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How to Conquer Camera Fear and Get Started With Video Content

Transcript 

Kathy (host):

Well, hello there and welcome back to Help! My Business is Growing, a podcast where we explore how to grow and build a business that it's healthy and sustainable. I'm your host, Kathy Svetina.

 

Kathy (host):

Customers want to see and get to know who they'll be trusting their time and money with, and video is a great way to develop that connection. Over the last decade, video content has grown by leaps and bounds, and there is no way to escape it, especially since some smartphones and video-related apps like YouTube, Instagram reels, and TikTok, and who knows what's going to be out there, have made creating videos much more accessible. In fact, it is now also considered by many to be a digital marketing mix staple because video brings your brand and your business to life in the most effective way possible. It allows you to attract, engage, and inspire your audience in a very real and human way. But how do you start creating video content if you have never done it before? And what happens if you're camera shy? And what do you say? How do you overcome the fear of putting yourself out there so that you can confidently harness this power video to help your business grow?

 

Kathy (host):

Just a quick reminder, all of the episodes on this podcast, including this one, come with timestamps for topics that we discuss, and each one has its own blog post as well. You can find all the links and the detailed topics in this episode's show notes.

 

Kathy (host):

So all of these questions that I've asked before are going to be answered by our guest today. Her name is Elaine Williams. She is a performance coach, comedian, author, and founder of Captivate the Crowd. Her clients have gone from never doing any video or speaking live to having their own YouTube channels, doing international book tours, and speaking for NASA. She is an award-winning comedian and performance coach with credits like Saturday Night Live, and America's Got Talent and has been featured in the New York Times, Hay House Radio, and the Huffington Post. Elaine combines her Debbie Ford JFK University Coaching Certification, with her 30-plus years of performing professionally in the theater, film, tv, voiceover, radio, and standup comedy to transform her clients into captivating speakers. Join us.

 

Kathy (host):

Welcome to the show, Elaine.

 

Elaine (guest):

Hi. Thank you. Thanks for having me, Kathy.

 

Kathy (host):

Thanks so much for being here. We're going to be talking about videos, and we all know that video is a powerful marketing tool. It can be really, really intimidating if you've never done it before. And depending on how you doing it and what you are doing it for, it can be super labor intensive more than any other form of communication. I've tried it myself and I've kind of failed at that just because of that factor alone. And it can be a lot of stuff that you need to do, the technical stuff, the equipment, and the editing, but a lot of it comes with the mental prep work as well. So let's start with that. If someone wants to start making video, But they're completely overwhelmed with everything that comes with it. What do you think would be a good place to start to ease them into it?

 

Elaine (guest):

I love that question and I like to think of it as we all, were like, How do I drive a car? Right? Like you, when you're first starting out, you're nervous. Your parents in the car with you, hopefully, and you have to really think about things and then you pass your test hopefully, and then get very good, and then now we drive all the time and we don't think about it. Well, I think of videos like that. So just getting started can be as simple as saying, Okay, you know what? I'm getting to make a video and send it to my best friend who loves me no matter what I do every day. And I'm going to say, "This is what I had for lunch today, and I'm just practicing seeing how I am talking on my phone. Don't show this to anybody. Goodbye." You know, it can be literally like, because part of it is nobody likes how they look. Nobody likes how they sound. I have yet to meet anybody who goes, "I love my voice, Right?" Because our voices sound different to us. So when we hear a recording of our voices, it's almost always like, "Ah."

 

Elaine (guest):

So part of it is just getting used to like, "This is how I sound. Would you like to speak more resonant?" Then you should go to my YouTube channel, Captivate the Crowd where there is a five-minute free vocal exercise, which can help you speak with more authority. Because women, sometimes when we get nervous, and guys too, we talk like Minnie Mouse, which you lose your power and authority. So a lot of it is just practicing.

