Overcoming Fears of Speaking and Presentation

Overcoming Stage Fright: Lessons From A News Anchor About Dealing With Video Anxiety

Elevating Your Public Speaking Skills and Embracing Authenticity

Matt sits down with former news anchor Kerry Barrett to delve into the world of public speaking, overcoming fears, and embracing authenticity.

What surprises people is that Kerry had, and still has anxiety about speaking in front of people! How does a news anchor learn to overcome this fear and become a successful video communication coach?

Kerry shares their journey of starting their business while teaching at a university. Her goal was not just to entertain the students but also to ensure they absorbed and learned from the experience.

Kerry draws a fascinating parallel between teaching and being on stage. Just as she needed to bring people in and make them want to learn in the classroom, public speaking requires being entertaining, engaging, and energetic. The importance of storytelling, even in the realm of social media, where she suggests sharing personal experiences to develop authenticity and audience trust.

Authenticity is a theme that runs throughout the discussion. Drawing from her experiences in the news industry, Kerry recounts her realization that she could navigate any challenge that arose on live TV, ultimately leading to a transformative change in her career.

We are hindered by the fear of rejection and lowered status that many individuals, including famous personalities, experience.

Kerry addresses the common mistake of over-preparation, which can hinder our ability to adapt and truly connect with others. She encourages spontaneity, personal stories, and vulnerability. If you’re looking to elevate your public speaking skills, overcome your fear of rejection, and cultivate authenticity in your presentations or everyday life, this episode is a must-listen! 

So grab your favorite coffee mug, tune in, and get ready to be inspired!

“If you want to get really good at video as quickly as you possibly can, the very best way to do that is to go live…those experiences are what build the muscle memory and what build the skill and the confidence.”

-Kerry Barrett

Show Notes:

[00:02:06] Television journalism and career transition.

[00:08:24] Overcoming fear of public speaking.

[00:12:33] Building a personal brand.

[00:15:38] Using humor on live streams.

[00:19:03] Challenges of live webinars.

[00:23:00] The importance of chemistry.

[00:28:34] Becoming your authentic self.

[00:33:01] The authenticity buzzword.

[00:37:45] Serendipitous moments in conversation.

[00:41:49] Fear of rejection.

[00:46:22] Losing money through ineffective communication.

[00:48:24] Prompt engineering for people.

[00:52:11] Writing and script writing.

[00:54:49] Storytelling on social media.

[00:58:16] Catching people’s attention.

Show Transcript: Engage Employees Through Training

[00:00:00] Kerry Barrett: That fear of rejection and, you know, lowered status, it applies to everybody. People think, you know, you see some big name or you see some huge person or giant in the entrepreneurial space or the political world and think that they don’t have those same fears. They 100% do.

[00:00:24] Matt Bailey: Welcome to Endless Coffee Cup, a regular discussion of marketing news, culture, and media for our complex digital lifestyle.

Join Matt Bailey as he engages in conversation to find insights beyond the latest headlines and deeper understanding for those involved in marketing. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat, and thank you for joining.

Well hello and welcome to another edition of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast. As always, I’m your host, Matt Bailey.

See ya next week! And looking forward to another great conversation today. And on this episode, we have Kerry Barrett. And those of you who have been maybe digging into the marketing podcast network, MPN, you may have already discovered Kerry and Kerry is the host of. The Kerry Barrett show podcast. I love that because like, I’m coming from the endless coffee cup.

I’m like, well, these years are memorable.

[00:01:18] Kerry Barrett: We’re very self-absorbed one or the other.

[00:01:22] Matt Bailey: And I’m, and I’m everyone’s like, you need to change the name of your podcast because it doesn’t reflect marketing.

[00:01:28] Kerry Barrett: Yeah, but it reflects coffee and that’s what we

[00:01:30] Matt Bailey: have. It does. And that’s much more my identity. So dear listener, A, you’re in for a great show.

Kerry and I’ve already like had a nice conversation, but Kerry, welcome to the show. It’s about time I’ve gotten you on here.

[00:01:44] Kerry Barrett: Likewise, I need to have you on mine on the Kerry Barrett show.

[00:01:47] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely. So tell us a little bit about your background because I’m fascinated by it. I was looking through your LinkedIn profile.

You have been in television journalism for many years tell us a little bit about that and how it’s led you to what you’re doing right

[00:02:05] Kerry Barrett: now. Oh, well, thank you first of all, for having me on this show, by the way, you have an amazing voice. I had listened to some of your podcasts, but now hearing you sort of live and in person, the dulcet tones of Matt Bailey, maybe that is the title of your new show.

[00:02:22] Matt Bailey: Thank you. Wow. I appreciate that.

[00:02:25] Kerry Barrett: Uh, okay. It’s a little bit about me. You’re right. I was in the broadcast news industry for 20 years. I finished my Career, if you, well, career, yes, I finished it. I left, I couldn’t take it anymore. In 2019, I was at NBC in New York City. And it is amazing, it is an amazing business.

You know, a couple of Emmys under my belt. I really, I had success. I enjoyed the people I worked with, but I was also exhausted when I hit that year. 2019, I had my third child. He was about six months and I was pretty much just a shell of myself at that point. I’m getting up a 1:30 in the morning. I’m just, I could paint a very bleak picture for you, but I’ll spare you at this point.

It was time to go. Let’s leave it at that. So I left the news business in 2019 without really having thought about what it was that I was going to do. I sort of assumed maybe I would go into PR or production because that’s what so many former newsies do. Ultimately though, that was not to be. I met a woman while I was networking and she was like, you should start your own business.

And I was like, all right. And that was literally about as many thoughts would do it. I came home and told my husband, I’m going to start a business. He’s like doing what? I’m like, I don’t know yet. And he’s like, you don’t know how to balance a checkbook. And I’m like, that’s also true, but I’m going to, I’m going to figure this out.

