Have your voice heardHave your voice heard

kathryn janicek

Stop touching your face in Zoom meetings

Body language is essential to get right whenever you’re presenting.

Even though we’re only seeing the top third of your body on Zoom (or Microsoft Teams or Google Meet), how you appear up there matters.

This is especially true when you need to be perceived as a leader.

This is not about lookin’ good.

It’s about gaining the trust of your audience.

Whether you’re giving a sales presentation, talking with a client, leading a meeting, or giving a media interview — here are three things I highly recommend you stop doing.

Touching your face

When we touch our face it tells the audience we’re nervous or uncomfortable.

We want to come across confident so our audience trusts us and the company we represent.

Touching your hair

When we fiddle with our hair or move it away from our face, it again makes our audience less confident in us.

Make sure your hair is always away from your face and it doesn’t move into your eyes so you don’t have a tendency to touch it.

Looking at other monitors

You wouldn’t stare out of the window or at your phone during an in-person meeting, would you?

This is why we shouldn’t look away from the person we’re meeting with and at another monitor.

You’ve seen it, you’ve felt it, you know how rude this is.

Making these small tweaks makes a huge impression on audiences.

Whether it’s an audience of one or many.

One specific VP told me recently his team is much more engaged now when he speaks.

And it happened right after he enacted the “stop touching your face” (for him, he touched his beard a lot) and “stop looking at other monitors” rules I created for him.

He says his team is more engaged.

That’s all it took.

Worth a try, right?

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training for health care professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in health care. Check it out even if you’re not in health care. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

A lesson from Elton John

Elton John finally made his way back to Chicago.

This was a show originally scheduled for 2020.

Like a lot of concerts, it was delayed because of the pandemic.

As the months passed, I didn’t think he would actually make it back.

As you may know, Sir Elton recently had COVID.

Was he going to be too nervous being in a big crowd again? Would he be fully recovered?

Instead, what I witnessed was a man who put every ounce of his being into the show.

From the first second to the last – he had endless energy.

He was like a kid.

And so were each one of the band members.

Many of whom are in their 70s.

But each one acted like they were… maybe 25.

So much energy and so much enthusiasm.

These legends have been playing on stages worldwide for decades.

We all would have been fine if they phoned it in.

But instead, they played like they were still earning our respect as musicians.

They genuinely acted like they were excited to be there.

Elton waved to the crowd for 2 1/2 hours like he was your grandpa and you were driving up to his house after he spent two years in quarantine.

Energy. Excitement.

Right from the top, no time wasted.

Preparation.

Practice.

True professionals.

They get it.

There isn’t time to warm up.

Once you hit the stage, you have to be ready.

To entertain.

To captivate.

This comes up with my clients all the time.

When they first call me, they explain how they were great in the middle of a podcast or another interview, but it took them time to warm up.

But we live in a world where we don’t have time to warm up.

If we don’t catch people right off the top, they will start checking their email or move to a different podcast.

We must captivate and entertain from the top.

Capture the audience and make them want to stick around.

Elton didn’t need to do that.

Nor did his 74-year-old percussionist, who has played for every major act in the world.

Yet, they acted grateful to be on the big stage.

The next time we’re on a stage or in the media – we have to act like we’re grateful to be there and that it’s not old hat.

We have to prepare and be ready on the first beat.

This is not a normal conversation.

This is something that takes a different level of preparation.

That first soundbite has to be a headline.

It has to encapsulate all of the excitement going on in your organization.

It’s an important lesson to learn from these pros.

They’re teaching us night after night, how to perform to make our audience keep coming back for more.

P.S. I had great seats (thanks to my United Center/Chicago Bulls client). If you want to see video from the show, I shared it here on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training for health care professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in health care. Check it out even if you’re not in health care. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

They’ll love your snow stories

Have you ever met a really BORING person?

Been on a first date and wondered how someone could really be that bland?

Are you sitting in a Zoom meeting right now listening to a person go on and on… about nothing?

Or worse… are you afraid you might be that person?

The best piece of advice I give thought leaders I work with before they do a media interview or speech is:

Have a relatable story.

You MUST have a story people can relate to if you’re going to attract people to you, speak in public, or if you’d like to sell your brand by using the media.

No producer or writer is going to publish a story about your grand opening or sale.

But if you have a story, like you’re donating 40% of opening day profits to a charity that’s in the news… or there’s something special about the owner… you have a much better chance.

Numbers are great – but stories are even better.

You may have a great success story at your company. Numbers are way up. Bosses are happy.

The way to break through to an audience and show what those numbers really mean is to tell a story. Explain what those numbers mean.

Talk about how many people you were able to hire because numbers are up. Highlight a person you hired and their family.

You need a compelling story of human interest.

Remember: the media has a job to do.