 

Elaine (guest):

So I think one of the best things is get a video buddy and say, "You know what? Let's get used to seeing how we look and sound." And just by doing that, once a day, for 30 seconds. 60 seconds. You will get better if you keep doing it. So again, I recommend doing this with a buddy because if it's uncomfortable and awkward and just left to us, most of us will not keep doing it.

 

Elaine (guest):

Right. Am I right? Right.

 

Kathy (host):

Yeah.

 

Elaine (guest):

So that's one way. That's one way absolutely.

 

Kathy (host):

I think it's also easier. I've tried doing that just for myself, actually taking a video, on the phone and not sending it to anyone. But it gets really hard because it feels like you are talking to nobody, because if you know that you're going to be sending it to a friend or sending it to someone, a specific person, I think it makes it a lot easier to make that eye contact, which is important in the camera.

 

Kathy (host):

And as a tip, I also have on my computer camera, I have googly eyes on each side of it so that I remember I have to look at the camera. Then just talking to no one. It seems to, for me at least, it makes it the video warmer because I can imagine the person on the other side.

 

Elaine (guest):

Yes, Kathy, I love it. So this is one of my tricks.

 

Elaine (guest):

You can take a little post-it note with a whole punch and then you can put it so like that's right over. So then you have to. But that is a great way to guide you so that you see exactly where to look and you can put a picture of your dog or something that makes you giggle or a beautiful flower.

 

Elaine (guest):

Because I did commercials in the eighties, right? And so I was very like used to musical theater. "Hi everybody." Right? So you're, when you think of, "Oh, I'm doing a commercial just like I'm doing something for the web." Your brain thinks of the world wide web. Well, intimidating, right? So instead you want to think about you're talking to one person, your best friend.

 

Elaine (guest):

So I, this is what I teach in my class. I say one person, one problem, one solution. So you go, "You know Sheridan, I'm a meaning to talk to you about your breath. Have you tried Colgate?" You're too young, Kathy. But there were these commercials in the eighties or nineties about Colgate and fresh breath and whatever.

 

Elaine (guest):

And if you think about it, most of us consume video. We're not watching it with a bunch of people like a movie. We're watching it at our desks, on our phones, on our tablets, in our cars, when we're waiting, when we're in line, whatever. And so just thinking of, "I'm just having one conversation with a good friend. Did I tell you about the most amazing dinner we had last week at this new place? Oh my God." That's what conversations are and it just takes a little practice.

 

Elaine (guest):

But I also, I love, This is another million dollar tip. Breathe. Take a deep, deep breath with your belly. Most people, when you say, take a deep breath, they go like this, and singers breathe like, let your belly pooch out. You can even put your hands on your lower back because you want to feel your lungs expanding. It's subtle. But that's when you get oxygen and deep down in there that's going to ground you, that's going to help you be in your body and not in your head. Because a lot of times when people are fight, flight, freeze, like you ever be like, been there, but you're, you've left the building, right?

 

Kathy (host):

Yep.

 

Elaine (guest):

That's what happens when people get nervous. We're like, "Hi, I'm really glad. Where did I, I forgot what I'm saying." Right? Because we've got so many things going on in our head instead of learning to be present. Well, how do you, you practice that? And one of the best ways to stay present in your body is to take deep breaths. Now, I know that may be easier said than done, and so this is a great thing to practice.

 

Elaine (guest):

Another thing, when I'm nervous and even though I've been performing my entire life, I still get nervous, especially if it's like TV or some pressure thing. I will grab my hands and clap, and stand or just walk around because this will help you release tension in your shoulders. It's just one of my favorite all-time stretches.

 

Kathy (host):

Interesting. I love that.

 

Elaine (guest):

And it just helps you because we want to be like this, right? Like I'm on the edge of my chair. I could stand up, but I'm not. But I'm right on the edge. "Hello? How are you Kathy? I'm so excited to be here. Can you see like, can you feel my presence? I'm like, "Hello?"

 

Kathy (host):

Yep.

 

Elaine (guest):

Yeah. I'm eager, right? As opposed to, "Hey, Hi everybody. I'm really excited to be here." I'm slumped over. I'm just like a slump-a-Dinka.