So it took a lot of twists and turns. There were a lot of iterations and offers and that sort of stuff. What I ultimately settled on was using sort of serving the person that I once was. So I used to be terrified of speaking, absolutely terrified of public speaking, being on a camera live in front of, you know, whatever, millions of people where all the mistakes are out there upfront like that was terrifying when I first started.

Terrifying. And I was terrible. So I decided that I would help, you know, it’s executives now and teams and sales teams and small business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to effectively communicate on camera. So it’s, you know, sales pitches and Zoom calls. It may be social media and it’s, it’s toastmasters, but for the camera, camera masters,

[00:04:44] Matt Bailey: love it.

I just absolutely love it. I. So that fear, I don’t want to talk about that fear because I went out and looked up what the biggest fears, you know, when they do these surveys, what do people fear the most? Snakes. Being buried alive was one, but public speaking, it blows my mind that I think people would rather be buried alive with snakes than speak in public.

Tell me about that fear. For me, I guess I’ve never really had it, but really what I would love to do is encourage people who may not have that inborn gift, but realize that this is something you can learn. Tell me about that fear and. What it did to you and how you overcame it. So

[00:05:33] Kerry Barrett: snakes I’m not afraid of.

The buried alive thing is 100 percent the stuff of nightmares. But I, I think, I think, I know I did. Back in the thick of my fear, I might have preferred to be buried alive and then try and figure out how to dig my way out rather than be put up on a stage and have to claw my way out of that.

Wow. Uh, the fear has always been there. I don’t fully recognize how terrified I was until I hit probably middle school and then we had to start doing, we had to start doing reports and stuff, you know, book reports and whatnot, and stand up in front of the class and wow, if I wasn’t aware of how terrified and terrible I was up until that point, I became very aware of it.

And it followed me pretty much. Everywhere I went, I would say it was beyond a fear of just speaking. I am still shy. I was painfully shy back then. I am still an introvert. I was wildly introverted back then and anywhere I was, this sort of fear followed me along and, it applied to everything, not just speaking in front of a class.

And so when I went to college and I’ll try and make this a little bit short, I enrolled in pre-veterinary medicine. I was going to be a vet and I did that academically for about a year and a half when organic chemistry put a very decisive end to that career path for me. And I took a year and a half off because I had never assumed I would do anything other than that.

And I hadn’t thought of, you know, any other possible career choice or trajectory for myself. And so I took a year and a half off, a year and a half came and went, and I still had no friggin idea what the f k that I was going to do. So I was at Clemson University, a very strong animal science, pre-veterinary medicine school, but In the liberal arts and communications quite as much, but they had started a new communications department and it was very broad because it was, it was pretty new.

And so it was like business communications. I think speech psychology or pathology was in there and international language and a little bit of journalism and marketing and PR and that sort of stuff. So I re-enrolled in communications thinking, well, it’s broad enough that I will. Find something I can use to make a living when I graduate.

Number one, number two, no organic chemistry, and number three, oh my gosh, I’m going to have to take two public speaking classes and I am terrified of this, but I think somewhere in my mind, I knew that it was a little more subjective than chemistry and I could find, I could sort of make it my own in a way that you can’t with equations and math and science.

And so I re-enrolled. And as a way to sort of try and fill and make up for lost time, because I had taken that year and a half off, I was jamming my schedule full of all these credits. So 12 credit hours was full time. I was registered for 24 and I wanted to find a way to jam another three in there. And I was in school nine to five, Monday through Friday.

And so the only way I could do it was to get an internship that had, you know, hours that were Additional to your sort of normal working hours. It’s TV news. It’s 65. I could work overnights. I could do it on the weekends, whatever. So I got an internship at a local TV station in Greenville, South Carolina.

W I F F it’s the NBC affiliate there. And from day one, I loved it. So I had to figure out how. To overcome that fear and get good at speaking enough so that somebody would, would pay me to do it and people would watch me and flip the channel. And I would say that the, really the true, there was not one moment where suddenly I had all of the skills and like, I, you know, sat on the desk and suddenly I was fantastic.

That never happens. We all still make mistakes, but. It was the guidance and the coaching that came from our consultants and my mentors that gave me the skills. And then I took what I knew academically from the skills and I was able to apply them daily because had to be on air every single day. And then each time I had success.

It built my confidence and I could sort of explore the space and then not just rely on skills, but start to become my self on video, you know, on camera in that case. And it built my brand in the news industry to where I was able to, you know, finally go, go to NBC in New York. And, and I’ve used video now to build my brand as a business owner, but I would say the real sort of.

And it wasn’t a singular moment, but looking back, I would say the real change came after I had, you know, gotten the skills and everybody’s still developing them. And after I had learned how to apply them daily, I sort of had this epiphany where I knew that no matter what. Was going to happen on live TV, you know, the prompter goes out that my, you know, I have a coughing fit or my co-anchor passes out or the reporter doesn’t make their live shot or whatever it was, I, I was going to be able to navigate through to the other side and it may not be pretty, but I would be able to do it and I would get through and I, the show would be over and I’d stand up and take my mic off and go back to my desk and everything would be fine.

And I think when I realized. Yeah. Then I could navigate whatever was going to be thrown my way. That’s when the real change began to happen. That was what was sort of the game changer for me. And then in business. You know, I didn’t know anything about business when I first started, you know, I’d go to networking events.

People would ask me how I was going to scale and it’d be like standby, I don’t know what that means. Google, what does scale mean? And so, but I knew how to make video and I knew how to, you know, not even make video, but I knew how to be on camera. And so I just started a LinkedIn account and I would just start.