They need to make sure their audience watches, reads, sticks with them even after a commercial, learns something and keeps coming back for more.

All you need to do is learn a few tricks to do it the right way.

Here are a few quick thoughts I shared on YouTube.

And think about how a story connects you to people in your day-to-day Zoom meetings.

I was on a call with an exec of a Fortune 100 company last week.

He showed up in a baseball cap and a hoodie.

Not his normal wardrobe.

He told me he had just finished shoveling his wife out of the driveway.

And then he drove her to work.

She’s a nurse.

At that moment, I knew I wanted to work with that exec – and I even happily altered my price when we negotiated my contract.

Give your audience an authentic story that makes them feel something and you’ll have a better chance of seeing your story in the media.

They may even become open to negotiating their prices because they just like you.

P.S. Creating a story that stands out is the critical component needed to grow your business or practice and ensure you get an ROI on your time and energy. I shot a YouTube video on this. Check it out here.

P.P.S. I created a training for healthcare professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in healthcare. Check it out even if you’re not in healthcare. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

The ripple effect of communication issues

How are the people inside your company communicating with your customers?

Or future customers?

I was on a call with a $12 billion company today.

I’m sharing this in case you have the same issue.

They hosted their annual meeting recently.

Many of their execs had to give presentations and they quickly realized… several of them were having issues presenting and getting their message across.

These are well-regarded individuals inside a Fortune 100 company.

They’re smart and know the industry in and out.

But they have an issue.

And it’s costly.

They are not confident or convincing when it comes to presenting.

So they called me.

They need to be prepared before they present again in a year – but more importantly, the concern is:

How are they communicating on a daily basis?

In front of customers? Potential investors? Their team?

There’s a ripple effect when it comes to communication.

Whether it’s your receptionist who takes inbound calls and walk-ins, your sales team, all the way up to your leadership — your message should:

  • establish trust,
  • be confident,
  • show empathy,
  • and it should make people want to do business with you!

If your message is being miscommunicated, at any level within your organization, that’s a potential client or customer — gone.

Potential referrals — gone.

Potential media or speaking opportunities — gone.

It’s all interconnected.

As you’re reading this, think to yourself for a moment.

Could you possibly have a communications issue inside your company?

Don’t dismiss someone as having stage or Zoom fright.

They may have a bigger communications issue.

It’s fixable and a little work now will save (and make) you a lot of money quickly.

P.S. Worried your organization is struggling like this Fortune 100 company? I created a training for health care professionals who need to confidently show up on camera, attract more patients, move up in their careers, and let their expertise shine. Share it with your friends in health care. The tips and tricks are universal. Check it out even if you’re not in health care. Click here to learn more. Want training that’s more specialized for your industry? Let’s connect and make it happen.

P.P.S. I just published a new video on YouTube sharing with you some easy adjustments to make before recording a video or going live. This might be something you haven’t considered. Check it out here.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

The missing piece to your marketing strategy

You know how important video is to connect with your audience.

I don’t need to convince you.

The stats are all there.

Video will make up 82% of all internet traffic this year.

How do you make sure your messaging doesn’t get lost?

You’re heard? Remembered?

How will you ensure your goal – the reason you want to get a message across – comes through?

I was training the CEO of a nationally known public company this week.

He was creating a video message for his employees.

He has the fancy equipment and team.

But he was missing the right words to reach his team.

And the tone and cadence.

The pieces to really move them.

Inspire them.

Make them act.

Video is powerful.

But you’re even more powerful.

So, what could you be missing from your marketing strategy?

Authenticity.

Vulnerability.

YOU.

Without YOU, video is weak.

This goes for Zoom video meetings, media interviews, website videos, social media videos and internal videos for your employees.

Don’t leave out YOU next week.

Your audiences came to the YOU party.

They chose to work with YOU.

Don’t disappoint.

P.S. If you would like help on how to be a more effective thought leader in video, in the media, and on stages, book a free consultation with me here.

P.P.S. I’ve created a special program just for healthcare professionals who need media training so they can confidently show up on camera, attract more patients, move up in their careers, and let their expertise shine. If that’s you or you know someone who can benefit from this, click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

How to Make Sure Your Message Takes Center Stage (and not this)

The key to any speaking opportunity – whether that’s speaking on Zoom in a meeting, on stage, in the media, in your website videos, or in job interviews – is to keep the audience focused on your message and nothing else.

There are a lot of things steering your audience away from you and your message.

A busy background.

Disrupting noises.

Or even a pair of glasses.

It’s one of the biggest questions I get:

“What do I do about my glasses?”

They’re not asking whether they should wear them…

But really – what to do about the fact that they’re distracting.

The light from their room is bouncing off the lenses…

They know they need help.

I struggled with this for so long – I just ditched my glasses for years… which has made it pretty hard to see my slides when I’m training.