Kathy (host):

Slump-a-Dinka. I like that.

 

Elaine (guest):

Slump-a-Dinka. I mean, if I'm really doing a presentation, I will stand and I will prop things up because, or like I was speaking for an organization that was on the West Coast and they had a late, they started at seven, so I was speaking at like 10:30 at night, which, you know, I used to perform all the time at night, but it's been a while. This is during COVID, so I knew I was going to be melting if I was sitting and waiting. So I chose, I set up my computer and everything so I could stand, so that I could really give 110% because there's more energy, like, I don't know, you're a fractional CFO, so if I have a big phone call with a prospect or the New York Times or the Washington Post or whatever, I will stand because I feel like I'm more in my power. But whether you sit or stand, you want to be present, grounded -your feet are on the ground because that's going to help you tap in and speak from your core versus "Hi!", in your chest or your throat. This is where a lot of people hold tension. So like yoga, you were always making space. Yoga means to yolk the breath and the body and speaking is very much like that. So I know I just like. That was a lot.

 

Kathy (host):

I like that standing versus sitting because that's one of the reasons why I have a standing desk that goes up and down is for that reason only because I've noticed that, as I'm sitting, it feels like I'm in a little, my voice and my body seems to be in a weaker position than if I'm standing when it's just this like you could feel that you're more grounded.

 

Elaine (guest):

Yes, Kathy, and to me, the hardest part before I go perform or audition or speak is the waiting. Like in a perfect world, I would just get up, do my yoga, warm up, do my hair and makeup, blah, blah, blah, and then just ta-da. But it doesn't work like that. You have to travel, then you have to get there. You have to check-in. Do they have my PowerPoint, Whatever? So sometimes there's like waiting, right? And then sometimes things get delayed. Can you, can you wait? Can you stretch? To me, that's when people go, "Okay", and then they sit, and then they think, they start thinking, "Oh, I gotta remember, oh, this last, what's the third paragraph? I always forget this. Oh god, this audience looks tough. That woman looks kind of mean. Oh God." You know, like we, whatever's going on in our head, which is usually not our friend. So when you're waiting, you're like shrinking. And when what happens when you are constricting, you're not taking as many deep breaths.

 

Elaine (guest):

And so then you're more nervous just then you take more and more shallow breaths, which adds to your anxiety and your tension. So by the time you finally get up on stage, you're like, "Hi." You're just like, Or like if we're seeing people and they're kind of. I'm so excited to be here. And then like five minutes in, they're like, "Okay!" Well you want to be like hello right away, right?

 

Elaine (guest):

And so, if I have to wait, especially I don't pace because that's going to add to my, you know. But I just keep moving and I'm, we do all these exercises. I want to keep moving so that I am in the flow and that is one of my best tips because the minute we sit, we start to melt. I call it melting. I got through six rounds of America's Got Talent and I had been in LA for a conference, flown back on the red eye and it would've been so easy to go, "Oh, I'm not. I'm not, I'm not in the zone." And I was like, "You are doing this audition. You got called to do it. You have an appointment." Even though they couldn't tell me exactly what time, and I got through six rounds. I was almost on TV. And I know, like of course I had my four minutes of comedy and I had rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. But I knew I had to keep moving, breathing, and drinking water. I had to stay away from all the other nervous people because I knew I would pick up their vibes because I'm so empathetic. And I know I would've been like, "Oh, you're nervous. Let me be nervous with, you know?" And so I just kept away from everybody and I walked in and the judges were like, "Oh my God, you're really funny. Don't change a thing." And so I kept, It was an amazing experience. I know part of it was I know how to manage my energy under pressure, and so that's part of this, that's part of this learning. "Oh, I'm a little nervous. Okay, I'm going to do it anyway." And then maybe the next day you're a little less nervous, and maybe by the sixth day you're like, "Okay, this is boring. I'm ready for the next thing. "

Kathy (host):

So let's talk about that. Let's talk about warming up before you have a video, before you go into a performance or before you go into a video meeting. Are there any specific things that you can be doing besides breathing and standing that we've talked about? Anything else that would help you to warm up?