Posting videos. They didn’t even have any strategy or story at that time. It was just like, Hey, I’m, you know, emceeing this event or Hey, I’m keynoting here, you know, here’s how you can sign up if you’re interested in attending and that’s just sort of how it started and that’s how I built the brand and that’s how ultimately I was also able to hone my messaging and figure out who my ideal.

Audience was as

[00:12:32] Matt Bailey: well. I love it. Just jump into the fire and get it done with an idea. I love it. that’s just an awesome entrepreneurial story as well. You know, just how many people are like, I have an idea. I’m going to do it. I don’t care, but like you, yes, I am not good with money. And so I’m not allowed to touch it.

I just, once in a while, I’ll get a phone call or a text to stop spending.

[00:12:55] Kerry Barrett: I get that probably hourly.

[00:12:59] Matt Bailey: Bad. Wow. I love it. I love what you said. Like it’s skills. It’s practicing the skills, but I love that it’s what if something goes wrong and being able to navigate that problem, that obstacle, or something didn’t go your way.

Did you find that was more of a confidence builder that you’ve been through it a couple of times? Now I know how to do it. Or did you have maybe a framework to follow that? If this goes wrong, you know, here’s what I do or anything like that.

[00:13:30] Kerry Barrett: Yeah. Well, in the beginning, I had no framework. I had no framework for anything for that matter.

I was just sitting at the desk and trying to make the best of it. And what I did eventually do, I mean, I learned obviously from people around me when I had a co-anchor, you know, they dealt with it until I had my feet underneath me and could figure out how to do it myself, but. What I eventually discovered was that there wasn’t, you know, in breaking news, there isn’t a frame framework.

I mean, if something goes wrong, you know, a reporter doesn’t make their live shot, right? So you have to stretch and then you have to learn how to vamp. And sometimes it’s just for. Sometimes it’s for a couple of minutes, sometimes it’s for half an hour, where you have like five words of information and no video and you just have to sit there and sort of say the same thing over and over again, but differently.

And sometimes it’s, you know, the prompter goes down and then you realize I have to be present enough that I can, again, Van with whatever was going on behind me or whatever was, whatever the story was prior or, you know, stretch until we get to the next thing. So to answer your question in a nutshell, it wasn’t really that there was a framework.

It was, I’ve got to figure out every single thing as it happens. And that was eventually how I built the skills. But I always say. You know, if you want to get good at video as quickly as you possibly can, the very best way to do that is to go live, whether it’s a live stream or you’re, you know, doing a live webinar or whatever it is.

That is the best way because whatever hole is in front of you, you have got to dig your way out of it. It’s just like speaking on a stage. If you have that sort of fear, and you’re trying to be perfect, and all that other stuff, and something goes haywire, you have to figure out how to… Again, navigate through and those little things are what build the muscle memory.

Those experiences are what build the muscle memory and what build the skill and the confidence and the ability to sort of even laugh at yourself if a mistake does happen. Humor is underutilized in this space and it’s one of the best ways to create personality sort of showcases as I like to call them, which is what I call any mistake I make on air and it allows you to build and it, if done well, it endears you to the audience. So live streaming is, hands down the best way to get as good as you can, as quickly as you can. And it has the bonus of. You can’t overthink anything. There’s no time to overthink anything. You just have to react.

And when you learn to do that, it makes all of the recorded stuff so much easier because you don’t overthink any of that either. You, rather than doing a hundred takes, you’re good with one or two. I

[00:16:20] Matt Bailey: love it. The overthinking part of it. And when you’re live, you don’t have the time to overthink. You are in.

Again, jumping in with both feet and I love that advice because yeah, I think public speaking is a big part of it. You’re live, you’re on the stage and the bigger the events, the more things go. And, but then doing the live stream, because I think video carries with it a different set of fears, actually having an audience in front of you.

I know throughout my career, I’ve been teaching and. Also speaking at conferences, but yet when you have to entertain people for a four-hour training session, that is unreal in just how you can move people through, can you detect when they’re bored, can you inspire them? Get them excited. Can you move them through these four hours and give them a great experience?

It’s a challenge and it’s mentally taxing because you’ve got that side conversation going on in your head. And that’s what that live practice does to you is kind of that self-coaching. And, but you have to control that little voice in your head when you’re doing

[00:17:33] Kerry Barrett: that. 100%. And so it’s interesting when I first started my business, I got a position as an adjunct professor in public speaking at one of the universities here where I live. The reason I did that is because I had always been a doer, meaning I had always done the thing and now I was trying to teach the thing and I wanted to hone my ability to teach and coach.

And that’s one of the, I mean, it’s they’re college students. They don’t want to be there anyway, for the most part. So how do I make this three-hour, you know, public speaking course? Interesting. How do I keep them entertained? How do I keep them engaged? And how do I combine all of that with making sure that they learn and absorb the information so that they can pass the class it’s you’re exactly right It’s the same thing when you’re on a stage How do I it’s I can’t just sit up there and drone on for four hours I have to bring people into the I have to make them want to learn it and you do that by being entertaining to some degree, right?

Engaging, energetic, bringing them in. But you have those two sort of divergent trains of thought, which is one is what you’re doing and the other one is like. Is anybody even listening to me? What’s going on? Oh my gosh. I just screwed that up. I hope they didn’t notice like, or, oh,  I’m thirsty or I have to pee or whatever it is that’s going on over here.

And that does not at all have to do with the training. And that is a huge challenge. I will say one of the first times that I did a live webinar after I had started my business and now I’d been on the air, you know, 20 years of live TV, I think the longest I was ever on air straight was. 16 hours. And that was for Hurricane Sandy.

