For almost ten years Jessica Chen dedicated her career to communicating as a news reporter in the top 30 markets. In 2018 she took her skills to the classroom, training Fortune 500 companies, global teams, and individuals on presentation, executive presence and communications messaging through her company, Soulcast Media.
The over 1 million students who’ve taken her LinkedIn Learning courses can agree that she knows what she’s talking about! The Emmy Award winning producer sat with me to teach us techniques like ‘anchoring’ and ‘mirroring’. She even gave tips for the passionate and the introverted. I’m positive by the end of this convo you’ll be ready to communicate with clarity and confidence!
Whether we admit it or not we all want the ‘gold star’ at work. We want to be recognized for who we are and what we do. Increasing your visibility at work all comes down to how you communicate.
Jessica’s advice: find unique ways to showcase your work.
A meeting to discuss your progress may not be an option, so using platforms like LinkedIn to share the great work you and your team are doing can help you stay top of mind amongst your boss and colleagues. P.S. I teach exactly how to do this in my Career Capital course!
In the digital work world it’s easy to miss what I like to call ‘micro movements’ – the subtle gestures and sounds that add to a conversation. So how do we show that we’re present, engaged, and a good team member via Zoom? Mirroring.
“Copy the body language of the person you’re talking to. Smile if they smile, nod if they nod. It acknowledges to the speaker that you are listening. Staying focused develops executive presence and charisma which never go unnoticed,” says Jessica.
In other words you don’t want to be looking to the side typing away while others are talking.
These tips plus my Ultimate On-Camera Starter Kit will take you from flat to flattering in your next Zoom meeting or video appearance.
Raise your hand if you’ve spent hours drafting an email thinking of just the right thing to say? *Raises hand*
According to Jessica the antidote is to write how you speak.
“Make the email conversational and authentic, like you would if it were in person,” she shared, “Also, the shorter the better. Give details, but trust if the person on the receiving end has questions they will ask.”
Pro Tip: Using bullet points or numbers increases the chances of your email getting read.
If you’re passionate about what you do but have been told you come off a bit bullish concerning the topic, you may have what I call ‘the case of cares’. Your passion is never wasted but you want to be sure it is well received.
Jessica shared two tips on doing so:
1. Develop emotional intelligence – Having self awareness and social awareness affects how you communicate with people. Learn your triggers and remember to ‘read the room’.
2. Understand your audience – When communicating a point remember it’s not about you, it’s about how and why it will matter to the person you’re speaking to. Tailor your message to make sure you’re speaking to their heart.
Opposite to the bullish communicator is the introvert. Surprisingly, Jessica admitted to being shy and introverted! She says it’s a hurdle anyone can overcome.
If you have a lot of value to offer but don’t know how to get the words out try her tips:
If you don’t have something to say, but know it’s important for you to participate, try anchoring. Take the last few words from the speaker before you and add on to it.
For example, if they say, “I want to do ABC.” Respond with, “I love ABC! How do you feel about XYZ?” This works better than saying ‘I agree’, it creates less friction, helps fluidity in the conversation.
Throughout our conversation Jessica reiterated the need to “know your audience”.
That’s because if you want to communicate effectively and make a lasting impression you have to speak your audience’s language.
“Bring your message down to earth. Make it as relatable and understandable as possible,” she explained.
Pro tip: Ask yourself, ‘why should they care?’ This will help you tailor your message to suit your audience.
Homework: Watch a communications course.
Piggy backing off of my conversation with Jessica I thought a great workshop topic for August would be Networking. Growing your network in this digital world can be difficult but it’s so rewarding (I promise!). I’ve made some amazing friends and connections through LinkedIn. I’m sharing my tips and tricks and I’d love to hear yours. Make sure to add it to your calendar here.