve your performance, but having a trusted advisor give you feedback on your body language, word usage and other elements of your communication will be even more helpful.

When I prepare clients for investor pitches or pitch competitions, I provide feedback and recommendations on all aspects of their delivery so they show up exuding confidence, authority and warmth (a very winning combination).

Prepare for the Q&A.

In most pitch competitions, after you have delivered your pitch there is a brief question-and-answer session. Prepare responses to every typical question and tough question you might be asked, and rehearse delivering them. Savvy investors will want to know that you’re able to objectively see any potential roadblocks and have plans to work around them.

Take good care of yourself and block out several hours prior to the pitch competition.

Be sure to leave time to clear your head and relax before the pitch competition. Try to avoid dealing with draining tasks that can be dealt with another day. Conserve your energy so you show up centered, joyful and confident.

Take the stage and shine!

From the moment you’re in view, you’re being watched. Walk on stage (or to the front of the room) with confidence and positivity. Take a beat to center yourself and then begin.

If you’ve done the work, the very least you will do is your very best.

 

If you want help preparing for investor pitches, a pitch competition, or other presentations, click here to arrange a complimentary consultation with me.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Top 10 Communication Tips

Top 10 Communication Tips

There is so much that can be said about improving one’s communication skills that we could be reading (or writing) forever. Sometimes you simply want a list of reminders. This is such a list. It’s taken from my Confident and Clear Communication program, which goes into greater depth on each topic with exercises and questions to help you explore your unique communication patterns and tips to improve upon the aspects of your communication you wish to elevate.

1. Eliminate negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk comes in many forms, including putting yourself down, diminishing your accomplishments, not accepting compliments, or beginning sentences with, “I’m just a…”. It is not productive, it is disempowering, and it reinforces beliefs you don’t want to hold about yourself.

2. Pay attention to your posture.

Changing your posture can instantly change how you feel and how you are perceived by others.

3. Replace criticism with compassion.

Criticism of others begins with a negative judgment you are making about them. Love and judgement can’t exist in the same moment. If you want loving relationships in your life, whether at home or work, transform critical comments into more productive communication.

4. Be assertive, not aggressive or passive: identify the differences.

Assertive communication is respectful, diplomatic, empowered and effective.

5. Read body language more closely.

Pay close attention to your body language and that of others, to achieve the most effective communication. Our true feelings and thoughts are conveyed through eye contact, the placement and movement of the feet, hands, hips, legs, and more.

6. Polish your writing skills.

Sometimes your written words create the first impression someone will have of you, and they could open doors for you, or close them forever.

7. Speak with power.

Make the choice to speak with power and confidence, paying attention to your vocal tone, fluidity and energy level.

8. Replace lazy listening with committing to the moment.

Becoming a great listener will improve relationships and can lead you to great success.

9. Transform arguments and address delicate topics sensitively.

Discover what’s beneath the argument so you can transform it into a productive conversation, and broach delicate situations with forethought and sensitivity.

10. Communicate to inspire, empower and motivate people.

Approach interactions thinking about what you can leave people with and how you can inspire, empower and motivate them.

If you would like to improve your communication skills or those of your team or clients, arrange a complimentary consultation with Lisa Elia.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.


Here are links to a few other articles you might enjoy:

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How To Prepare for Presentations – 6 Tips for Effective Presentations

https://expertmediatraining.com/how-to-prepare-for-presentations/

Prepare for Media Interviews BEFORE You Book One

https://expertmediatraining.com/prepare-for-tv-interviews-media-trainer-tips/

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

https://expertmediatraining.com/faqs-about-media-training/


6 Tips for Effective Presentations

6 Tips for Effective Presentations

If you will be making important investor presentations, sales presentations and/or public speeches, and you want to come across powerfully, effectively and naturally, you must know how to prepare for presentations.

Here are a few of my presentation tips:

1. Always think about what’s in it for them (WIIFT), no matter whom you are addressing.

2. Avoid oversharing. Think about what people really need to know about you or your company.

3. Remember the five Cs. When you are making a presentation, whether you are trying to raise money, make a sale or you are in a media interview, the five Cs are important:

• Credible: People want to be sure you know what you are talking about and that you have the credentials to present the information you are delivering.

• Confident: People want to see someone who is confident. They will trust you more if you appear confident in everything that you do.

• Clear: Explain everything as clearly as you can and be…

• Concise: Be as succinct as you can.

• Compelling: No one wants to be bored.

4. Imagine how the most successful, qualified person in your field would present the information you are about to present, and model yourself after the image you create.

5. Anticipate peoples’ needs and include the answers to their potential objections or questions in your presentation.

6. Prepare and rehearse answers to tough questions and commonly asked questions so that nothing can throw you off during your presentation.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Giving Back – My High School Visit via Youth Business Alliance

Giving Back – My High School Visit via Youth Business Alliance

Giving back to the community in various ways has always been important to me, especially when it comes to education. Last Thursday I visited Ánimo Leadership Charter High School, where I made a presentation about my work and career path to become a media trainer and presentation trainer. This was all done through Youth Business Alliance, an organization that connects people in the business world with local schools to expose students to a variety of careers and advice they might not have access to otherwise.

I was impressed with the depth of the students’ questions and their willingness to participate in the practice college interviews I conducted to give them a feel for the work I do as a trainer. Of the two students who volunteered for the practice interviews, one wants to study aeronautical engineering and the other wants to pursue criminal justice because she’s passionate about protecting individuals’ rights when dealing with the judicial system. Encouraging and guiding students like this was a true pleasure.