And so I’m very familiar with live and video, but when you’re at a news desk, you have, there’s sort of like a cast of characters around you. You’ve got your co-anchor and you’ve got the weather person in traffic and there’s a floor director who’s queuing you and there’s a producer in your ear. There’s some energy to play off of when I did this webinar It was the beginning of the pandemic and I was teaching people like, how to zoom and show up on camera and I couldn’t see anybody’s faces. And I was like 15 minutes into it and my lips were numb and I was like, it’s spiraling in my head, you know, I don’t even know if anybody’s listening to me. I can’t see anybody.

I can’t gauge the interaction or excitement of the crowd. And when that happened, I think one of the things that Live TV honed me well for, taught me well for, is I did start to have that divergent train of thought. One on what I was teaching and doing, and one with, with, was all the head trash. And TV news taught me to compartmentalize that pretty well and fall back on skills.

So even if I couldn’t read the audience, I knew that I was presenting well, because I knew how to do it. And I could just fall back on that and sort of let it run on autopilot. Well, this head trash side, you know, slowly subsided, but it’s tricky and it’s two different sets of skills being on a stage versus being on camera.

There’s some overlap there, but too often people think they’re great public speakers, so it’s going to mean they’re fantastic on camera as well. And that’s generally not how it works.

[00:21:09] Matt Bailey: No, not at all. And, and, you know, coming from, so I’ve been doing internet marketing since the late nineties. And so for at least 12 years, I didn’t have to worry about video.

It was all stage or in person or something like that. Then when we started ushering in video, I can say that for a couple of years, it was, I hated it. I hated going from a live stage to talking to a camera because like you said, the energy’s not there. And… Now what do I feed off of? And I, that’s what I love about being in person is I can always get some nonverbal.

I can always get some energy and I feel that way as well. You know, we just, you know, through the pandemic and there are still companies that still want Zoom training and there is no energy in Zoom training. And when half the cameras are off, you know, once in a while I’ll get a couple of people, but.

Just speaking to the camera, as you said, that is a completely different set of skills, but it’s a set of skills that can be learned. Yeah, absolutely. You know, that’s something I had to learn over a couple of years. And it’s actually, I tell people it requires more mental energy to speak to a camera with no one else around than to speak in a room full of people.

Because you have to create that energy. You have to create that view of people and that feedback without anyone around. You have to do that yourself and people don’t understand that it’s more exhausting. To do a live stream to record yourself on video without an audience than to have an audience because of that, you have to, the energy you have to create on your own.

Oh my

[00:22:58] Kerry Barrett: gosh, you’re 100 percent right. And if I can piggyback on that for a second, I sort of, so when I was at NBC, Meredith Vieira was there and she was anchoring on the Today Show. And she’s a delight. She is an absolute gem of a human being and people loved her on the Today Show. I mean, loved her, were obsessed with her.

And she had this great cast of characters around her, meaning her other, you know, Al Roker and all the other big names. Well, Matt Lauer was there at the same time too, but we’ll let him slide for now. She was beloved because one of the reasons she was so beloved was that she had this amazing chemistry with everybody around her. After all, she was so warm.

When she left the Today Show, she started her show, the Meredith Vieira Show, which was the talk show. And she was the sole host and the show, the show died. And it’s not because she was a different person. It’s not because she was, you know, not as warm and inviting and people didn’t love her, but it was having the energy of the cast around her that made her shine.

And so when she went solo again, didn’t have anything to do with her skillset or her warmth or her. Credibility or anything. It was just a different, it was a different energy and it didn’t work. No, I mean, it’s the, it’s the same thing.

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And now let’s get back to our continuing talk about certification. You know, during the pandemic, you know, even a little bit after I’m doing three-hour training through Zoom. And to keep your mental state, uh, because you know, everyone’s doing their email on the other side of the camera, you know, if their camera’s not, you know, they’re not paying attention. So humiliating.

[00:27:28] Matt Bailey: It is. It is. And at one point I feel like I am begging way too much for people to turn on their cameras, but I tell them like, if you want this to be interesting, I need to know what’s interesting to you. Yeah. And if you turn off your camera, what you’re telling me is you got better things to do.

Yeah. And so, you can watch the recording, and turn it off, I’d rather see your reaction because I want to know that this means something. 100%. Yeah. And so, yeah, I kind of give that pitch at the beginning and the middle because the cameras naturally go off. But that lack of audience is so difficult. And then, I’m also recording courses for training courses.

So, now it’s not even Zoom. It’s just… Looking at a camera, reading a teleprompter, doing something like that. And it’s a whole different set of energy skills that you’ve got to develop to do that, to be personable. And like you said earlier, and there’s a, there is a moment and I loved it when you said it because I highlighted it and wrote down the timestamp on it.

There’s a moment when you become yourself. And that is key. I guess that’s more of a comfort thing that now I feel like my personality is coming out. I feel like now I’m more myself, but it takes a while to get there. And that’s a nice little milestone.

[00:28:52] Kerry Barrett: It 100%. So there are two sort of supporting things that I had to piggyback on that.

She’s the same phrase again, is I had the skills, the technical skills. In fact, I did a LinkedIn post about this. Not all that long ago, the technical skills. Came, I want to say quickly because I was so bad and so scared when I started, but the technical skills came first and I could read a news show, a news program from top to bottom on live and have it be, you know, perfect, right?

I didn’t stumble over my words. I had the right inflection. I had the right energy. I was, you know, engaged with the audience. I could ad lib with my co anchors, that sort of stuff. However, I was still sort of playing the part of an, of a news person. I wasn’t really being myself. And when I was then able to take the skills and have the confidence to explore the space of who I, that’s when things really began to change for me.

And it happened when I moved from, I was anchoring in Salt Lake City, and then my next job was in Philadelphia. And the morning show in Philadelphia was seven hours long, I believe. And It had changed, it had expanded during my time there. And so much of it was ad lib and so much of it was personality driven that I really had to lean into getting comfortable with.

