Silver Linings in a Pandemic

I miss my mom.

And yes, even though we may bicker when we’re together, I really miss my sisters.

I felt very guilty on Easter morning for feeling lonely. For missing my family. How can you feel lonely if your house is full?

I still did.

I screwed up the pierogis.

I’ve never made them. I kind of watched when I was younger, but I didn’t really pay attention. Besides, my mom and sisters were good at them — so I didn’t need to learn. Someone else always hosts Easter.

  1. I’ve been 100% gluten-free for a few years now, and I needed a gluten-free version.
  2. I don’t own a rolling pin. Which I realized the night before Easter.

The lack of a rolling pin didn’t end up to be an issue.
A long bottle of potato vodka sitting in my cupboard served fine as a rolling pin.

It was the dough. It wasn’t pliable. It cracked when I used it.

I was a failure at my first pierogi.

Now, I wasn’t so upset that I ended up hitting the vodka at 9am… but for the first time during this pandemic lockdown, I felt really lonely. It was Sunday morning. Easter morning. I just finished “virtual church” — and I wasn’t going to be with my family. The sausage never came because I couldn’t get a Whole Foods Prime delivery window (tried for a week) — and I failed at making pierogi.

When I called my mom, she didn’t say what I thought she would… that I should have had a rolling pin or should have just not made them because the gluten-free flour would never make them right… instead she said:

“Kathryn, just like you tell your clients, practice practice practice. Whether you’re up on stage or trying a new recipe, you can’t expect yourself to be perfect the first time. Try again in a few days.”

And it was then that I realized the silver lining.

I could try again.

I had two of my executive coaching clients last week who told me they will never “get it.” That they will never be able to give a good media interview or deliver their speech on stage without having the “fear of $%$#& up.” One client said he was afraid he’d let his company down.

They don’t have to be a failure (I won’t let them).

And this pierogi deal didn’t have to be my Easter failure.

It could be just the start of my journey of perfecting my pierogi recipe.

Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chicago said this during her online sermon this Easter weekend: look for the silver linings.

I could try again and succeed.

You may also have seen the silver linings lately.

As Rev. Kara pointed out, there are many, but we have to look for them.

In our neighborhood, we can hear the birds chirping much more now because there’s less traffic.

Babies and dogs are spending more time with their parents now.

And maybe another silver lining is I may learn how to make pierogi.

I just can’t give up.

And neither should you.

How to look your best on video conference calls

People around the world are finding themselves working and conducting media interviews from home for the first time.

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many to move their in-person meetings to video conferencing on platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and GoToMeeting. It’s also changing the media landscape. Interviews that used to be done from a studio are now being shot in experts’ living rooms, offices and kitchens.

As a media and public speaking trainer, I teach executives who need to do interviews on TV stations worldwide through video conferencing and who need to reach other live audiences through their computer screen. During my executive coaching sessions, I show them how to represent their business and themselves professionally and also make sure their message sticks with their audiences.

You can make a good impression through video conferencing platforms as long as you have a few specific things in place. 

Create a background that isn’t distracting

The key to speaking on stage, in the media, in your videos, during live video conferencing and in job interviews is to keep the audience focused on your message and nothing else. Take a look at the wall or space behind you and make sure nothing behind you is distracting. Look for light switches, outlets, open doors, open windows, and anything else that could be distracting. You want people to remember your content and message, and if there’s a very obvious picture or book behind you that grabs the viewers focus — remove it. You don’t want anything in the  background distract from your message, or worse, offend your audience.

Good lighting is your best friend

When you are selling your company, your brand, a product or service – you want to be seen in the best light. Literally and figuratively. When you show up in a media interview or in a meeting and you are poorly lit or there are lots of shadows on your face, the audience can subconsciously feel like you’re hiding something. That you can’t be trusted. The majority of your message is your physical content. This is why what you do and your appearance is just as important, if not more, that what you say. Lighting is vital to the way you appear on the screen. Make sure there are no windows behind you. The lighting needs to be in front of you. Natural light from a window is the best. If you don’t have a room that works for this, use soft lighting from a lamp and place it right in front of you without creating shadows from your monitor or phone. I’ve used this light from Amazon for years. It’s under $100 and many of my clients use it for their media interviews. 

Make eye contact with the camera

Just like in person, you want to make great eye contact with your audience. When you’re video conferencing, this can be tough. The software will show you speaking on your monitor, along with the person interviewing you – or all the people you’re talking to on the call. This can create a lot of distractions for you. The key here is to make sure when you are talking, you look into the camera on your computer or phone. When you look directly into the camera, you will be appearing as if you’re looking right into the eyes of your audience. This takes practice to get it down and not let your eyes wander off and look at all the other people on the call. Why is this so important? When you let your eyes move from person to person or somewhere else in your room, you may appear to be insincere, detached, uninterested, insecure and even shifty. Make time to practice good eye contact. You do not want to portray the message that you don’t care about the meeting or interview.

Be camera ready

Working from home means you may not have to put a lot of focus on what you’re wearing on your lower half, but you need to make sure that from waist up, you’re all business. Take the time before an on camera meeting to do your hair, makeup and wear something that is not too distracting. For on camera media interviews through video conferencing, my clients normally have their makeup and hair professionally done. During a pandemic, you can’t hire someone to come to your house to get that done. There are many consultants who can talk you through this virtually right now. Our team of makeup and hair stylists is doing this for our clients. If you don’t have a professional to help you, make sure you look well-rested, alert, your skin looks healthy and your best features are emphasized. Since you want your audience to lock-in with your eyes and trust you – make sure your eyes are not blocked by extra hair and eyeglass frames that don’t fit your face properly. A lot of professionals are balancing children at home and working — so both men and women can benefit from a little concealer under their eyes. Make sure your hair isn’t distracting and falling into your face during your calls and try not to adjust your hair or touch your face while you’re on camera. When it comes to wardrobe, it’s better to wear a solid color or something that’s not as distracting. If you have a bold or quirky personality and you love bright colors and patterns, it’s okay to be yourself, just make sure you don’t distract from the conversation.

Position the camera at eye level

Before you jump on a call, make sure the audience will not be looking up your nose or at your ceiling. We’ve seen a lot of these kinds of calls and interviews! Make sure you’re going to appear to your audience at the angle they’re used to seeing you from across a table. Adjust your computer so it’s at eye level by adding books or something else to raise the computer up a little. Sit upright, in the front half of your chair, and look alert. Do not swivel. Again, you want to pretend like you’re making eye contact with the people on your video conference, so make sure you adjust your computer accordingly so you can look right into the camera when you’re speaking. 

