Before the Launch

Episode 6: How to become an effective virtual event speaker, with Karen Laos

January 14, 2021 HeySummit
Before the Launch
Episode 6: How to become an effective virtual event speaker, with Karen Laos
Show Notes Transcript

Three things you will learn today:

  1.  How to have the right mindset for public speaking
  2.  How to project your voice and control your breathing
  3.  How to emotionally engage with an online audience 

Our guest today, Karen Laos:

Karen is an expert speaker and storyteller when it comes to standing out with confidence; gaining rave reviews from Facebook, Google, Netflix, AT&T, UnitedHealthCare, and Bacardi, to name a few. Nearly three decades of experience speaking at conferences, corporate offsites and leading teams of her own.


Karen landed a job with Gap Inc in HR after moving from Minnesota to San Francisco. She moved on to become a corporate trainer and found Decker Communications, quickly becoming an expert keynote speaker. 

Karen coaches executives on how to influence others, and teaches them how to connect and increase trust and credibility in their speaking style and presence. 

She believes that all women have confidence. Her job is to help them find their voice and empower them to use it. She has coached 1000's of professionals all over the globe.

Get in touch with Karen:

If you would like to engage with the hosts and guests you can join us in our Community for a chat, there you can meet likeminded individuals looking to create successful virtual events. 


If you like our episodes please leave us a review. Thank you! 

[00:05] - Jackie
Welcome to the community podcast before the launch. This is a show about making the most out of your virtual events. And this week, we're focusing on how to become an effective virtual event speaker. And we're delighted to have Karen Laos here to share her expertise with us. Karen is an expert, speaker and storyteller when it comes to standing out with confidence, gaining raving reviews from Facebook, Google, Netflix, AT&T, United Health Care and Bacardi, to name a few.

[00:35] - Jackie
Nearly three decades of experience, speaking at conferences, corporate off sites and leading teams of her own, Karen landed a job with Gap Inc in H.R. after moving from Minnesota to San Francisco, and she's moved to become a corporate trainer and found Decker Communications quickly becoming an expert keynote speaker. Karen coaches executives on how to influence others and teaches them how to connect and increase trust and credibility in their speaking style and presence. She believes that all women have confidence and her job is to help them find their voice and empower them to use it.

[01:10] - Jackie
She has coached thousands of professionals all over the globe. Karen, we're so excited to have you on the show today. Thank you so much and welcome.

[01:18] - Karen
Thank you.Thanks for having me.

[01:21] - Nev
It's really good to have you, Karen. And we're so excited to ask you all these questions that we have when it comes to keynote speaking and coaching speakers. To kick us off.

[01:21] - Nev
I guess my first question is, as you know, you have such a such an extensive experience as a keynote speaker, as you just pointed out, and as a coach. What is what is your kind of a go to advice for public speaking? What is the most important thing that someone has to remember when they're going out on stage or coming online to speak and give a speech?

[01:52] - Karen
Sure, I would say that the number one thing is your mindset to start there, because we have to believe in ourselves first, and yet it's really hard sometimes to overcome the self-doubt of all the things that we think about ourselves.

[02:08] - Karen
So critical to keep in mind that you've got this. And what I mean by that then specifically is to have some type of positive affirmation or something that you say to yourself. And I think one actual exercise that you can do in advance is to have a conversation with somebody or even write it out if you're a writer and have a conversation as if it's already happened with someone else. So act as if there's somebody else. Hey, how did it go?

[02:39] - Karen
Oh, my gosh. It was amazing. They loved me. My voice really projected. So that's one thing related to mindset. But then as far as actually when you're going out on stage, whether it's the virtual stage or whether it's the actual online stage, is to have great energy with your audience. Because if you don't have energy, particularly with online events, our voice is our most it's our greatest power tool. And we have to have a strong voice if we're going to go out there and really grab people's attention because nobody wants to listen to somebody monotone.

[03:18] - Karen
And I also highly recommend I'm getting into more than one thing now. So you heard my one thing. It's about the mindset. But then there's some really practical things about when you're actually in that event, and that is to be your authentic self. Specifically, remember your humanity, what you don't want to do is script things out. And I just can't say enough about that, because we have to come across as conversational, because if we think about who do people want to connect with, oh, another human being.