You know, showing the, the soft underbelly and the warts and all of that other stuff. And that’s when things really, really did begin to change for me. But it’s interesting. I have a client right now who is in the C suite of a huge international company, massive, and. All of her town halls and all of the employees are global.

So when there’s a town hall or when there is a large team meeting, it’s done via zoom. And this woman is immaculate in every other function of her business life, but she cannot have her camera on during a town hall and she will not put her camera on for a team meeting because. You can, I mean, she does, and she starts to tremble and she’s not comfortable with yet taking who she is and, and putting it here.

And again, it’s different. She could do it on the stage, but you can’t do it to camera. She’s not comfortable with. You know, being herself and also letting people know where they stand and what the company’s doing and all. And part of it’s because it’s recorded. It’s not live. You know, people can go back and watch and the mistakes are all there for everybody to pour over for, you know, ad nauseum.

And I think that’s part of the fear as well. It takes public speaking and now it puts it in front of a camera, which many of us hate. It’s like two perfect storms that come together.

[00:31:58] Matt Bailey: Mm hmm. Well, and anything. Just to, to add on to that, I talked to a university president this week who is struggling, not so much with the fear, but with the authenticity that I have to be on social media, you know, and there’s that, I have to be on social media, and you know, we have to get video, and I feel like I have my own personal PR team, like, but I just don’t feel like You know, creating these matches is talking to the camera.

He’s like, how do you be authentic with this, this pressure to, you know, we’ve got to be on Instagram. We’ve got to create video. He says, I am just not comfortable with that. It’s not me. And hearing those words, like it’s not me, it’s not authentic. How do you, how do you work because yeah, you’ve got the fear, but then we have this pressure and authenticity and there’s a whole barrel full of things that people to deal with.

[00:33:00] Kerry Barrett: Oh my gosh, the authenticity word it has been thrown around so much over the last, and it is important when I say thrown around, I don’t, I don’t mean to belittle the importance of it, but it’s become, I think, almost confusing for people what in fact. I don’t know. Am I, I mean, I’m authentic when I’m walking around my house, getting a coffee or I’m, you know, griping about the mass or what, like, what is it, what is it authentic business wise?

And then

[00:33:29] Matt Bailey: that’s for sure.

[00:33:31] Kerry Barrett: I honestly will tell you, I think one of the biggest, not, I think I hate when I say, I think I know one of the biggest elements to being authentic on camera is just you. Be spontaneous. And what I mean by spontaneous is not that you’re rambling on because you don’t know what it is that you want to say.

And so you just, you sort of go all over the place and, and you’re spontaneous that way because you’re unprepared. That’s not what I mean. You know what you want to say, you have your talking points or the, you know, this video was about whatever enrollment, let’s say. In the case of this university president, authenticity is knowing what you need to say, but making it spontaneous.

So throwing in a story perhaps about something you experienced when you were going through the process yourself or your child, your daughter, your son, whomever it is, it’s really about Overly prepared. And sometimes, oftentimes when I have a guest on my podcast, they want the questions in advance and I’m like, unless you’re pretty media savvy, I don’t do that because what it means is that people then rehearse exactly what they want to say.

And it’s, it’s clear that it’s rehearsed and it’s not authentic. It doesn’t appear that way anyway, especially to people who don’t know you. And so when you’re, you know, planning, whatever it is that you’re, you’re going to say, or you have a general idea of the talking points, feeling comfortable going off script and talking a little bit about.

A moment or an emotion that, that you had while you were going through whatever it is that you’re talking about, or that somebody, you know, went through. And so spontaneity with boundaries is one of the easiest ways to be authentic. There shouldn’t be pressure. It, if you are able to communicate in person, you are totally able to communicate on camera.

You’re really just trying to replicate. The same cadence and nuance that you have in your personal communication on camera, but people get scared. They start to get still, they want to shrink their vocal variety shrinks, their range shrinks because it’s just, it’s not a natural environment. And so all of those little things come together to.

People over prep, they ramble, they prepare themselves out of the moment. They’re so prepared that they can’t. They can’t pivot or take a turn if something shows up that they need to address. You know, I always say when I’m doing, when I first started interviewing people in broadcast, you know, I’d have a list of questions and I had prepared out of the moment.

I was not paying attention to what was going on. I didn’t really listen to what they said because I was so nervous and I was so worried about getting everything right. That I went, just here’s the series of questions. I’m going to ask you them one after the other. And somebody could say to me, Hey, by the way, you know.

My mom was born on Venus and my dad was born on Jupiter. And I have a bunch of, you know, siblings that live on Mercury and I’d be like, that’s great. So tell me about your next quarter’s, you know, blah, blah, blah. Because I was so prepared. I wasn’t able to be authentic and spontaneous in the moment.

[00:37:00] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely. The danger of the over preparedness I, and that’s the thing I. You know, in podcasting, we get all time, you know, being guests and also interviewing guests and that is such a vital part of, I think, an intriguing podcast is that spontaneity is that being able to play off each other’s comments.

I told people that one of the reasons why I love podcasting is there is a personal benefit for it. Because like any conversation, there is that serendipitous moment that I wouldn’t have come up with that on my own, but through conversation, through these questions, it helped me see something differently.

And it may not even be related to the podcast. It may be related to something I’m working on over here. It might be some content I’m developing or a problem I’m working on getting that working through just creates these solutions or these ideas that you just wouldn’t have before. And so, yeah, you, when you try to control everything too much, you miss out on what’s happening.

And I feel like that that’s kind of the journalism, what journalism prepares you for is being able to plan yet pivot. With what’s happening and so what a great background that I love the way you explain that and, and brought that through that, that helps me get back to my follow up to the president there.