Be heard! (and sometimes silent)

If you’re in a virtual meeting with a lot of other people, mute yourself when you’re not talking. You may have kids and/or pets at home right now and a spouse working from home. This is the time to learn how to effectively mute yourself when you’re not talking so the speaker is heard clearly. Also, make sure you shut off your notifications. You don’t want to hear your computer or phone dinging throughout. You also could be taking notes during the call, and you don’t want the sound of your fingers tapping away to distract the others.

Working from home also means creating barriers between your home and the “office.” Make sure to create a good system that will keep you happy, successful and sane during this (hopefully) short period of time where most of us need to work from home.

  • Sleep at least eight hours a night. Working from home can create some unhealthy habits like working at all hours of the day/night. Make sure you are getting your personal time to recharge and you’re sleeping. Showing up as your best during video calls and media interviews online while you’re not rested can be a big gamble. You need to be able to answer questions thoughtfully and think quickly. You need sleep for optimal brain function.
  • Shower every single day. Start your day with a shower and do your normal morning and evening routines. This will keep you alert and productive. Plus, you need to look good on camera!
  • Create 10-15 minute breaks between large blocks of meetings. Stretch, go to the bathroom and eat. You cannot show up looking healthy, trustworthy and likeable on camera if you’re dehydrated, are not sleeping, and you’re hungry.

While working remotely might be a bit of an adjustment, we’re here to help you feel confident and make sure your message sticks with your audience and makes them ACT.

How to get into college or land an internship without an expensive admissions scheme

That’s the advice and strategy I received before I headed into a local community college in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to take my ACT.

My father said those words to me as he dropped me off.

I know my dad – this was not his normal supportive dad advice.

I am sure I was having a typical 16-year-old snotty teen girl day. Quite sure I was also running late.

The point is, I was not coddled.

I walked in scared to death.

My parents didn’t have the money to bribe proctors — and I’m 100% sure they wouldn’t have even if they had the cash.

I didn’t get a car as a 16-year old birthday present.

They didn’t sell my Girl Scout cookies for me so I could be the state winner.

They wanted us to be self-sufficient. To earn what we got.

I took the ACT once.

It wasn’t my sister’s perfect score, but it was enough to get me into the schools I applied to in 1993.

Even back then, it was a helluva competition.

It’s obviously worse now… and I have no idea what it will be like when my daughter goes to college in 18 years.

The news this week about the college admissions scheme is alarming – but definitely not shocking.

When it first broke, I shared the headline on Twitter but gave the moms in the center of the story the benefit of the doubt. I thought, maybe they didn’t know? Maybe Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin paid this guy — and said, get my child in — and that was that.

How to get into college or land an internship without an expensive admissions scheme

 

I thought they possibly didn’t know the tactics taken by William Singer, the head of the college preparatory business and founder of the charity who is identified now as “cooperating witness 1.”

Hours later, as more information was released, we learned from the New York Times that Huffman and William H. Macy knew this college prep coach would “arrange for their daughter’s SAT proctor to secretly correct her wrong answers and boost her score.” And that, “Huffman and her spouse agreed to the plan.”

Earlier this year, in an interview with Macy in Parade Magazine, he said, “we’re in the thick of college application time, which is so stressful.”

That, I can relate to. Not the bribing part.

Parents track me down on LinkedIn sometimes to help their teenaged and 20-something children get into prized college internships and med schools.

We are very proud to have a 100% track record in college and internship interview success.

We don’t bribe these schools. My company helps these students interview better. The students put in the work — and together, we formulate better answers to their questions, help them gain more confidence in their interviewing, show them which parts of their stories to tell and which parts are superfluous.

This is the kind of consulting from which your student can really benefit.

How do they benefit from having all the doors opened for them?

How will they learn to open their own doors someday?

We started by advising and preparing executives for media interviews and public speaking, but it grew in the past years to include young adults. Internships are getting more and more competitive. So are medical schools. Some of the highest-ranked institutions in the U.S. News Best Medical Schools rankings accept less than 4 percent of applicants.

Storytelling is key to interviewing for colleges and internships. Your ability to communicate sets you apart and helps you standout from others competing for the same spots.

From a student’s confidence, verbal delivery and body language to their social media presence, we work on the whole picture. Parents are very appreciate of the social media advice we give to their sons and daughters. Parents know how important it is — but breaking news… sometimes, kids don’t listen to their parents.

Many first interviews for college internships are now conducted on Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts. We show students how to interview virtually and how to make the best impression. We teach how to frame their shot, what to wear, where to look and how to light themselves so they look the best possible.

We don’t do the work for these students — but we help them find their strengths, poise and confidence to help them present and interview better.

That’s the best way we know how to help a student land the college they dream of — or the internship that will start their career in the strongest way possible.

Pregnancy, Fertility, and 5 things I changed to pull off my biggest production

I have produced thousands of hours of TV news. I have willed chopper signals to appear (aggravating directors), created brand new news shows in cities I didn’t know, worked days straight without sleep to get the job done…

Never in my life have I wanted to produce something more, and have been more disappointed — over and over.

This story would be incomplete if I skipped to the end and only told you the good news.

I spent years reading other women’s good news and feeling broken. I don’t want to do the same to any woman who may read this. Leaving the bad news out doesn’t tell the complete story.

In the past 2.5 years I have:

  • Powered through five rounds of IVF (my husband had cancer, so this was our only route possible)
  • Lost a child at 8.5 weeks pregnant
  • Lost twin girls at 17-weeks pregnant
  • Gone through eight procedures with anesthesia (something I had never done before turning 40)
  • Shot myself up almost every night with several drugs (hiding it on planes, in restaurant bathrooms, while traveling for clients)
  • Been told by one doctor that my eggs were too old (when they were fine, thank you very much)
  • Changed my entire diet, in addition to everything we use in our house and on our bodies

All to produce a human being in the end.

And we’ve done it.

With the help of incredible doctors and nurses….

Ted and I could not be happier (oh, and still a little scared) to broadcast that we are expecting a baby girl in April 2019.

I have never worked this hard for anything. And I’m the girl who took 32 credits each semester of senior year in college to graduate on time in 4 years. I guess having a baby in my 40s was to be expected…

If you’re going through something baby related, I’d like to share what we did to turn around our luck a little. Please know, you are not alone. Here’s what we changed and maneuvered around in the past 2.5 years.

