social media

How to Communicate in a Public Speaking Presentation, Social Media & On Stage So You’re Remembered

You may know Scott Galloway for his new show coming up on CNN+, but he’s also got an e-learning platform called Section4 and I was honored to be asked to present at their Member Lightning Talks recently.
The topic was communication, and I was asked to discuss how to communicate so you stand out and are remembered by your audience – in public speaking engagements, on social media, and on stage.
Is this something you’re working on right now?
Here are three strategies to help you stand out when you communicate:
1. Know your audience
2. Edutain (be provocative)
3. Be vulnerable to be memorable
P.S. – Don’t forget to prepare and practice!
Want to delve deeper into these concepts? Here’s the video with my complete talk.

Kathryn Janicek: Let’s now talk about how to craft your messages that will actually resonate with your customer the most, whether you’re on video, it’s your website, it’s social media, if you’re on stage, or in the media. I’m Kathryn Janicek, I’m the Founder and Chief Strategist at Kathryn Janicek Productions. It’s a super creative name. I’ve had my company for about seven years, I train in media and public speaking. I am a former TV exec. I’ve been the media for 25 years and I’ve won three Emmy’s. I have been so honored to be able to take three of the section four classes and it’s just been amazing.

How can you stand out as a thought leader? How can you show up as the expert in your industry? In your field? How can you impress audiences, future customers, current customers, investors make them trust and like you? I’m going to give you three ways you can do that today. There’s so many ways, but one way is to really know your audience. We hear it so often, but so many times, how often do you get to a conference and someone really hasn’t thought about their audience? Or they get up on any kind of stage or they’re being interviewed by the media and they’re really not thinking about who that end audience member is. So, think about your audience. If you’re in the media, for example, your audience is really not that journalist. Your audience is that person at home who might download your app, who might try out your brand new health thing or might buy your toy, whatever it is. But think about that 45-year-old female with two kids, who’s at home on the couch and that is who you’re talking to, that person.

You’re not talking to everyone. We narrowcast, not broadcast, right? We think about that actual person. And also to think about if you have a health company, if you have anything in healthcare or that honestly, anyone who needs to be trusted and if you need to look like you care about them, you need to look like you care about yourself. So, making sure you show up looking healthy and clean and it’s so, so important in front of anybody, right? Now, we all want a story tell, but think about your exact audience about who you’re telling a story to. And I was training a COO and other execs a couple weeks ago from a 12 billion company, I thanked them for taking the three days to fly to Chicago and actually take that time with me.

I told them about my dad was a weekend dad. He was around Monday through Friday, that resonated with this group. That would not resonate with 300 women who I might speak with who are in their twenties. I also told a story on day two about how I was misrepresented in an E! Entertainment story about Chris Farley. It was the Chris Farley biography that aired in 1998. This audience was perfect for it because it was men about 40 plus and they knew who Chris Farley was. I wouldn’t tell that story to a group of millennials or maybe women who were in their thirties because they just don’t remember who he was. So, think about who that audience is and what stories you can tell them. It’s really, really important. Another way you can think about it too, for yourself is I was training the new President of a major medical association.

And her job is to get more people vaccinated because she is in healthcare and that’s her job. She’s a pathologist. Now, instead of just saying, “you need to go get vaccinated,” we spun the story and I talk said “talk about as a CMO and as a mother of two college students, I really cannot tell you how important it is. I cannot underscore this enough, how important. When I got my two kids vaccinated, I needed them to get vaccinated before they go to college”. So, she wove in her story. So, be vulnerable and leave that in and we’ll talk about that in a second. Also, remember this is educating and entertaining. As much as CEOs will tell me all the time, I’m not a performer. I don’t want to entertain. It really is your job because you want to make sure you get your message across.

So, we have to edutain. We get up, we show our smarts, but we have to captivate an audience and keep them for 5, 10, 20, 40 minutes. So, you have to entertain. One of those ways is we can be a little bit more provocative. And I think that sometimes we think being provocative is injecting sex, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you really look at the old definition, the Latin origin of being provocative, it’s really about challenging, changing. How can you change the status quo and be provocative in your specific industry? And then how can you communicate how you’re different? You can’t compete with other companies head to head, right? You can’t compete with them with exactly what they’re doing. Try to change the status quo and then communicate how you are different.

And then really, really it’s important is making sure that your team is diverse because sometimes when we try to be provocative, you guys have seen all the bad stories out there when they backfire. When we want to be provocative, we should have a good diverse team, men, women, different people from all over the place, and also that reflects your audience because you don’t want it to backfire. Okay. In TV, we always made sure that we had people a diverse background, so we could talk to our specific audience. It’s really important. TV can do a little better of a job and they’re working on it. Also, be vulnerable to be memorable. Tell those really heart-wrenching stories and here’s, what’s really important is to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t prepare and really rehearse your speech, your talk, whatever it is, your two-minute video for YouTube, it’s really hard to then be vulnerable and be present and really emote, be thinking about every word you’re saying because you will not be impactful if we get up and read the words.

We have to really think about them because then you will touch the people, you will stay with them, you’ll be memorable. I’ve had CEOs who are great in the rehearsal, but then they get up and they get so much in their head because they’re trying to perform and look a certain way and make sure that all their ego gets going. And that vulnerable moment that we rehearse, that moment where they really thanked their team or whatever it was, and they kind of teared up, they didn’t do it when it was live because they weren’t present. They were thinking too much about how they were going to look. So, be prepared, so you can then be vulnerable. So, those quick takeaways are just making sure that we know our audience, we edutain, we are vulnerable but we rehearse, so we can be vulnerable and really be present. And I hope that was helpful.

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

Will an employee tank your entire company this weekend?

People are fired for what they post or tweet in their off-hours. This is fact.

Your personal social media platforms are not really personal. Once hired – you represent your company.

A simple tweet can hurt the reputation of your company.

Not everyone understands. Do your employees?

This is something I help my clients navigate.

Most of the social media mistakes that have made headlines were preventable.

Do you have a plan? Do you have a company social media strategy?

Already have a social media strategy? Great! Have you TRAINED your employees?

When I helped create the social media platforms for NBC Chicago — and then helped other NBC stations across the country… we made sure to set up training sessions with all employees. From on-air to sales… we tried to guide everyone through what was at the time – new waters. It was still communicating with our audience — but it was in a very new way. There were new deadlines and rules. Training was key.

Your employees may not necessarily know what’s public and what’s private. This is very important to teach.

Oh, and here’s a big reason why you want to do social media training: once you train on it – it could make it easier to fire an employee when they do make the mistake. If you don’t do the training – they can claim they didn’t know. And, they didn’t, did they? You never told them…

Don’t get overwhelmed — this doesn’t have to be a day-long training. It’s a few hours with all employees – and it can be set up at different times so everyone can make it when it’s convenient for the company.

Have you already had issues with social media at your company? Can you imagine how much could have been prevented with the right training?

Remember — one wrong message on social media can make your company lose a lot of money. People question your hiring and the way you manage people. They’ll wonder if you’re that lax in other departments.

After reading this – don’t avoid creating a great digital brand through using social media because it could hurt you. That’s like not hiring anyone to work your storefront because you’re too afraid he’ll say the wrong thing.

You NEED social media but you NEED to use it the right way. It’s an art and science. It’s not a job for so-and-so’s “son who likes to mess around on Twitter.” This person should have a key strategy, marketing and communications role on your team.

The hire is one of the most important moves you can make.

Follow me on social media for more media training tips.