[00:38:31] Kerry Barrett: I was going to say, you probably have learned a ton from talking to people that you weren’t anticipating on learning or getting some ideas or strategies because you were listening and you asked the right follow up, right? Absolutely. I mean,

[00:38:43] Matt Bailey: that’s right. I’ve got my handy dandy, you know, loose loose. I got my handy dandy notebook.

But, you know, as you’re talking like, you know, just being able to write down about that point about becoming yourself because that is again, when we think about people who have a fear of speaking, it’s that fear of I’m going to come across as something different. People might not understand who I am and I’m not able to communicate that.

And that’s a struggle. It’s a fear. And so, you know, being able to write that down, mill the conversation and come back to it 20 minutes later. Yeah. fast, powerful ,

[00:39:17] Kerry Barrett: and, and you’re so right. I mean, I think too, it’s, maybe I need to put on some armor because if I am myself, maybe they’re not gonna like me. I mean, listen.

Hmm. That fear of rejection and you know, lowered status at the fear goes back to our, our caveman brains and we could dive into the sort of the way the brain works when we are on a stage or in front of a camera, but the very real fear it’s applicable to. Everybody people think, you know, you see some big name or you see some huge person or giant in entrepreneurial space or in the political world or wherever it is, somebody that’s making national or international headlines and think that they don’t have those same fears they 100 percent do.

I have not come across. Anyone, maybe, maybe some sort of narcissistic sociopath doesn’t have this fear, but I haven’t come across them, but everybody has that fear of rejection and lowered status. But that’s, I mean, it’s universal 100%. And so one of the really challenging things is if I say this thing, or if I do this thing, is my clan, you know, is my caveman group that the audience, are they going to kick me out of the cave?

And are they going to pretty much send me on my way to a shore death at the, you know, fangs of a saber toothed tiger hanging around the corner? I mean, that that’s, that’s where all that fear comes from.

[00:40:42] Matt Bailey: I love that. So. One of the things that, that helped me work through that is there was a, a, a show on years ago and it was Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And it was interesting. I loved it because a lot of the jokes and, and it was one of those where they watch a movie and they make comments about it. But a lot of the jokes I told someone, unless you had a liberal arts education in the eighties and nineties. You wouldn’t get it. And now my, my, my kids love it.

My daughters love watching it. They stuff flies over their head, but I saw an interview with one of the creators and they asked him, aren’t you afraid that Everyone’s not going to get it. And his response is, well, we didn’t make this for everybody. The right people will get it. And I was just, that was so liberating.

That idea that it’s okay, because there will be an audience and I’ll reach them. So I got to ask you, how did you get past that, that fear of rejection? What was it that, or is it that enables you to get around that?

[00:41:49] Kerry Barrett: I don’t think the fear ever goes away. I’m not, I’m not fully over it yet. Well, I’ve just, I’ve learned how to, I mean, listen, I, I regard like doing something like this, a podcast, I, I don’t have any of those sorts of fears.

What I do fear is posting video, for example, on LinkedIn and getting no response. Like, am I speaking into the void? Why is that happens? There is a side note to that. Every client that I’ve ever gotten from LinkedIn content, they have never been somebody who has commented on my posts or engage with me.

There are always people that are watching in the background from the sidelines and then they reach out. So, so put that up here. Anybody who’s listening, don’t worry if people aren’t engaging as long as you’re talking to the right audience and you’re using their language, they are watching, but the, the fear.

I don’t think ever, for me anyway, never fully goes away. When I get up on stage, I, I just got back from a speaking engagement prior to this episode and I was up most of the night practicing and rehearsing. And at the end of the day, that’s all you can do. What I’ve learned is that not doing it is, is not an option.

It’s just not, uh, this is, that has been practically the. I want to say the only way, but the hands down biggest way I’ve grown my network and grown my client list is from getting on video and, and talking, right? Whether it’s a speaking engagement, whether it is a social media post, whatever the case may be, not getting on video is just not an option.

So I have to do it with the fear anyway, fear. I don’t believe in fearless. I think, I don’t know anybody who is fearless. I know people who do it with the fear and that’s what I do.

[00:43:39] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow. That is amazing because I think a lot of people who have the fear don’t, don’t feel like they can ever get past. I mean, you are an amazing example of, you know, you’ve been on television broadcast, you’ve been doing all this and yet still dealing with the fear.

So I hope this inspires people. I mean. You’re also coaching people through this as well. And so being able to draw from that personal experience gives you, I think, an edge because you still have that fear rather than someone who’s coaching, who cannot empathize with the fear or have an, have a clue what that even means.

[00:44:20] Kerry Barrett: Yeah, I, that’s sort of how I, I figured out what I do and who I do it for. I, I serve the person that I once was, whether they’re a small business owner or an entrepreneur, or they’re, you know, a huge C suite level executive at a massive company and their team or their direct reports, like the, the fear is the, the same thread.

It may manifest in slightly different ways, but the, the underlying reason behind it is the same. And the best practices for getting over it and for delivering well are also the same. Whether you, for the most part, whether you are doing a town hall for 10, 000 employees or whether you are posting something on Instagram.


[00:45:05] Matt Bailey: Amazing. Amazing. And this is what I absolutely love that because part of my training of people in marketing Yeah. Is also seeing that the biggest skill set gaps are presentation skills, team building skills, basically basic communications within an organization to leadership, to clients that we’re not just missing these, these hard skills or these adaptable skills.

It’s communication skills are becoming the most in demand skills on the market today. And so whether it’s in person or on Instagram, I love what you said.

[00:45:46] Kerry Barrett: Well, I, you know, it’s funny. I was doing this, I was doing a little research the other day on exactly what you’re talking about. And I forget the specific number, but I believe in the United States.

Estimates were

349 billion annually lost to ineffective communication. I think it’s close to that, if that’s not it exactly. And that was from, you know, a couple of years ago. It’s grown since then. And That puts into, I think, black and white. It’s not just a soft skill or a nice to have. You are actually losing money. You are losing sales.