Don’t take “no” for an answer

When I started dating my now husband, the conversation of children came up, as it does. Ted told me the story of his cancer. Before they saved his life, they saved 10 vials of sperm in case he wanted to create life someday. That was the first time during this process I didn’t take “no” for an answer. No chance of having a baby naturally? No problem. We’ll get this done. I thought, no big deal… lots of people do IVF with amazing success rates. (See below where I talk about not trusting the media.)

Flying to work with a client… and getting a shot of my new profile.

Becoming immersed in the fertility world of Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), I had to keep reminding myself, it’s a business. Each doctor has numbers to hit. The advice you’re given may be to help make sure their fertility clinic success rates do not suffer. This is important. You may get a “no” and it could be inaccurate for your specific case.

Boxes and boxes of drugs… all to produce eggs for retrieval

Ted and I were married when I was 39 and a few months later, we tried our first IUI. I was 40. I got pregnant each time the doctors helped me. Whether it was an IUI or egg transfer with IVF, I was pregnant. Oh, except for the one time I had an embryo transfer and hours later (when I was supposed to be on bed rest) our entire basement flooded with 14 inches of rain water because the people who renovated our home left a big clog in the sewer going out… there was that, but that definitely doesn’t count against my fertility. That was the builder and the realtor’s lack of divulging information. Back to my fertility. I had no issues getting pregnant.

In 2017, I became pregnant with very rare mono/mono twin girls. This was IVF #2. They split late, and shared a placenta and sac. They were so closely entwined together. I was afraid each day carrying them. The doctors told us we had a 50/50 chance of delivery and if one passed, the other could not survive. There are many risks including them being tied up in an umbilical cord. We lost them at 17 weeks. Two months after they died, we went back to our doctor to ask him for next steps.

Without any hesitation, he said, “egg donor.” I was 41 and devastated. I asked him what he saw with my eggs that made him think that this was my fault. He only responded that in women at my age, the best case of delivering a healthy baby would be with an egg donor. I left feeling defeated and ANGRY. I was getting pregnant. Was it too many fertility drugs that made my embryo split so late? Was it not getting off the drugs fast enough? Was it just bad luck? Whatever it was… I had no real proof (neither did he) that my embryos were at fault. He didn’t want to keep trying with this 41-year old’s eggs. I was hurting his numbers.

We ditched that doc and went with another fertility clinic in Chicago that had higher CDC rates for live births (the number you want to compare). The service and compassion was night and day different at Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago. Dr. Sherbahn didn’t take hundreds of patients at a time. There were never long waits in the waiting room for all the early morning blood draws. The doctor was very scientific and to the point — which we loved — and gave us the news I was hoping for: it is definitely more difficult to conceive over 40, and even more after 42, but he saw nothing wrong with my eggs or our sperm.

Do not take “no” for an answer.

Let yourself be vulnerable

We’re all different, so this might not be your style. I couldn’t keep my secrets inside. They were eating away at me. I felt alone and broken. I felt less than a woman not being able to go all the way to delivery. I was getting puffy because of the shots and couldn’t workout to make myself feel better. The doctors will tell you to stop the intense workouts after a transfer, and I found out later that the intense workouts were probably working against me during the weeks of shots. I didn’t want to see my friends because I couldn’t drink (and that was no fun), plus, I felt like they just wouldn’t understand. And, the hormones… don’t get me started. Just ask my husband.

So after the first loss and as I hitched my future to IVF, I started to tell people. I opened up. This did two incredible things for me: it increased my circle of friends dramatically instead of closing me off — and I learned a tremendous amount from these women. A tremendous amount.

Resting after an egg transfer.

I was so open, it probably scared some people. But, I couldn’t stop what I had started. I was feeling less alone and broken as I heard other women’s stories. All that talking (that I’m so naturally good at) attracted more women to me who had experienced similar things… and who could offer me guidance. If I hadn’t shared, I would not have heard from a friend about this other doctor with the great CDC live birth rates. I would not have known that it could take much longer than I expected. I would not have known that there were women I knew and had worked with who had gone as far as 10 IVF rounds to produce a baby. That gave me the drive to keep going and honestly, the competitor in me was NOT going to give up before I went as far as her. If she could do it – I felt that I could do it. If I hadn’t starting talking about what I was going through, I would not have reached out to a woman online who I saw had the same very rare twins as mine — and who outlined to me the major changes she made to give birth. I also wouldn’t have met the owner of a fertility clinic who talked me through how all the work stress and very intense workouts I’m used to could hurt a woman’s egg production and pregnancy. Fight or flight? The way I had learned to live in the TV news business for the past 20 years? NOT good for egg production. Actually, I had really screwed up my thyroid because of all those overnight hours working in news and because of my lack of relaxation and coping mechanisms. I also wouldn’t have known how the chemicals I was putting all over my body and cleaning my house with could also change my outcomes.

Sharing isn’t always easy.  I am a media coach and public speaking trainer. A few of my clients knew when I was pregnant with the twins. It was so uncomfortably noticeable that I was pregnant – and early on. Because the twins were mono/mono, the doctors were already charting out a very early delivery and bedrest. Plus, I was in my second trimester when I lost them, so I had started to tell a few professional clients. Seeing the disappointment in their eyes left me uneasy. I was coaching someone with a professional sports team here in Chicago at the time, and even his wife knew. I felt like I had let them down too. They were excited for me… they loved their kids and knew having a child would bring so much new love into my life. Even through that weirdness — I am glad people knew.

Talking to a therapist, being as vulnerable as possible with her, and not holding anything back was also incredibly helpful. I was training a nationally-known psychotherapist, author and speaker at the time that I lost my twins. Joyce Marter is an incredible expert on the subjects of psychology, career, wellness and relationships. I was helping her craft her message for a national speech she was giving. After one of our sessions, I turned the tables and mentioned what was going on in my personal life. I asked her for a referral. I told her I thought it was time for me to talk to someone about my losses and how to cope. She sent me to a wonderful therapist in Chicago where I learned visualization techniques that at first, I thought would never help, but then I used during all the hardest times and I still use them. She also helped me with something I had been doing for years, and thought was helping. I compartmentalized. I had a Plan B and C at all times. I was protecting myself from not feeling the pain and it wasn’t helping me. For example, when I lost our twins, I started doing research on adoption while we went forward with our next IVF round. I wanted to protect myself by knowing I had a backup plan. I wanted to know I was going to be okay, even if I wasn’t able to give birth. She told me that I needed to deal with the pain from the losses — and inject all my energy into the idea of giving birth if I was going to go on with IVF. She told me that researching adoption wasn’t allowing me to be all in on this one major goal. The Plan B could be hurting me. I needed to visualize the hour that I’d give birth. I needed to see all the people in the room and visualize holding my baby. I needed to give all my energy to that one moment so I could see it to fruition. This was very powerful. I realized that I had all the time in the world to discuss, research and apply for adoption later. For now, I needed to be all in on ONE goal. I could not protect myself with another backup plan. I had to jump with both feet and my entire heart. So I did. This was hard at first. But I let myself be open and vulnerable. I made myself visualize my own goal. I allowed myself to dream.