[03:52] - Karen
So we want to be that human being on stage. And probably the greatest compliment that I ever got was somebody who said to me after my event, she said, oh, my gosh, I knew there were hundreds of people listening to you. But I just honestly felt like you and I were in my living room and we were having a conversation.

[04:13] - Nev
That's amazing. That's that's an extremely incredible thing to hear someone say, especially when you present to such a large audience.

[04:23] - Nev
So I guess a lot of what you're saying comes down to confidence as well. And I know that you talk a lot about confidence and how to build confidence. And I think a lot of people have the confidence shaken, especially as they're about to go on stage. I know from experience I'm an extrovert, I enjoy speaking to people, but I also sometimes feel sweaty palms. So what are your kind of tricks in terms of making sure your confidence is on point when you are publicly speaking?

[04:53] - Karen
Yes, well, one of my favorite things is something called anxious reappraisal. And the bottom line is it's that the fact that fear and excitement are the same thing physiologically. So if you go into it, you can look up anxious reappraisal for more detail around this. But the gist is, instead of what we typically do is say, oh, my gosh, I'm so nervous, I'm so nervous. And all of that change that, too. I'm so excited.

[05:20] - Karen
I'm so excited because the truth is we just have to trick our brain into believing it because the emotion is exactly the same internally.

[05:31] - Jackie
Yeah, that's a really good point, you have to be able to be your biggest cheerleader when you're about to do these things that feel a little scary, but in reality, you are absolutely worthy of saying the things that you know. And I think that's something that we all really struggle with. I do unlike Nev, I am an introvert. I do not like talking to people.

[05:53] - Jackie
I've gotten much better at it over the years, but it's tough for me still. But that brings up a really good question. Can we talk a little bit about imposter syndrome? What's what's a really good way for people to kind of grapple with that and step into who they're trying to become?

[05:53] - Karen
Sure. Well, part of it is the affirmations of reminding yourself. And and it's not just a bunch of positive self talk. One thing after another. I would recommend that you pick one or two things that you really get excited about, like I am unstoppable on stage or I connect with people and they connect with me or something like that. And you want to keep it simple. But I do think that excuse me, I do think that it's really important to remember that your talk is not about you, it's about your audience.

[06:50] - Karen
What do they need? What matters to them? How can you start thinking about it from that perspective? Because when we can be truly present with our audience and forget about our own needs, forget about our own nervousness and our confidence, I know that's easier said than done. But when we can start thinking about how can I serve these people in front of me, that is where things can often shift in a positive way. So I would definitely start there.

[07:21] - Karen
And then from there, the actual tactical things like vocal projection, similar to what we were talking about before we started recording, which is to say, if you're if you're if you're doing a virtual event, which is obviously what we're talking about here, think about potentially standing up when you when you're speaking, making sure that your background is uncluttered. I mean, I think we know this now through covid. And some of these things are very basic.

[07:49] - Karen
But I still am amazed at how you see people on video with a ton of background behind them. It's not clean. One tip to think about is make sure that to the best of your ability, sit with your back to a wall, not a back to an open room where people can see all the stuff behind. And also sitting up just like on your bum at the edge of a chair. If you are going to sit, that can help you leverage the diaphragm, which is that wonderful muscle around our belly to project our voice.

[08:20] - Karen
Because when I work with people on their voice, a lot of times we'll talk about volume and then I'll say, well, you want to talk louder. And you know what? The first thing people do is they start talking like this how's this and they're yelling from the road. And I'm thinking, oh, my gosh, you're going to die if you keep that up. So we have to remember to breathe from the diaphragm. So it's very different.

[08:45] - Karen
Like, I can still project volume right now, but you can hear how my tone is much deeper because it's coming from a different place. It's coming from my core versus here. You can hear that. You get my point.

[08:59] - Jackie
Yeah. Do you do you do these kinds of exercises with your clients? I'm going off script here, but I'm just so curious about, like, how you help people virtually practice their posture and their voice level and how they project because it's so different when you have to do it online.