You are losing an engaged workforce. You are losing out on building a company culture. If you’re not able to do those things well, if you’re not able to communicate well in, in whatever format or situation.

[00:46:38] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely. And this. So I got to tell you, I had this moment of clarity the other day because I had to teach.

I had to teach government employees about a I would

[00:46:51] Kerry Barrett: like to see some video of that. Oh, my

[00:46:53] Matt Bailey: goodness. And as I’m teaching, it’s like that voice in my head. I had this, this, this revelation and it was. You know, we’ve got all these courses right now on prompt engineering on how to create prompts to get what you want.

Why aren’t we doing prompt engineering for communicating to other people? How much more effective would our workforce be? Would our teams be if we worked just as hard AI?

And it was

[00:47:26] Kerry Barrett: just, that’s actually pretty cool. I wouldn’t have put it together the way that you just did, but you, it makes perfect sense. We’re focused on all of these sort of like very granular things where a lot of the foundations that you’re talking about communication and we can fix all the stuff up here.

But if this part isn’t, isn’t built correctly, we’re still going to struggle.

[00:47:46] Matt Bailey: Yeah, absolutely. And if you look at these AI prompt engineering sheets, that it’s a framework. Yeah. Okay. Who’s your audience? How do you want them to think? What’s the goal? What are the parameters? I’m like, why? You know, I, you know, being in the workforce, you know, the lack of communication of do this.

What are the parameters? They aren’t communicated or they aren’t communicated well, or there’s an expectation that’s not out there. And then, but with AI, you just continue to prompt, prompt, prompt, prompt. We’re not doing that with people. And we’re not teaching good communication. You should do a course on that.

Prompt engineering for people. I like it. Yeah.

[00:48:24] Kerry Barrett: I’d buy it.

[00:48:25] Matt Bailey: You know, it’s just funny because we just, you know, and the funny thing is, is we do this in all areas of our life. We do it with our kids. We do it with people. Here’s what I want. Here’s what I want you to do. And we don’t fill in the gaps. It’s figure it out on your own. Whereas with the machine, we’re so much more patient.

We, we had so many more instructions,

[00:48:46] Kerry Barrett: so many more touch points. Okay. I, I’m going to regenerate that response and I’m going to ask you in a slightly different way with a little more explanation or you’re 100 percent right. I tell my kids to do something one time and I’m like, I don’t understand why you didn’t under what I was asking you to do, like, why didn’t you get it?

It’s very simple. I said, blah. And they’re like, yeah, but I don’t know this step and this step and this step to get to the blah part.

[00:49:08] Matt Bailey: Yep, yep, yep. Oh, I’ll give you a clear example. It happened just today. Empty the dishwasher, okay? And meanwhile, the clean dishes in the dish rack that didn’t go in the dishwasher are still sitting there.

It’s like, Inherent in that command is put away all clean dishes, but,

[00:49:27] Kerry Barrett: you know, Take them out of the dishwasher and put them on the counter. Yeah.

[00:49:32] Matt Bailey: So there’s, there’s additional instructions, but, um, Oh my

[00:49:37] Kerry Barrett: gosh, it’s

[00:49:38] Matt Bailey: exhausting, man. It is, it is. Now, if we took our prompts into engineering and put them in an email, I think that is such an incredible number that ineffective communication.

And we see it every day. Wow, Kerry, this has been so much fun. Glad to be a guest. Thank you for having me. Oh, I gotta have you back again. And it’s funny because journalism has been just this recurring theme. You know, I think in NPN, there’s a lot of people with journalism backgrounds, but also just the past few hosts, or past few guests, have had that journalism background.

And like you, it was… I went for it because it was communications. I think my choices were theater or broadcast. Yeah. Like, I’ll go for the writing. But like you, I did an internship at a radio station and just became in love with it and learning everything that went on, learning the communication and Learning how to pattern the voice, that was just so much fun through my college years and then beyond, but then everything I learned just directly applied to digital marketing because it’s all communications.

So, I stress anyone who wants to go into digital marketing, it’s funny, I did a webinar the other day, there were 40 different backgrounds out of 100 people attending. Everything from law to commercial business, but they’re on marketing and communications and journalism showed up really well, but I would say less, maybe 10 percent actually had a marketing degree.

So yeah, communications is a core man. I got to tell you.

[00:51:20] Kerry Barrett: It is. And you’re 100 percent right. Like the TV was amazing. The newsroom is awesome. It’s such a beehive of activity and big personalities and lots of different perspectives and diversity and. People are witty and fast on their feet. Just like in radio.

I mean, it’s, it’s sort of the same, it’s the same personality type and, and you’re, you’re 100 percent spot on. I mean, it’s like understanding your audience, what is important to them, selling the information to them, writing it, or. Editing it in a way that is effective and compelling hooks, you know, conclusion, all that stuff is, it is exactly in the same lane as digital marketing and it’s communications broadly.

[00:52:04] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely. What’s one thing you learned in college that you use? All the time.

[00:52:09] Kerry Barrett: That I use all the time. Oh my gosh. You know what? Truthfully? Probably writing. Script writing. And I don’t write a lot of scripts for my social media posts. But when I’m doing something that’s longer form, and I’m bringing video into it, using video to show.

Not tell necessarily and combining the words, you know, again, the hook, the making sure that the writing is applicable to somebody listening rather than reading because video is listening. It’s not reading. I would say, actually, that’s probably the biggest skill that I use daily and I don’t just use it in video.

I use it anytime I’m creating some sort of presentation. So, for example, the engagement I did just prior to this, you know, I’m, I manuscripted the whole thing. And then I turned it into an outline, but I, I wrote the sentences active and I wrote it in a broadcast style because despite the fact that I’m delivering it from a stage and I’m in front of people, they’re still listening and not reading.