But I figured out some tricks.

And I’m going to share a little bit with you now.

(If you want to go more in-depth with me, click here to watch this video I just shot.)

Do you have big thick frames?

Or are they too small and cutting off your pupils?

While glasses may sometimes feel like an afterthought, they could be detrimental to your overall message.

You want your audience to connect with your eyes.

The eyes are the window to the soul (or so I’ve heard).

This is also why it’s important to look directly into the camera. You’ll appear 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.

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.

When someone can really look into your eyes — they feel more connected to you. AND TRUST YOU MORE.

That’s why I care about this.

It’s not about looks.

I care that you connect with more people.

And they trust you.

P.S. I left out one of the other big no-no’s when it comes to making sure you connect with your audience and stand out. I’m talking about lighting. I just published a short video telling you all about it. Click here to watch.

P.P.S. I’ve created a special program just for healthcare professionals who need media training so they can confidently show up on camera, attract more patients, move up in their careers, and let their expertise shine. If that’s you or you know someone who can benefit from this, click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

Are you prepared for a Peloton-style crisis?

The Peloton crisis got me thinking…

What if something terrible happened to you?

Every organization is vulnerable to a crisis. On many levels.

If you ignore it – it doesn’t disappear.

An employee sends out a racist tweet. You lay off workers. Your CEO gets in a car crash. There’s video of an employee doing something illegal. Or your product kills someone in a popular TV show.

Maybe it’s not even your crisis – but a vendor or client of yours is having a crisis.

The media calls.

You need to answer them. And release an internal statement, or even better, a video.

You don’t know what to do or say.

There are three rules for crisis management to remember:

  1. Acknowledge the issue
  2. Take responsibility quickly (think Extreme Ownership Jocko Willink style)
  3. Overcorrect

The good news is, this is easier if you prepare.

So how do you prepare for the unexpected?

  1. Brainstorm for any possible crises that can affect your organization. Once you identify the possibilities, you will see there are steps you can take to prevent certain ones from happening. Do so.
  2. Identify your crisis team. Who are the people the team will look towards for guidance?
  3. Choose and train your spokesperson. This is BIG. Make sure the spokesperson is trained for a crisis and knows how to stay on message even while managing the hardest questions. Outline which spokesperson, if more than one, is handling which news outlet i.e. local and national news outlets, social media, newspaper, etc.
  4. Notification and monitoring. How are you going to notify employees, stakeholders, and the public?
  5. Develop your crisis messages. When everything hits the fan, having this mapped out will be hugely beneficial when time is of the essence.
  6. Assess and adapt messages. When the crisis is on… assess and adapt to the situation in real-time.
  7. Post-crisis: inspect. After the dust has settled, inspect how your team and organization handled the crisis and determine what could have been done better and faster.

The basic steps of effective crisis communications are not difficult, but they require work in order to minimize the damage.

The impact on your financial and reputation’s bottom line will be more severe if you do not plan.

Employees and other stakeholders won’t know what’s happening and will become confused and angry.

Your organization will be perceived as inept and possibly criminally negligent.

The media crisis will last MUCH longer.

Preparedness is KEY.

P.S. I just gave you a brief rundown of what to do in a crisis, but if you are really serious about crisis preparedness, check out this video where I go into more detail.

P.P.S. I’ve created a special program just for healthcare professionals who need media training so they can confidently show up on camera, attract more patients, move up in their careers, and let their expertise shine. If that is you or you know someone who can benefit from this, Learn More Here.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call to speak to our team about how we can help you. Schedule your call here.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

How to Land Your Company on the Today Show’s Website

People always ask me…

How do I get on TV?

How do I get my company mentioned in articles?

I know media mentions help my SEO, so how do I get legit ones?

I landed the first spot in an article on the Today Show’s website this week and thought I would share how I did it – with you.

How did I do it?

I’ve built relationships with many journalists because I’ve worked with many of them as a journalist… and some, I built organically by giving them valuable information that helps them with their work.

I follow them and keep my eye on what they are searching for.

I respond within minutes.

I only give them exactly what they want and how they want it delivered.

Here’s why this week’s placement worked:

Aly Walansky was looking for last-minute help on a National Cookie Day article she was writing that morning.

She specifically said she needed help now because she was posting her article that morning.

I reached out to Kerry Brown, the co-founder of eat G.A.N.G.S.T.E.R. (they make my favorite cookie mixes).

She responded within MINUTES with exactly what I needed.

I sent it to Aly seconds later. 

BOOM, the next day, eat G.A.N.G.S.T.E.R. was the top placement of Aly’s TodayShow.com article.

When you break it all down, it’s about two things:

1: Relationships

2: Speaking to the reporter where they are & how they want to be communicated with

#1 Relationships

I have relationships with reporters worldwide because I’ve worked with them side by side as a journalist… and guess what?