[09:16] - Karen
I know it. It sure is, but absolutely. Yes. So one exercise that everybody can do is to I would recommend that you stand up. You could certainly do this seated, but make sure that you've got a really nice there's no blockage in your torso, let's put it that way. You don't want to be bent over anything. So you want to think about blowing up your stomach like a balloon. And most people don't want to stick out their stomach, including me.

[09:45] - Karen
But that is where we can access and practice the diaphragm using the diaphragm because most of us weren't trained. Unless you're a singer or maybe playing a musical instrument like I am lucky to have been trained as a vocalist, as a singer when I was younger. So I realized very quickly when I started training adults I would do this exercise. I'll tell you about a second. And people had a really hard time doing it. And I remember going, Oh, I didn't know that was hard.

[10:13] - Karen
So it's were you breathe in and it's going to be hard because people are just hearing this right now. But breathe in. Imagine that you're breathing. There's a balloon in your stomach. Put your hand so your your hand with your fingertips against your stomach and then try to shoot it out. Shoot out. In spurts like this to take a big, deep breath. "ts ts ts ts ts ts ts ts" And then when you do that, then you can kind of do a full on "tsssssssss" that that's going to that's going to exercise that diaphragm and that is just a way to start.

[10:49] - Karen
Another way is may sound a little silly. If you have access to a pool or a bathtub, you can start holding your breath underwater. That can help to exercise the diaphragm. But at minimum, at least, just start remembering that breathing in through your stomach is better than up in your. I mean, we have to breathe through our lungs, obviously. But a lot of times when I say to people, take a deep breath, what happens is they'll take a deep breath and their shoulders go way up.

[11:17] - Karen
So think about keeping your shoulders down while you take that deep breath and maybe even holding your shoulders to take the deep breath so that you remember. Oh, yeah, it's coming from my stomach. You could even put one hand on your shoulder and one hand on your stomach.

[11:31] - Jackie
I actually did a breath work session last night and. Yeah, so they teach you that in like in your stomach, you that's where you take 80 percent of your breath and then you do 20 percent in your chest. Yeah, it's the same like your body's just not as oxygenated as it should be. So we have to practice the diaphragm. So that's really interesting. But I'm going to move away from breathing.

[11:57] - Karen
I had a quick thing. One other quick thing is the Navy SEALs have a breathing exercise that they have found to be the most effective when it comes to reducing anxiety, especially for trauma and it's breathing in to the count of four, holding to the count of four and breathing out to the count of four.

[12:16] - Jackie
Your breath, so healing. I love it.

[12:19] - Nev
I wanted to just add one important thing. Karen I am tone death. I thought I thought you should know this. I love that you are trained singer, but I am completely tone death. Thought this is a relevant fact for our listeners. Jackie did you know this.

[12:37] - Karen
We're not going to be doing any harmonies.

[12:39] - Nev
No, I will just be breathing.

[12:41] - Jackie
Now, Karen. So when I was in school, I did the singing training too. So like your diaphragm was familiar to me, but Nev you are funny. You guys distracting me. All right.

[12:58] - Nev
All right, OK, let's get serious again.

[13:01] - Karen
Well, let me something you said that never about the tone. Let's just talk briefly about the opposite of monotone and with an analogy that I heard yesterday I thought was brilliant.

[13:11] - Karen
When you think about a musical instrument or an orchestra, rather, let's think about one of those instruments alone that just hearing that the same time, a special or only if you only hear one instrument, it could be boring after a while. But you add in the orchestra, you get pitches and, you know, you get all these variances that make it much more beautiful and engaging. So when we can think about that related to our voice any time, even if we have a great voice and I'm all for, of course, vocal variety, and that's what I teach the importance of varying everything up.

[13:45] - Karen
But any time you can add in more voices or certainly changing up the variety, if you're so low, then that the more you can do that, the better.

[13:57] - Nev
I think that's great advice and I think it's really important, especially when doing long presentations, which generally I try and advise people to kind of keep it in bite sized lectures. But if you do do a longer presentation, I think that's great advice. But I wanted to ask you, one of the things that I think is really important and can be a challenge is kind of getting that emotional connection with your audience when you are doing an event online or when you are doing an online presentation.