That sort of writing is quite different. I use that daily.

[00:53:18] Matt Bailey: Wow. Okay. This, yeah, I guess I’m giving you a wildfire round. Okay. If someone is frustrated creating video for LinkedIn or Instagram, they’re trying to promote their business. What are three things they can do that you can give them as a roadmap to start improving their video or enjoying it?

Let’s say that.

[00:53:39] Kerry Barrett: First of all. Okay. So this is very basic. Don’t overthink it. I mentioned that before. You do not need to have any sort of special gear. You can do everything you need with a phone, your face and your voice. You don’t have to complicate anything. You should be able to knock out a 30 second video.

In a couple of minutes, if you know what it is that you want to say. And so you don’t have to have a big production flow or workflow when you’re first starting aim for once a week, shoot a vertical video for 30 seconds and start and just start publishing. The second thing I think is a lot of times on LinkedIn, we tend to do, I tend to see a lot of.

Promotional posts, you know, excited to announce blah, bitty, blah, blah, blah, or look at our new product, blah, bitty, blah, blah, blah, that stuff, that stuff is website material. That’s not social media content. Story is, is king on social media, especially on LinkedIn. Those are the types of posts that get the engagement and bring.

And make you discoverable. So promotional posts, listen, if you’re getting your start, go for it. But ideally you want to work into story, starting with educating your audience about the problem that they weren’t aware of through a story, and then diving into how you help them solve it. And I think the other element, when.

The biggest mistake that I see people make when they’re on video is their energy level. So being on video is taking a, a 3D person, putting them into a 2D image, right? And with, there’s no context for the viewer or the audience outside of that little rectangular, rectangle rather, whether it’s vertical or horizontal.

And so, and then you have the mechanics of the microphone and the lens and all the, you know, it travels through my computer and into the wires and then up onto yours and there’s a little bit of, of, what’s the word I’m looking for? Not disintegration. I keep wanting to say degeneration.

[00:55:52] Matt Bailey: That came into my head too.

And I was like, no,

[00:55:53] Kerry Barrett: that’s not good. When it, the quality of it sort of, um, you know, each time it goes through another set of tech, the quality of the video and everything else. So, so recognize that you’re sort of overcoming all of those little elements when you are in front of the camera, most people are way too low in their energy.

I always say like. Get on camera and dial it up till you feel like you are, you know, the ShamWow guy or you’re a cheesy used car salesman. And then if you’re a car salesman listening to this, I, I mean, no offense, and then go back and look at it and see if in fact what came through the screen. Is what you felt you were delivering with energy, energy wise.

And I would say like nine and a half times out of 10, if you’re not used to being on video, it’s not, you look tired or small or scared or timid, you got to jump in with both feet. So go crazy.

[00:56:56] Matt Bailey: Love it. Love it. That energy is huge. It’s big. I’m seeing more and more video on LinkedIn and even from the thumbnail, it doesn’t look exciting.

And so that is, you know, that’s what I teach people is it’s that split second judgment that you’re going for. Yeah, because that’s the difference between stopping or scrolling. And it’s as simple as just pushing something with a finger. And so you have got so little time to make that

[00:57:21] Kerry Barrett: impression. And I will underscore that by saying when I edit a video or when my editor edits a video for me to put up on, on social, I would say, I don’t even want the thumbnail.

Absolutely. 100%. It’s got to be clicky. It’s got to be interesting. Three to five words tops. It’s some sort of interesting image. That grabs people’s attention color. And then the second component of that is when, when my face pops up on the screen after the thumbnail, I want my mouth, this is granular. I want my mouth to be open and the words already coming out.

I don’t even want a second of downtime between the time they click on that thumbnail and the time that they hear my voice. So it’s a matter of like. Frames, like I need five more frames and then we can start the video. And for anybody who doesn’t know what a frame is, it’s like one sixtieth of a second or something.

It’s very short, but making sure that everything is firing on all cylinders so that you’re catching people’s attention and there is no lag from when they click to when you start delivering.

[00:58:28] Matt Bailey: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much for that advice. That is powerful, Kerry, and I am so impressed that you just went bam, bam, bam, got down the list, and brought it.


[00:58:39] Kerry Barrett: That

[00:58:43] Matt Bailey: was fantastic. I mean, everything was just usable, actionable tactics to do something right now and make it better. So, dear listener, I hope you wrote those down. I wrote them down. And I’m going to put them in the show notes as well for you. Kerry. Thank you so much for making the time to be on the podcast today.

My pleasure.

[00:59:03] Kerry Barrett: Thank you for having me. You are a fantastic interviewer and I can’t wait to come back again and have you on my show as well. I

[00:59:10] Matt Bailey: am looking forward to it. And definitely, I think there’s a lot we haven’t even touched on yet, but this was, you know, I, I do video, but you know, I’m still learning and this was amazing.

I enjoyed the advice and just learned about you and your background. And I hope this inspires people to continue to work and develop those skills. Thank you so much. All right. Thank you. Thank you. And dear listener, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the endless coffee cup podcast. And I don’t know about you, but my cup is empty.

I am due for another. And so it has been great to have this cup of coffee with you and I look forward to our next one. On the next edition of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast,

you’ve been listening to the Endless Coffee Cup. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with somebody else. And of course, please take just a moment and rate or review us at your favorite podcast service. If you need more information contact me at site logic marketing dot com. Thanks again for being such a great listener

Endless Coffee Cup podcast

Featured Guest:

Kerry Barrett

Kerry Barrett

Video & Communications Coach

Monique Russell teaches global leaders and teams on how to have positive and productive relationships at home and work using effective communications tools and strategies.

Website: https://www.kerrybarrett.com

Kerry’s Course on Creating Video

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerrybarrett/

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