Have faith

And I prayed. A lot. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed this much, and I went to Catholic high school for a year and a Catholic university.

My father once asked me a question after a bad breakup in my 30s. I dodged a bullet there… but at the time, I was devastated knowing I had to leave the relationship. I was a mess for months. One day, my Dad turned to me and asked very point blank: “Do you still believe in God?” I was surprised at the question, and answered, “yes.” I do not remember if he responded, but that question kept coming back to me when I felt lost. When there were no answers. I just kept repeating to myself, “Do you still believe in God?”

I know that prayer alone is not the answer. I believe in science and the power of doctors and nurses. I believe that God created these healthcare experts so we can experience better health and even have a baby. The Catholic Church opposes IVF and teaches that what I’m doing is wrong, but the bible tells us God wanted us to go forth and multiply. So who should we believe?

There were times that I actually started to believe I was receiving signs that I shouldn’t continue trying to have a baby.

When our house had the freak flood hours after an embryo transfer. Ted was out of town on a work trip. I was alone. I was supposed to be laying flat on the couch. Undisturbed. Resting. Waiting for this embryo to do it’s thing. Instead, I was wading through the water saving my yearbooks and other possessions. Then the fire department came because the water caused an electrical problem that smelled like fire. I thought, “is this a sign to stop?” But I quickly straightened my head out and remembered what my Dad asked years before: “Do you still believe in God?” I stopped feeling sorry for myself and had faith that everything would work out. I also have faith that the builders who lied to us and who knew about the sewer blockage when they sold us our house will someday realize that removing the blockage a year prior would have been the right thing to do.

I was so angry when we lost our twins. I spent weeks sad and then more time being angry at every pregnant woman I saw. I also hated seeing kids. I felt robbed and empty. Miscarriage will tear you apart, tear you open and make you feel like you’re broken. It’s heartbreaking on levels I had never experienced. You are not alone. Do not judge yourself and your level of grief. Do not judge yourself if you cry for three weeks, or not at all. I lost it when I least expected it. An airport bathroom, weeks in bed at night, in the car, at restaurants. It was all healthy. Embarrassing, but healthy. Many couples become closer than ever before. I’ve heard that from friends and experienced it myself. I also realized a much deeper desire for a child after miscarrying. I was not going to give up. No way.

I had to keep the faith.

Our last Christmas as a family of three.

We had to do a few rounds of IVF in 2018 before our July embryo transfer. It was probably my age. Pregnancy loss dramatically increases over 40. The pregnancy loss rate after 40 is 33% and after 42 is 45%. This is why many couples opt to do further testing on their embryos. PGS testing helps eliminate most of the chance of miscarriage. We did preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) on all of our IVF rounds except our last one which resulted in our current pregnancy. There is a lot of evidence that PGS is not as accurate as previously thought. If you’re over 40, your doctor will push for PGS. I pushed back only once. It was this last IVF round, IVF #5. I was too afraid that we were throwing out good embryos after reading dozens of studies about how other countries were banning it. I pushed back this one time because I had an overwhelming feeling that I should not test the embryos. You see, once you test them, and they come back abnormal — the doctor will not transfer them. I am not going to define the feeling I had that morning… I will just say that you have to follow your gut and your faith in whatever higher power you believe in.

Do not trust everything you hear, see and read

I built a career around media as a TV producer and now a media coach and public speaking trainer. But, as you know, you cannot trust

everything that’s broadcast, or written.

There are two stories we’re told that I believe are cruel.

One, the publicization of celebrities in their 40s who have babies and the information that is missing from those stories. Like egg donors, or IVF, or the fact that they froze their eggs ten or twenty years prior. Don’t stop at the headline. Read the “how they got pregnant” part in the longer versions of the digital stories if you can find them. Sometimes they do not tell the reporter that part of the story. Sometimes the reporter doesn’t know to ask. Going through this myself has made me better educated. Experiences make better writers. Better reporters. I now know more about these issues — and it makes me a better person knowing the struggles some women have. Don’t leave out the struggle from the story. It’s mean. Think about the audience reading it. Leaving out these important pieces of the story hurts women seeing the stories or reading them at home. They feel less than and their boyfriends feel like they have more time to conceive “because everyone’s having babies now in their 40s.” It’s a terrible disservice.

The second story we’re seeing more and more of lately is that of major corporations covering the egg freezing for women so “they’re not on a timetable.” How do you know if your eggs will fertilize when you match them up with sperm in your 40s? You’re creating this false guarantee. Women will work like crazy thinking they have insurance waiting for them for when they’re ready. I get it. It’s brilliant on the part of companies like Google, Apple and Facebook — but are we giving women all the information? Do they know this is not a guarantee?

Do your research

Your best friend who just relaxed on vacation, and finally got pregnant… she’s not you. We all have different workings going on in there. Talk to doctors. Don’t trust what you read online. Not everyone tells their complete story. Only the fun parts.

As I mentioned above, we did preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) on all of our IVF rounds except our last one which resulted in our current pregnancy. There is a lot of evidence that PGS is not as accurate as once thought. Several countries now ban it. Read about this before you make a decision. I personally believe many embryos that were normal but that came back abnormal were thrown out. I do not blame the doctors because this is the best testing they have as of now. We can do better. More research will be done and future women will be better served.

Research your products. I had no idea that what I was using on my face, body, in my hair, and all over our house could be hurting my fertility. I couldn’t believe how many cancer-causing agents, allergens, immunotoxins, and endocrine disruptors we’re lurking in my deodorant, nail polish, shampoo, and toothpaste. Google it. There are studies that show parabens in products reduce sperm quality. There are also countless studies like this one from the University of California, Davis on the chemicals found in household products like cleaners, wipes and mouthwash. It says: “everyday household products contain these chemicals, which at a certain concentration have been shown to disrupt fertility in mice and which we have found in cells disrupts the oestrogen-signalling process so important for human fertility.” I OVERHAULED our house, my makeup bag… everything.