 

Elaine (guest):

Yes. Okay. I'm going to teach you, So this is one of my favorites. This is a style of breathing technique that I learned. I studied at HP Studios and the neighborhood playhouse. You breathe in through your nose for four and then you go. It's just an S with your teeth together, but not clenched. And you want to think of it as like you're an airplane and you're leaving an airstream. You know how they leave those streams in the sky? It's just going to help you with your breath control and it will wake you up. So that's one thing that I do. I usually do four of those.

 

Elaine (guest):

Another great one is the bubble. It's not the sexiest thing, but it makes sure it helps you speak on your breath and then sometimes just doing a practice phone call, calling a friend and saying, "Hey, I'm just warming up with you before I go make this video."

 

Elaine (guest):

Or red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather. You're waking up the articulators, you're waking your face up. I'd love warming up for five minutes because it teaches your body, "Oh, I'm going to do this thing, or I get to focus and breathe and I'm awake and aware." Just think about it, athletes, they don't just run on the field, they warm up. Every sport has some kind of warmup, right?

 

Elaine (guest):

So if you think about it, a lot of people think, "Well, I'm just talking, I should be good at this. I've been talking." But speaking, it's very different than talking in real life, because there's added pressure. Right. And so that's why sometimes just a few basic things can help your body. You can train your body. "Oh right." And the whole idea of warmups is that their tongue twisters the tip of the tongue, the roof of the mouth, the lips, the tongue, and the teeth. That's my favorite of all time. But it's a tongue twister so that by the time you get to regular. Your thing, it's cake because you already did all these weird vocal things.

 

Elaine (guest):

So it may seem like a lot to somebody who hasn't done this before, but you know, I think of it as like, think about you're doing a new workout at the gym, but if it's going to help you be more effective as a speaker and a communicator, it's worth it. Right? Kathy? Like, we have these beautiful instruments, right? And most of us are like, "Hi, I'm so excited to be here. Oh, I have to have some inflection. Ooh, I'm happy." You know? And it's like we have these, not that everybody needs to be like me because I can be over the top, but we have these beautiful instruments and so I always encourage people, "You know, Can you speak a little bit with your body?" Now, obviously, you don't want to be like making people dizzy but can you have some inflection? Can you move a little bit? Can you show some passion, some excitement? It's a great way to help people want to lean in.

Kathy (host):

Yeah. Being more animated. I've seen some videos where people are really animated and it feels like you're there with them. You feel the energy. Or sometimes they're somber videos, and because they're animated in the other direction, you could feel like the heaviness, the emotion that, I mean, it's not just, it's almost like acting in a way, but not acting in terms of pretending, but you're just being a little bit more exaggerated so that people can pick up on your whatever energy you're giving out.

 

Elaine (guest):

Right. And it does take, I do think that being on camera, it takes a little more energy because my energy has to come from here into the camera and then go through whatever wires and then come out. So it is a little different than the live thing, but you can learn how to focus and generate that. And I love what you said because like Ben Kingsley when he plays Gandhi, it's a great scene. He stands and he is so quiet and he is so still, but there's so much power in his presence, but he's still like magnificent and energized and you're riveted. It's not always about like, "Hey", you know, that can be easily too much on video, but it's about the energy that you bring and the come from. I get so excited. , I love this stuff.

Kathy (host):

And how much would you rehearse for that before you go on video or before you go on stage? Because I've also noticed that it's so easy to over-rehearse and I've seen this sometimes with speeches, and TED talks. Some of the TEDx talks are a little bit guilty of that.

 

Elaine (guest):

Yeah.

 

Kathy (host):

When you see someone talking to give a presentation and everything is so rehearsed. The way, how they move their arm, the way how they go from one place to the next place and it just feels cringy.