If you’re interested in speaking or getting involved with Youth Business Alliance in other ways, visit https://www.youthbizalliance.com/speakers

Trust and Body Language

Trust and Body Language

“I don’t trust you. I don’t know why, there’s just something about you.” – These are words some entrepreneurs have heard spoken on “Shark Tank” and they’re words that no one wants to hear after a media interview, presentation or pitch. What leads to a lack of trust? Quite often it’s body language. In conversations or when watching you in media interviews or presentations, people generally pay more attention to body language than they are consciously aware of doing. Most people process language and speech in the left hemisphere, and nonverbal or spatial skills in the right hemisphere. While your audience or viewers may hear every word you say, part of their brain is assessing your body language, noticing any disparities between your words and your movements or other “tells” that may indicate the lack of truthfulness, confidence or commitment to your words. The more you know your material well, are committed to your ideas and gain the confidence that comes from mastering your content, the more your body language and movements will be authentic and synchronized with your words. This will help you to establish trust with your audience. Read a more in-depth post about body language.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Verbatim memorization of a speech or responses to interview questions can detach you from your content and from the very people you’re trying to reach; the audience, the interviewer, investors.

Memorization places your focus on remembering exact words and phrases, instead of where it should be, which is on communicating your ideas or information with emotion and effectiveness.

For the vast majority of people, attempting to deliver word-for-word speeches, pitches or interview responses backfires. Here are a few reasons I don’t recommend verbatim memorization:

1. Memorizing content word-for-word can detach you from the meaning of the words. Saying something the exact same way over and over can dull the emotions attached to your content to a point where it almost becomes meaningless. If you rehearse your presentation or interview responses repeatedly with the same wording, you may even develop “semantic satiation,” in which certain words temporarily stop having meaning to you.

2. Delivering content that you have memorized can detach you from the audience or interviewer because when you focus on retrieving exact words for a long stretch of time, you are not as fully present in the moment. This would emotionally detach you from the very people you’re trying to reach with your message.

3. With a memorized verbatim speech or response, if you become distracted and forget one word or phrase, you can feel completely lost and throw your entire presentation or interview off course.

4. The pressure of knowing you must remember a verbatim speech can heighten nervousness or anxiety you might feel before a presentation or interview. Why put that extra pressure on yourself?

The temptation to memorize presentations, speeches or responses to interview questions lies in the generally erroneous belief that this will offer some guarantee of success. Adding to this, sometimes people become very attached to specific phrases that they believe sound great. As any good editor will tell you, it’s dangerous to fall in love with your words: they might get eliminated.

Instead of memorizing your presentation, speech or media interview responses, do this:

1. Map out the journey you want to take people on with your presentation or interview responses.

2. Master your content. It’s best to know and thoroughly comprehend everything you’re talking about. For CEOs and other company spokespeople who may be asked about a wide array of topics that may or may not fall within their areas of expertise, this can be challenging. For them, some of the content to master would include explanations of who can address the question and why this is so.

3. Practice verbalizing your content multiple different ways and many times. Knowing a lot about a subject is quite different than speaking about it confidently, concisely and compellingly.

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech,” Mark Twain said.

4. Get feedback. It’s difficult to assess your own effectiveness in conveying your message, your body language and overall communication style. Feedback from a trusted source can help.

If you want to feel fully prepared and confident for interviews, presentations or pitches my advice is to get professional training. The preparation techniques, feedback, skill development and outside perspective that a good trainer provides can save you years of trying to figure things out on your own and enable you to be the best communicator you can be. You might be thinking that of course I would advise this, given that I’m a media trainer and presentation trainer, but I wouldn’t have become a trainer if I hadn’t seen the great need for thorough and thoughtful training in my many years as a PR counselor and publicist.

If you or someone in your organization seems pulled toward memorizing a presentation, remember this: People want to feel that you’re communicating with them from your heart and your head and that the ideas or information you are conveying are so much a part of you that you don’t need to memorize a speech or response to speak about them. Unless you’re an amazing actor (on par with Academy Award winners), you probably can’t make your memorized words appear to be thoughts that are emerging naturally. If you seem unnatural, you will be perceived as lacking in authenticity or confidence.

Confidence comes from mastery, and mastery comes from proper preparation and practice.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

5 Quick Communication Tips

5 Quick Communication Tips

1. Above all else, get your employees/contractors trained to reflect and embody your company’s brand and work ethic, or nothing will be done to your standards.

2. Every promotional piece of content you put out into the world should have a strategy behind it.

3. Who you know right now is not as important as knowing how to present yourself and your work so the right people want to know you.

4. When shaping your communication, always think about what’s in it for them (whichever audience you are addressing — investors, employees, clients, press, etc.). If you are addressing team members, you might also need to consider that they believe they contribute and deserve.

5. Remember that wherever you are, and in whatever situation you find yourself, you are representing your brand and possibly attracting opportunities. Present yourself accordingly.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.


Here are links to a few other articles you might enjoy:

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How To Prepare for Presentations – 6 Tips for Effective Presentations

https://expertmediatraining.com/how-to-prepare-for-presentations/

Prepare for Media Interviews BEFORE You Book One

https://expertmediatraining.com/prepare-for-tv-interviews-media-trainer-tips/

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

https://expertmediatraining.com/faqs-about-media-training/


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