I spent 20 years in newsrooms – moving from city to city. Working really hard for other people.

I got the Emmys, Associated Press awards… and other stuff. I had tickets to anything I wanted.  That was my normal. Now I’m living a life that’s more colorful. It’s rich in real relationships. I have quality of life. Self care. Taking time for myself. Learning to breathe. Cultivating female relationships. Less chit chat at cocktail hours and more power powwows. Lifting others up. And I’m nicer to myself. A helluva lot nicer to myself.

For years, my mom asked me to get acupuncture… massage… and not count big workouts as self care.

Acupuncture twice a week during all my IVF procedures. Now, I go once a week.

But it wasn’t until i tried to have a baby… to grow something inside me, did I listen.

I saw no other choice.

After a ton of research, I changed it all.

Here’s my growing list:

  1. Cleaned out each and every cleaning chemical out of our house. Here’s what I use now. Completely non-toxic.
  2. Made sleep an absolute priority. No negotiations there anymore.
  3. Acupuncture. There is all kinds of research on acupuncture (and massage) and fertility. See my friends at Pulling Down the Moon for help. Not in the Chicago area? They have webinars and all kinds of online support. I went twice a week during IVF rounds and leading up to them. My body responded to IVF the best when I was going to acupuncture for a few months before the round started. It was like a light switch. I go once a week now during the pregnancy. My migraines are GONE and when my friends complain of pain and inflammation during pregnancy — I have no pain or inflammation. My acupuncturists will work on points to make my labor easier when we’re closer to my due date.
  4. Supplements. Listen to your doctor and never skip. Let me know if you’d like the list of what I take each day. Something I drink each and every morning has been a Godsend. Many women say it helps get the milk flowing faster after childbirth too.
  5. Changed all my makeup out to a non-toxic brand I absolutely love.
  6. No soy. Check your supplements. Check everything. They sneak soy into things you wouldn’t expect, like fish oil supplements.
  7. Eggs (not chicken eggs, but YOUR eggs) love the paleo diet. Ya’ll know how bad sugar is for you, right?

These past 2.5 years of heartbreak, procedures, shots, huge doses of hormones and a new understanding of how I can build a healthier life for myself has helped shape me as a woman and leader more than any job or experience in my life. This experience brought me so much closer to my own gender. I have a new understanding of the burdens some women carry while they keep a smile on or act stronger than they really are at work. Or feel like they have to be tougher or more competitive. It’s been frustrating (because we didn’t always receive the results we wanted) — but it’s also been a GIFT that I never knew I wanted or needed. I guess that’s the impetus of the story… and I’m finally putting it in words.

How to Look Better Under Stage Lights or on Camera

Many of my clients had a successful career, but are now looking for help with their public speaking careers.

Some are looking for opportunities to get on live TV to talk about their companies or their story.

Do you know how to prepare so you look your best?

I’m going to show you how you can look better on TV or on stage. The lights really alter our appearance.

I always suggest that my clients hire a makeup artist — but if you have to do it yourself, here are a few things you can do to make yourself look better under all those lights.

If you’re going to present on stage soon, here are three things to ask before you show up.

 

Video Transcription

There are a lot of things that happen when we’re live with a lot of lights. It changes us completely and I wanted to give you some things that you can do when it comes to hair and makeup to make you look the best, so you feel better, more confident. If we feel more confident, if we feel those things are dealt with, we can be more confident in our message, right? I want you to focus on the content, the things that you’re saying and not this other junk.

So, I thought I would make this video to give you a couple tips. Again, these are things you don’t have to do, I’d just like to offer them up in case you would like to do them to make yourself feel better.

The biggest thing is when there are lights on us that are normally not on us. We actually look very different. Our regular use of makeup is all of a sudden nonexistent. It disappears when we’re onstage or live on television. You may look great in person, but what happens is, these lights go on and certain features of ours disappear.

Let’s talk about hair. Hair is important. I’ll talk about men first. Men…there’s that something men do. They tend to get a haircut right before their wedding. They get a haircut right before something super important. And what happens is, our hair tends to look a little shorter. It appears that we have less hair on camera, whether you’re getting still pictures or you’re live on television. Be careful, men, before you decide to run out and get your hair cut real short. Please consider letting your hair grow out.

Some anchors that you see, they look like they have a regular haircut. But if you saw them in person, they have quite thick hair. So for men especially, tell your hairdresser or your barber to let your hair grow thicker around the sides because on camera or in pictures our hair looks a little thinner on the sides. Plus, our ears look smaller when we let our hair grow out a little bit on the sides. Also, men, if you’re balding, make sure to use a little powder on the top of your head or right where you’re balding. What happens is someone might be staring at the light reflecting off of your head instead of paying attention to your content.

For women, it’s just making sure that your hair is not distracting. If your hair is constantly in your eyes and you’re always adjusting it or you’re pushing it away, you have big thick bangs and you’re pushing it away, it’s very distracting. I’m not saying to always put a ponytail in and to keep it pulled back, when you blow dry it you want to blow dry it away from your face, your bangs are swooped away so they’re not in your eyes. You want to avoid an issue where you’re constantly touching your face or move your hair away from your face or constantly tucking. Because what happens is, people will be looking at that and noticing that instead of listening to what you’re talking about. So that’s really important.

For makeup, for everybody, a little under eye concealer. Whether you’re sleep deprived, you’re not drinking enough water, you don’t have a good skincare regimen, maybe you don’t wear SPF everyday, you’re not hydrating enough, you’re not wearing night cream…your face will show it. Your skin will definitely show it. It’s important to cover up those dark circles and bags because you want to look rested. When you look rested, you look trustworthy. When you look like you take care of yourself, you look like you can be trusted. So using a little eye coverup for men and women is really important.

Another thing, women: as we get older, our eyebrows kind of disappear. We get less hairs there. And when you put lights on us, our eyebrows really disappear. So, consider using eyeshadow. Eyeshadow’s not a big deal. Use whatever color is appropriate for you, if it’s a light brown, dark brown. Color in those eyebrows and make sure they’re defined. If they’re really thin you might want to thicken them up a little bit because the eyes are really framed by the eyebrows and we really want people to connect with you with your eyes. When you’re talking and you’re describing something that’s going on, whether you’re on TV or onstage, it’s really important that your eyes are defined.