 

Elaine (guest):

Yep. That's the perfect way to describe it. One of my friends is, she's really an amazing leader. She has done two TED talks and the first one was horribly over-rehearsed. So I like doing bullet points. I don't want people to memorize a whole thing. Now, I know Ted Talk, they have a whole format they want you to memorize, but I do a lot of videos. So I will think, "Okay, what's the video about? And I have like the main point and then who I'm speaking to and the teaching point I want to do, and maybe there's a few other points or a story underneath that. And then the sign off." I do this all the time, so it's taken me a while. "Okay. This is one I want to talk about." So I like to talk and walk. You want to get the words, even if you're not trying to memorize, but you want to speak what you think you're going to be saying more or less out loud to get the muscles going, to get your breath. It's a form of warming up.

 

Elaine (guest):

When you go to auditions, you've got all these actors and they're going, beginners get blah, blah, blah. They're sitting there and they're reading their scripts out loud because it's very different. Just reading it versus saying it out loud. That's a great way just to practice. Okay. First, my point is this, and then I'm going to go into my story about Buttercup, and then I'm going to talk about this, and then I'm going to do an invitation at the end and say, "I can't wait to see you on the screen too."

 

Elaine (guest):

That's one of my sign-offs. Let's give it a shot. I like to practice a little bit and then roll, and sometimes this is a great tip. Do three in a row. This is something I learned from doing voiceover. So voiceover is very detailed and exacting, which is not my forte. I mean, I did it. I've done it quite a bit of it. And comedy and other things are definitely more of my strength, but, so sometimes they'll say, do three in a row. So you'll say, "So at Bell Works, we are innovative. At Bell Works, we are innovative. At Bell Works, we are innovative." So can you see how I did it slightly different each time? So there's something about doing it three in a row where you're not stopping and starting and saying, Okay, take one. And then because sometimes the stopping and starting can be disconcerting sometimes. If you're just saying, "Let me try, You know what? I'm just going to do this a couple of times and I'm going to stay in character. Are you worried about where to get started when it comes to video? Are you worried about where to get started when it comes to video? Are you worried about where to get started when it comes to video?" It's a great way to kind of practice and get looser with it. And, you know, maybe you'll do take four, maybe you'll, you know, but that's a great way just to practice, to get the words in the mouth.

 

Elaine (guest):

And then if you can watch yourself, then you can go, "Oh, that's, I pushed, I'm going to do that different." So that's a great way to practice.

 

Kathy (host):

And you mentioned there's staying in a character, so we can touch a little bit more on that. What does that mean? Not in the acting sense of staying a character, but for someone who's wanting to give a speech or a video. How does that work?

 

Elaine (guest):

Okay. I love this so much. A lot of times what happens is we're memorizing. Or we have the flow and then you add in camera and lights or camera lights and crew or camera lights, crew, makeup. All of a sudden, it's not just you and me talking. It's like a whole,but there's people.

 

Kathy (host):

There's a production. Yep.

 

Elaine (guest):

And it's the lights. It can all be intimidating. So what happens is people will go, "Okay, I'm saying my line and I'm saying my line. Oh God, I forgot. I'm sorry. Oh, I'm so sorry. What's the line? Oh, I can't believe, I can't believe I forgot the line. Okay, let's start over." They make this big deal and then everybody has to start way over and it's like this big thing. If I go, "Okay, so I'm starting the video and I'm in, I'm in the moment and I'm speaking and I'm leaning in and line. Oh, right. Okay. So then the next point is, I'm going to do this point, and then I'm going to show. Oh." The camera's rolling. And even if I'm like, "Oh God, I forgot what's next." I'm still staying focused, and like I'm talking line, and then the person who's on the script can say, "Now you talk about the Buttercup." "Oh, right. Okay. So now I'm going to talk about Buttercup." So I stayed in character.

 

Elaine (guest):

So this might be a way to edit it or at least get through the whole thing instead of being a drama queen and breaking up the energy of it. So that's a great way to sort of stay in it, even if you're like, "Ah, I forgot the line", and it's just another way and they might be able to edit around it. Again, it depends on what you're doing, all that stuff. Does that help?