Reporters are people.

Just whipping off a press release to hundreds of emails doesn’t land you in the media.

Reporters receive hundreds of emails a day.

Do they know your name?

Do they trust you to have their back? (i.e. know what a good story is and not waste their time)

#2 Speak to the person where they are and how they want to be spoken to

Doesn’t this work for every relationship?
It works with reporters too (of course, because they are human beings).

I teach this in my media and public speaking training.

We need to give the reporter the information they need and the way they want to receive it.

When I present to big groups on media training, I’m always asked:

How do I send my information to the reporter?

How do they want images?’

How do they want video?

Even if you don’t have the exact answers, always ask yourself: what will make their job and day easier?

Here are some tips right from Aly Walansky, freelance food and travel journalist with Food Network, TODAY Show, Forbes, All Recipes, PopSugar, Men’s Health Magazine, Your Tango and Men’s Journal.

1: Label your pictures. Do not send images attached to an email with names like “image01” or “screenshot12.” This is especially true if you are sending a batch of images for various things at once. It’s also a great way of me using the wrong image for the wrong expert/product/menu item. It’s super helpful if your image file name in some way describes what is inside. For example, if you are sending me an image of an XYZ brand serrated knife, you may want to title that image XYZ-serrated-knife.jpg.”

2: Please don’t send me giant galleries of images and tell me that the image of that one specific dish or cocktail or product is “somewhere in there.” That too increases the possibility of me not finding it, or choosing the wrong one and then you needing to ask me to switch it out later.

3: If I do a call for pitches (like the ones below) and mention that something needs an image to be considered, please don’t skip that. I got tons of great cocktail pitches yesterday for the dessert cocktail story, but a good 20% did not include a needed element (the image, in most cases.)

4: I’m FULLY OK with you sending an image as a dropbox link or a google drive link instead of an attachment, and my inbox actually prefers it. Just make sure you do the aforementioned file-identifying so we’re all on the same page and there’s no confusion.

Aly Walansky has a newsletter you can sign up for if you want to know what kinds of stories she’s writing each day – and what companies she’s looking to feature. More and more freelance writers are doing this now. This is part of the work in building the relationships between you and the reporters you would like to work with… or you’re targeting. Find out how THEY like to communicate and talk to them there.

Could be Twitter. Lots of reporters search for experts there.

Find out where your favorite reporters hang out.

This is a lot like dating, right??

Go where they hang out. Go where they are comfortable communicating.

Do not make them uncomfortable by DMing them if they say they do not respond to DMs. But do they tweet publicly? Great! Then, tweet them.

Do they have a substack newsletter? Great! Sign up for it. And then follow the rules that they’ve outlined in their newsletter regarding how they like to take pitches.

This is so important.

Like dating, we do not cross the lines — or you won’t get that second date. I.e. Don’t show up in person at her work with flowers after the first date. 

But you can send cookies to her house and tell her she’s sweet 🙂 

Extra points if you know she has food nut and gluten allergies and you send these.

I hope this approach helps next time you are trying to get an article or TV placement, as it has for me and many of my clients in the past.

P.S. Here’s the link to those awesome G.A.N.G.S.T.E.R. cookie, cupcake and cake mixes if you want to get in on the National Cookie Day celebration this Saturday, December 4th… 

I Never Thought I Would Be an Entrepreneur

I never thought about owning my own business.
Entrepreneurialism.
Employing other people.
Managing their health insurance.
Business insurance.
Liability insurance.
Workers comp insurance.
Invoices.
Contracts.

Changing lives.
Helping people earn more money.
Showing clients how to move up in their careers.
Giving people their confidence back.
Changing someone’s mindset so they can achieve their goals.
Mentoring.
Creating more fulfilling lives for people.

Today is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
I never thought I would be an entrepreneur.

And why not?

I’m sitting here sipping a coffee and waiting for my daughter to wake up.

Our nanny will arrive in an hour and I’ll commute to work by walking to my office on the first floor.

I will arrive at 8am and my first client will be there on the computer.

I’m going to meet with people all over the world today.

I’ll write new media and public speaking training proposals for credit card companies, a TV network, an app, and a hospital system.

I’ll shoot a few social media ads and a YouTube video.

And at 4pm, I’ll take my family to the zoo to see the Christmas lights.

I’ll also work from Florida for several weeks this holiday season.

I created this.
I chose it.
And it worked out because it just depended on my own drive and willpower.

No internal approval process for all my contracts.
No long meetings and debates about content.

Oh, and I never have to wait to get my holiday time off (that I earned) approved.

And I control my margins and make more.

Makes me think… why wasn’t I taught this option in high school?

I can’t wait to show my daughter how to be an entrepreneur.