Wear a little more eyeliner than you’re used to. I can only talk about my eyes and right now, I’m not wearing enough eyeliner. I’m just going to make that clear. I’m wearing what I’ve been wearing all day, since 6am this morning. So make sure you’re lining your eyes. For me, I would make sure I’m going all the way across to make sure they’re defined. I have very small eyes so I want to make sure I don’t overly line them up because they’ll actually look smaller. You just have to know your eyes. You might have to elongate a little bit out here so they look bigger. And I’m not going to go through a whole makeup tutorial here because I’m not a makeup artist, I’m just pointing out what you may need to do.

A little eyeshadow – because we’re talking about defining things, right? We want to define in here with a different color eyeshadow so we can see the definition of where your eyelids start and where your eyebrows start. That’s the whole thing about these lights, they kind of make everything disappear.

The other thing is mascara. I have mascara on and I have pretty darn good eyelashes but they disappear in front of these lights so you can’t even see my eyelashes right now. Some people wear fake eyelashes…I’m not suggesting that for everyone but definitely double up on that mascara. I use a regular old grocery store mascara, I use Falsies. I always go back to that. I’m tried natural because I don’t like a lot of chemicals, I’ve tried all this stuff. But I like the old Falsies because it really thickens them up and it lengthens them, so that’s what I go to and I think it’s like, 8 bucks at Walgreens or CVS. But really try to put two coats of that on. You really want your eyes to pop. Your eyes disappear completely when you’re in front of those lights.

If you’re not a big lipstick person, I don’t put lipstick on all day, I’m just not a big fan. But you need to define your lips, so definitely put on some lipstick so we can see where your lips end and your skin starts. It’s really important to define these features. I’m not saying to go all glammed out, but just define the things that you have.

And then a big thing, if you’re fair-skinned like me, I already put some blush and some bronzer on, you really want to show the definition between your chin and your neck. So, I put on a bronzer here, bronzer here. I definitely try to highlight where my cheeks are. And then I go up here because what happens is we look like one white circle as fair as I am. So just go in one big circle to show where your features start and end.

I hope that’s helpful. If you ever need me to show you specifically for your skin, or maybe for me to hook you up with a makeup artist, let me know. Those are just a couple tips that I have that I suggest to people. Also, with that bronzer, I go down the neck because I like to show where this is and where this starts. I know there’s a bazillion other things to do but those are just a couple things to get you through. I hope that’s helpful!

 

 

Kathryn Janicek | Media Coach, Producer, Public Speaking Trainer
Kathryn Janicek is a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with 20 years of experience working in newsrooms across the country. Kathryn coached talent, producers, and writers before switching her focus on helping entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Now, based in her home city of Chicago, she is a much sought-after media coach and public speaking trainer who will help you produce the best YOU. Click HERE now to book a complimentary consultation with Kathryn.

3 Things to Ask Before you Show up to a Public Speaking Gig

Many of my clients had a successful career, but are now looking for help with their public speaking careers.
They’re an expert – and have a story to tell.

Do you know how to prepare so you hit your presentations out of the park?

These are three things to ask before you show up to a public speaking gig.

Before you really ever present.

Let’s produce the best you!

Try them and let me know how it worked out.

Eight Reasons to Hire a Former Television Producer

So a television producer has applied for a job with your company.

Should you give them a chance?

After all, what does TV producing have to do with running your business?

A lot, actually.

Producers can be ideal candidates. Not just for jobs in public relations or marketing, but also nearly any position that requires teamwork, multi-tasking, and communications.

In my opinion, there are a ton of reasons to hire a former television producer — but here are eight great reasons why a former television producer would be a great hire for your team.

1. Producers are team builders and leaders.

A producer is not a good job for people who like to fly solo. They are constantly collaborating and learning how their different team members think and work. They know how to leverage these traits to create a more effective whole.

Producers are also experienced leaders. They have to give directions and constructive criticism to anchors, reporters, writers, producers, videographers, on-air guests (like musicians, performers, executives, politicians) and other team members. They also know how to stay open to others’ ideas and feedback, and can delegate appropriately.

2. Producers are excellent communicators.

At the core, producers are in the business of storytelling. You don’t get there without good communication skills. They know how to convey ideas in compelling and persuasive ways.

Friction and disagreements can happen between even the best teammates. This makes producers experienced in conflict management, too.

3. Big-picture thinking is a must.

Many jobs require meticulous attention to detail, but television producers also have to know how to see the big picture.

Business managers have to understand the long-term effects of their decisions. They have to know how the different parts of their company fit together. Likewise, producers have to understand how the different parts of a TV show fit together to deliver a compelling, informative, and entertaining television program.

4. Multi-tasking is a way of life.

Both business leaders and producers need to juggle numerous responsibilities. They have to know how to switch effortlessly from one task to the next.

Producers have many different responsibilities in their jobs. They have to think creatively and pitch new ideas. They have to problem-solve and stick to a budget.

Their ability to wear many hats makes them valuable for any office.

5. Producers will get you connected.

Producing is a social job, so producers learn to develop excellent networking skills. With so much collaboration, they can understand which people work best with each other, and who to call on when needed.

If a producer doesn’t know how to do something, you can be sure they’ll know how to find someone who does.

6. Producers are problem-solving pros.

You can’t make a television show without something going wrong at some point.

Just like corporate managers, television producers have learned how to identify problems, and also how to find or develop creative solutions, sometimes on short notice. As an executive producer and producer — I ALWAYS had a plan b, plan c, and plan d. You never know when a story won’t get filed on time or when a reporter won’t make it to the location on time… I had backup plans for my backup plans.

7. Producers can also be master marketers.

Television producers have great communication and networking skills, which makes a great marketing combination.

They are used to “reading” people and negotiating with them. Their media training means they can tell a story and craft an effective message that gets the desired results.

8. Time management is a necessity.

Any manager has to recognize how long different tasks and projects will take, and plan accordingly. So do television producers.

Producers are used to working with deadlines. They know how to hustle to get their projects done on time.

 

If you value any of these skills, former producers can be an ideal addition to your company. If you’re thinking about hiring a former producer, give their application a closer look. They might be exactly what you’re looking for.

As a former executive producer, I produce the best you on video, online, and on stage.

Schedule a free consultation here for media and public speaking coaching.

 

Kathryn Janicek | Media Coach, Producer, Public Speaking Trainer
Kathryn Janicek is a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with 20 years of experience working in newsrooms across the country. Kathryn coached talent, producers, and writers before switching her focus on helping entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Now, based in her home city of Chicago, she is a much sought-after media coach and public speaking trainer who will help you produce the best YOU. Click HERE now to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with Kathryn.