 

Kathy (host):

Yeah, and I think one thing that really stands out for me here is that when you're not breaking the character, so to speak, you're being a lot more efficient in the way how do you making videos because now you're not cutting and filming those three minutes when you're basically screaming. You're just, you say, "Oh, I missed it. Okay, I'm going to start again and I'm going to do this." And it's faster because I know I've a try making videos and it's crazy. A five-minute video would sometimes take an hour to do. Just because of that.

 

Elaine (guest):

Yes. And Kathy, can I just say, so anybody who just heard that and went, "Oh God." the more you do it, the better you will get at it. I promise. The first few times, I've had clients call me crying. "I can't, I can't do that." I'm like, "Just keep doing it. The more you do it, you're going to get faster and faster and faster."

 

Elaine (guest):

I have worked with people who've done voiceover and they can get it to 30 seconds exactly. Now that took, you know, you're not trying to do voiceover, but the more you do it, the more you're going to be able to go, "Okay, what's my. Okay. Got it. So I'm going to talk about duh duh." Have hope.

 

Kathy (host):

The process. It's really important. So let's say that you decided I'm going to start doing these videos and I'm going to start doing them for social media. I'm going to put them on LinkedIn or Instagram or whatever. How would that process look like? Would you do a warmup and then you would start doing the video? Like, can you walk us through like what do your clients do? When they decide to, "Okay, today between noon and uh, one o'clock, I'm going to be making a video." Like, how would that process look like step by step?

 

Elaine (guest):

Okay. That's a great question. There's so many factors, right? So we've talked a little bit about rehearsing and warming up. I always tell people you want to have the light coming towards your face. If you have glasses, you want to have it above because if I tip the light down, now that's way too harsh. I look like I'm 105, but you can see the glare, right? And who needs to see that? So if you have glasses, I have context too, but, so you just want to pop the light up above. See how if I look up, you can see the glare. But if I look like this, you can see my eyes mostly. And then I'm vain, so I like to have the camera slightly higher than my eyes. But you definitely don't want to be like, I see a lot of people who are like, "Is anybody there?"

 

Kathy (host):

A nose shot?

 

Elaine (guest):

Nope. Nobody knows to see your nose or like the wrinkles or, you know. Slightly higher is flattering. That's just some like basic 101 and you do not need to spend a ton of money. You can have work lights. You can get ring lights, you can use your phone. If you're just starting out, use your phone, use zoom. You do not need to spend a ton of money. That's why I like social media because it's going to help you practice and get better. And let's say you put something and a week later you're like, I'm take it down. You can take it down. You know, like it's, there's all this pressure, but I'm always like, the time to get good is now before you have the massive following.

 

Elaine (guest):

Marie Forleo, she was kind of rough around the edges when she first started out. Now she's very slick and very produced and she's amazing at getting PR for herself and whatever. But I've seen her early stuff. She got better.

 

Elaine (guest):

So then the next thing is, what are we going to say? "Okay, I'm going to make videos. Ah." Then we all go, "Ah, it's Monday morning." Ha. So you're swimming in content. But we have these little inner critics that go, "Everybody knows that that's nothing new. Oh, well, da da da da da. Oh, you already told that story. Oh, you say that all the time." You know, whatever your peanut gallery is telling you. And we all have them. Right? Well, common sense is not common. And you are swimming in your brilliance and you have forgotten how brilliant you are because you're swimming in it. This is your jam.