How to Survive Facebook’s Algorithm Changes

Are your posts taking a hit from the recent Facebook algorithm changes? You’re not alone! It’s all the buzz right now on social media as we all try to adjust our strategies. With so many myths circulating the internet, I turned to my own Marketing Director for guidance. Here is a guest blog post from mConnexions Principal Strategist and Owner, Julie Holton.


In just the two weeks following Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement, we’ve seen a significant decrease in the organic reach of posts from business pages. As Facebook’s news feed changes continue to be phased in over the next few months, we expect that impact to grow.

“As we roll this out,” Zuckerberg wrote on January 11th, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

The critical word here is meaningful interactions between people. At its very core, the social platform has always intended to be just that… social. The only way for Facebook to remain relevant is for its content to be meaningful to its users. In a 12-month span where negative headlines rocked Facebook’s image — from allegations of Russia’s interference with the U.S. election, to concerns over fake news — the social media company has been pushed to make major changes. At the core of these changes: user experience and content.

What does “meaningful interaction” mean for businesses on Facebook?

Comments, comments, and more comments… Plus a few likes, some shares and bam, you have meaningful interaction.

“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution,” wrote Zuckerberg. “Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

DO: create posts with quality content that encourages interaction.
DON’T: use “engagement-bait” traps.

Not only are bait traps slimy and spammy, which means users don’t like them, they will also work against you in Facebook’s algorithm. “Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed,” says Facebook.

Examples of Engagement Bait from Facebook

Instead, use your posts to initiate conversation. Ask questions, encourage sharing, and even prompt followers to share photos or their own self-promotion within your posts.

What Powers the Facebook Algorithm?

The Facebook Algorithm controls what you see on your news feed. If you use Facebook marketing, it’s crucial to know the basics about the algorithm and how it affects your posts.

To start, you need to understand the algorithm and what it does.

Facebook’s algorithm uses many factors to control what your target audience sees, and when.. The goal is to make sure that users see the content that Facebook thinks they want to see. Here are some of those factors:

  • Posts from friends and family come first, because that’s the main objective of the news feed: to connect people.
  • People like their feed to entertain and inform them with things like news and videos, so those come next.
  • Facebook makes it a priority to post genuine stories versus spam-like ones or anything misleading.
  • Based on your actions and feedback, Facebook aims to deliver stories that you want to see most. Additionally, Facebook is constantly using those actions and feedback to constantly improve and change the algorithm. For instance, the more you interact with an individual or business’s posts, the more that individual or business will show in your own news feed.

So what’s new to the Facebook algorithm?

The newest change focuses on friends, family and groups. As a business, unless you have a group page for your followers, this immediately takes you out of the top tier for landing in news feeds. This means that you will need to engage in more meaningful interactions to land yourself in the news feed.

DO: Here are some examples of posts and activities that the new algorithm loves:
  • Posts that have lots of Likes, comments and shares, especially in a short amount of time.
  • Posts that talk about trending topics, or in other words, are timely.
  • Media-based posts with photos, status updates and videos – especially videos with lots of views.
  • Posts from pages that people often interact with.
  • Posts from pages with complete, clean and reputable profiles.
  • Posts with links to other pages or sources.
DON’T: Here are some things you shouldn’t do based off the new algorithm:
  • Posts with spam links.
  • Status updates with only text and no other user-friendly content like videos, photos or links to stories or other pages.
  • Posts that specifically ask for follows and shares. For instance, posting “Like this post if you like cats, share this post if you like dogs” will result in having your posts pushed down in the news feed.
  • Repeated posts and content that has already circulated its way around Facebook.
  • Clickbait – content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular webpage.

Tapping Into the Power of Influencers

If you rely on Facebook to build your business, your best answer with these changes may be looking for an Influencer. Connecting with Influencers who have a strong and growing audience that are deeply connected with is pretty much a jackpot for most marketers. The best way to utilize an Influencer’s audience is to understand your business objective, educate yourself on the factors that influence your target audience, and find an influencer that blends your brand and/or product within their own. This engages their dedicated followers, hence introducing and connecting them to your content.

Quick Tip: Use your referral network, employees, and other close connections to act as influencers. While it would be helpful to have a celebrity share your posts, chances are you aren’t looking to spend what it would cost to purchase that influence. Instead, connect with other businesses and networks. When they share your content, they will help extend your reach to their audience. Be sure to return the love — not only will you help expand their reach, but your followers will appreciate the curated content. Just make sure that all shared content is relevant to your audience.

Tackling the Changes Strategically

The latest change shouldn’t majorly change your posting strategy. Stick to posting strong content that is relevant and engaging for your audience. By engaging with your followers, you are more likely to end up in people’s news feeds. This is a great way to connect with your audience and be transparent through your social media accounts.

And brace yourself for more changes! We firmly believe in having a fluid strategy, especially when it comes to social media marketing. The best way to tackle these Facebook algorithm changes is to prepare for more of them — and on more platforms. You should constantly evaluate what’s working or not working with your audience, and always be ready to respond to change, whether it is changes in your market, your industry, or on the platforms you use to connect to your audience.


Julie Holton | mConnexions | Digital Marketing Agency

Julie Holton is the Principal Strategist and Owner of mConnexions, a full-service marketing and communications agency with a focus on developing digital marketing solutions for clients. Relationships are the key to building business. mConnexions works to build those connections, one marketing lead at a time. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn and learn more about mConnexions at mConnexions.com.

How to avoid the mistake the White House made this week

I send out an email almost daily that goes to clients, former clients and future clients.

On Sunday, I sent a media tip that many would say is obvious.

Kind of a “no duh.”

I even called it “unsexy.”

But au contraire, my friend…

How to avoid the mistake the White House make this week

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that tickets to President Donald J. Trump’s first State of the Union address originally said State of the “Uniom.”

The tickets issued to lawmakers’ spouses and guests contained the typo. The tickets were printed by the Office of the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper. They had to be reissued.

“It was corrected immediately, and our office is redistributing the tickets,” a spokesman for the sergeant at arms told Agence France-Presse.

One news outlet reported that the State of the Union tickets actually had two typos: In addition to “Uniom,” they referred to the “Visitor’s Gallery.” It’s actually the Visitors’ Gallery.

This isn’t the first time. Not long after President Trump was sworn into office in January of last year, the White House misspelled British Prime Minister Theresa May’s name—three times. THREE times. Her name is “Theresa” May, but they spelled it “Teresa” May. “Teresa” (with no h) May, happens to be a model and porn actress.

The original version of Trump’s presidential inauguration poster also featured a typo. The message over his photo read “No dream is too big, no challenge is to great,” with the second “o” missing from the second “too.”

Then there was the time the White House issued a statement before Trump’s trip to Israel, saying that he hoped the visit would “promote the possibility of lasting peach,” instead of “peace.” Yes, we all love the fuzzy fruit… but, come on.

And the White House Snapchat account referred to Betsy DeVos as the “Secretary of Educatuon.” Awesome.

Of course, Mr. Trump himself has had his own share of typos like the famous “covfefe.”

It happens.

It’s not uncommon.

And, it’s totally unacceptable.

Before you read my blogs, someone else does.

Actually… he hears them.

I read them to my husband before I hit “publish.”
If he’s not around, I read them aloud a few times.

Sometimes he helps me nail down a point.
Most times he just listens and says “great!”
I love that.

Here are two really unsexy media tips that may be the most important things you do:
  1. Have someone else read everything you write before it’s sent out.
  2. Always read your work out loud before you send it.

I’m talking about social media posts, blogs, big emails to your staff (you never know what might be forwarded to the media), speeches, quotes you’re giving to a magazine or newspaper… you get the point.

Here’s why I do it:
You’re way too important for me not to have another set of eyes on these emails.
I’m not perfect.

Here’s why you should do it:
Every bit of information that’s sent out or posted is a reflection of you and your company.
You’re not perfect.

Every bit of information that’s sent out or posted is a reflection of you and your company.

You’re not perfect.

In our beautiful imperfections… we miss stuff.

Our brain sometimes moves so quickly – we actually will “see” the right word that should be there… even though there is a misspelling or the wrong word there entirely.

When we read our work aloud — we catch more errors.

When you have someone else quickly do a once-over… it’s even better.

Told you it’s not very sexy.

But I guarantee – you’ll be more effective in sharing your story.

 

 


Kathryn Janicek | Media Coach, Producer, Public Speaking Trainer
Kathryn Janicek is a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with 20 years of experience working in newsrooms across the country. Kathryn coached talent, producers, and writers before switching her focus on helping entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Now, based in her home city of Chicago, she is a much sought-after media coach and public speaking trainer who will help you produce the best YOU. Click HERE now to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with Kathryn.

How to get on TV (or anywhere else in the media)

So you have a story to tell and you think the news should tell it?

You want to help more people by getting on a major platform like television?

You saw a guy you went to college with, you two have the same amount of experience… yet HE ALWAYS gets interviewed when the news is looking for someone in your industry?

Want “the news” to talk about YOUR company and give it a big boost in sales?

I hear it all the time.

“Why doesn’t the news call me? I have the best (fill in the blank).”

Here’s the BIG SECRET:

If you want it, you have to go get it.

The majority of the time, they’re not hunting down people to interview.

YOU have to make the call, email, text….

So, how do you do that?

Media training.

Media training teaches you:

  • How to create a story that is marketable to the media
  • How to dig up the marketable, sellable and pitchable story that’s inside of you or your company
  • How to present that story to the media
  • Who you need to talk to… who the major players are that make the decisions on what story to run, where to run it (and which to delete)
  • What to say when you get the booking
  • What to wear on TV, in a magazine shoot, for a newspaper shoot, or on radio (seriously… ask me why)
  • The best haircut/style for your face on TV
  • How to do your makeup for TV so you look alive but don’t look too made-up (and not like yourself)
  • How to carry yourself physically during the interview
  • Verbal delivery skills
  • How to answer a question when you don’t want to answer a question
  • How to answer a question when you can’t answer a question (proprietary information, part of an active investigation… or you just don’t know the answer)
  • How to frame your message during the interview
  • How to get the interviewer focused on the message that you want to focus on
  • Where the story will show up
  • How long to wait for the story to show up
  • How to get your website link on air, in an article or mentioned on the radio
  • How to share the story later to take advantage of the media hit and gain more followers (or make more sales)

 

Media training gives you the skills to develop a strong, clear message that sticks with your audience. It positions you to deliver it effectively and impactfully. Media training is also the best way to develop strong skills when it comes to interacting with the media, making sure your message isn’t lost or misinterpreted through nerves.

Media trainers work with individuals and teams of people.

I am a professional media trainer with 20+ years of experience in TV. (I have a bunch of Emmy Awards too.)

I coach on how to use appropriate body language, strong message building, and how to navigate those uncomfortable questions. The training experience arms you with what you need to effectively and confidently engage with the media.

Not convinced you need it? Here’s a little more …

It puts you in control of your interviews

You’ve seen or heard it before: an interview that is a complete flop. The person being interviewed forgets his or her key points, forgets important information, or flat out stumbles the whole way through.

The journalist may be the one asking you the questions, but in reality, you are in control of the interview. A media trainer works with you on composure and focusing on key messages so you can create the outcome you want in the interview. When your responses are clear and delivered well, you are able to subtly but strongly steer the interview the direction you want.

It teaches you to navigate the hard questions

Even if you are in control of your interview, you are still going to be faced with the hard questions. These questions may put you on the spot and be difficult to answer. With media training, you’re armed with skills to answer these tough questions. Your media trainer will practice these tough questions to prep you and craft answers that help you stay in control of the interview. This helps you feel confident going into an interview that may have particularly tough questions, even if they come at you unexpectedly.

It polishes your personal delivery

When you speak on television, the audience is watching your body language and facial expressions. People pick up on these things and they pay close attention to them. Media training teaches you how to use your words, tone, and body language to deliver your message in a powerful and effective way.

In addition to delivery, media training can help with interviewing anxiety. For those who are terrified by interviews, especially live radio and/or television ones, developing interview skills and confidence can be the most beneficial part of the media training experience. You’ll face every interview head-on without worrying about getting stuck.

Media training helps you even if you have NO desire to be in the media. Because of the training, my clients are better on stage, during job interviews, and presenting in front of small groups at work.

 

Kathryn Janicek | Media Coach, Producer, Public Speaking Trainer
Kathryn Janicek is a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with 20 years of experience working in newsrooms across the country. Kathryn coached talent, producers, and writers before switching her focus on helping entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Now, based in her home city of Chicago, she is a much sought-after media coach and public speaking trainer who will help you produce the best YOU. Click HERE now to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with Kathryn.