 

Elaine (guest):

Kathy, you could probably teach me so much about business. You would probably be horrified at my lack of exit strategy because we're different personality types, but I'm working on it. But like we have different approaches, right? Different talents, different strengths, whatever. Right? But you know things about things that I haven't even thought of yet. But to you, it's like, "Well, everybody knows this." No. Right. Just like I thought everybody knew how to rehearse. Like when I first thought about, "Oh, I'm going to be, I'm going to be a presentation skill because I can use all my background in acting and singing and all my warming up things" and I thought, "Oh, everybody knows." That was my inner critic. Just trying to keep me safe. Nobody knows how to practice. Nobody knows why they should practice unless you're the few percent who's actually worked professionally and you know, I'm going to theater kids, but sometimes they forget. So start capturing things. I like lists. Some people like Google Docs. I like it all. But I encourage everybody to grab a notebook every day. When you're talking to clients, go, "Oh, you know, I say this all the time." Chunk it down, and warm up first. Or I say, "That's a Facebook Live. That's an Instagram live." My clients are always like, "Okay, Elaine." Because I say that all the time.

 

Elaine (guest):

Because here's the thing, remember how I said one person, one problem, one solution. So we are short form video right now. Nobody has the time or the attention to go watch 10 minutes of stuff unless you are specifically going to YouTube to eat your lunch and learn how to make sourdough bread or something, right? I mean, there is a whole generation of people that have learned all kinds of things on YouTube, but most of us have two minutes in the line at the bank. Two minutes when we're waiting to pick up so and so from soccer. Two minutes when our friend is late meeting us for coffee, right? So you want to think of chicken nugget bites.

 

Elaine (guest):

And so this is where I'm a big fan of having some kind of plan. You do not need a scripted-out perfectly, but I don't want you to wing it because you might ramble. And I don't want you to try to teach two books worth of stuff in one video either. That's what I see people like, "Okay, I'm going to go into this concept, and then we're going to go and it's like, Okay, chunk it down. Chunk it down."

 

Elaine (guest):

So one person, one problem, one solution. So start your list of favorite quotes, and favorite bumper stickers. What resonates with you and why? We want to know who you are, but we want to know how you help people. But we also want to know what makes you unique and special. And this is hard for a lot of women, especially that I have worked with. It's like, "Well, this is where we need your story." And like I grew up in a very dysfunctional family, so I know what it's like to feel like I had no voice. I felt like I had no voice. Nobody was home. Nobody was listening to me. That was my experience. That's why I am passionate about helping people find their voice, their true voice, and be authentic and use your voice for good. Tell your story for good, to make a difference, to inspire, motivate, educate, and entertain, right? Like, yes, we love stories, but we love stories so that we can move people to take action. We can move people to come do this thing that's good for them, even though they resist it. We can move people. We can, I pray, use my story for good. And so I am passionate about helping people, and I, I seem to especially attract women over 40 who are like, "Who am I if I'm not being a mom or a wife or a corporate, blah, blah, blah. Like who am I really?" And that's part of my jam and that's what makes me different because I also use humor. And even though I'm smart, I have a tendency to sometimes be kind of goofy. So that's one thing I'm working on is like owning my own intelligence. Like you can be funny and smart, but that's who I am and that's my flavor. And for some people I'm too much. They're like, "She needs to calm down. Right?". But that's what makes me unique. But I encourage everybody who's listening, like, What's the thing that makes you unique? What's your superpower? What's your special sauce? And it's okay to share that in bits.

 

Elaine (guest):

One of the worst things when motivational speakers will go on and on with their story, it's like, "Oh god. Okay, can you bottom line it because I'm busy, right?" So like, tell your story, but learn how to do it in short little chunks.

Kathy (host):

And there's also this concept of edutainment, the education, and entertainment together. And that's something that I'm playing with in my own content. Not video just yet, but everything else is because finance can be ridiculously boring to other people. To me, it's fascinating and I love it. You know, I don't live and breathe it. I lived and breathe it for 20-plus years at this point, so it's like second nature.

 

Kathy (host):

But to others it's just like, "Oh my God, I can't believe it. It's. So boring." So usually what I do is like, I try to like, take stories out of real life and infuse them into it. Try to make it funny, try to make it entertainment. It actually, takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of work. It's like one of those, I don't know, it was Mark Twain who said, I, I would've wrote or was it a shorter paragraph, but I just didn't have enough time, so I wrote a longer one. Right?

 

Elaine (guest):

Yes, it's so true. So you, because I'm a geek and I have like a history joke and you can feel the audience go, you know, and I have a math joke and you can feel them. And it depends on the crowd, New York City versus whatever. So I'll say, "Oh, I know you guys are counting. Don't worry, there's no tests. Like I joke around about it, but you could say, "Hey, we're going to talk about numbers today. I know sexy." You could make fun of the fact that a lot of people have anxiety around numbers even really smart people. Right? Or you could make fun of that CPAs are actually, some of them are not good with math because to me, part of the reason we love to tell jokes and stories is to be relatable.

 

Kathy (host):

Yep.

 

Elaine (guest):

Because when we have trauma or insecurity, "Oh, I'm not good at math." We always think it's just us. But when you go, "Nobody likes." Or "very few people like math." Where am I? Where are my actuaries? "Woohoo, sexy, right?" But like when you can just acknowledge. "Okay, so we're going to talk about numbers. Okay, everybody breathe. Breathe. Come back. You left your bodies." You know, if you can just crack a little bit of humor, that can go, people can go, "Oh, okay. This is not going to be totally like torture. I can lean in here."

 

Elaine (guest):

So I mean, I love using humor. I sort of unconsciously developed this because I was talking about really tough subjects on college campuses. So what 18-year-old wants to talk about eating disorders and alcohol stuff like boring? So I used humor and told stories to keep them awake and engaged.

 

Kathy (host):

Elaine, you gave us a lot of tips here. There's so much action. What's tough in this episode, but you know, I always ask this every single guest that comes on the show, if someone wants to go and start making videos, what is the one thing that they can do in the next week? A small actionable step, a tiny step to get them closer to that goal.

 

Elaine (guest):

So, you know, we talked about doing the video thing. I would say work on your camera, your lighting, your angle if you can get it set up and then leave it in a little corner or something that is a great less of an excuse than it's there. And start making your list. And literally, it can be like I say this all the time, and so. "Hey Kathy, are you one of those people? Like you want to start doing video, but you're not sure where to start? My name's Elaine and I've helped hundreds of people just like you."

 

Elaine (guest):

So here is the first step. So get a tripod from Amazon for $20. Go order it right now. I'll wait. I'm just kidding. And then get this set up and you're going to do this and this. And this, and then tomorrow I'm going to teach you about how to figure out what the heck to say. So I'll see you this time tomorrow. So that's, that's another example. You could start going live. You could do a Facebook group with a friend and just have the two of you going live to practice. My whole thing is like start practicing now before you feel ready because that is how you're going to get ready.

 

Kathy (host):

Awesome. And Elaine, where can people find you?

 

Elaine (guest):

Captivatethecrowd.com. I have a Confidence on Camera Checklist that I love. You can print it out, you can put it on your mirror, on your desk, in your kitchen, in your bathroom, and it will help you with lots of things within interviews, with all kinds of things. And it's just great. It's one less thing for you to have to think about. It's a great checklist. I'm a huge fan of checklists.

 

Kathy (host):

Me too. Me too. Thank you so much, Elaine, for being in the show. It's been really a pleasure.

 

Elaine (guest):

Thank you, Kathy. Thanks for having me.

 

Kathy (host):

Thanks so much for joining us, and I hope that today's episode has given you a giant boost of confidence to embrace creating videos. In our next episode, we change gears and we're going to focus on your sales team. Judy Huberman and I are going to discuss the fine art of retaining stellar salespeople and share tips on letting those who need to leave go with the least amount of drama and disruption possible.

 

Kathy (host):

Also, if you love this episode, you can find all the timestamps, show notes, block bulbs, links, and more on my website, newcastlefinance.us/podcast. And before I go, it's always I do have a favor to ask. If you are listening to this Apple podcast, if you could please go to the show. Tap the number of stars that you think this show deserves because it helps other people find it.

 

Kathy (host):

Thanks so much. Until next time.