[14:22] - Nev
Because every time I do a speech in a room, I definitely feel like I can read my audience. I can understand them. I see how they're thinking. But online, you know, either in a webinar settings you can't actually see your attendees or your prerecording. Do you have any advice? How do you cope with this?

[14:39] - Karen
Sure. Well, let's talk about, first of all, the visual versus just audio, because I think that's important for us to address the way that we build trust with people.

[14:50] - Karen
Typically when we're talking about video is through our facial expressions, our tone of voice and our eye contact. So let's just talk about that first and then I'll talk about audio with eye contact. It's it's really tough, kind of as we were talking earlier, that the goal for, again, remembering it's about the experience that you are creating for other people, not up for you to make sure that you are looking really close to that webcam. And I say very close because ideally you want to look at the webcam.

[15:23] - Karen
But even if you're just maybe a few, a couple of centimeters are an inch below it, then that will at least simulate eye contact to other people. And eye contact is directly related to trust. Warmth versus competence. Let's talk about that for a second. I want to get in. I'm probably I might be digressing here, but I do want to bring up a study from Amy Cuddy that I think is really powerful about warmth and competence. She said she did this study, asked people, would you rather be judged first on your competence or your warmth?

[15:56] - Karen
Knowing that we are judged in both of those categories, but first asking which first and the majority of people in the study said competence because of course, we want to come across well, we want to look smart. We want to make sure people feel like we know what we're talking about. And yet the way that we actually connect with people and decide very quickly if we want to keep listening to them, if we do trust them, is warmth first.

[16:22] - Karen
Now, this happens within nanoseconds. But why that's important. And now connecting it to why how this comes across. And in fact, this is actually the same for video as well as audio, and that is to make sure that you're smiling or at least have a lightness to your facial expression. And what I have found is working with thousands of people over the years is that we get so focused on our content and worried about are we going to say it right?

[16:53] - Karen
What am I talking about? You know, all those things that that's when we get more serious. And this definitely happened to me. I remember years ago when I was first training to be a trainer, I was so excited that I had the curriculum down and I was presenting in front of my boss and a high rise in San Francisco finished the whole section. And I was really proud of myself. My boss looks at me really nicely and she goes.

[17:17] - Karen
Well, if I really listen, your content is practically perfect, but you look pissed off, she goes, I couldn't even connect with you because you looked mad. And I said, What? And I have since learned now with video recording, when you watch people back, you go, oh, my gosh, I see it. Wow. You're such a natural conversationalist offline. And then suddenly you have to do something where you have a little bit of a more of an agenda and structure and suddenly you become too scripted.

[17:50] - Karen
And this is where I go back to where we started earlier about the authenticity and remembering your humanity. So making sure that you remember to smile. And I am not also suggesting if anybody's thinking, well, I'm not going to smile when I have a serious message and I agree with you, you have to have appropriate expression. But as one of my past colleagues used to say, if you're happy, tell your face, because a lot of times when we're giving a message, we're not coming across in a way that's warm and friendly and we have to relate it to connection.

[18:26] - Karen
We have to come across as approachable and inviting for people to decide if they want to trust us.

[18:33] - Jackie
That's a really good point, because I feel like I don't feel like we know this when we're talking to people online. It's already kind of cold and detached. You have to bring that human element. You have to speak human. You can't just worry about what the algorithms doing that day, right. Your message matters, your tone matters, your expressions matter.

[18:52] - Jackie
So I love that you said that. Um, what are some of the biggest challenges you see with speakers when they have to switch from in person to online events? Is it much different when you're speaking in either venue?

[19:07] - Karen
Well, definitely. I say the biggest difference is that I'm always coaching people to have energy in their movement. So on stage, of course, you can move and you can connect with your audience that way. Just the physical presence of moving and online, you're pretty much in one spot. So you have to be even more intentional about the other ways that we demonstrate energy. And yet you have to be careful about how you do it. So let's take one example.

[19:38] - Karen
Gestures, for example, you want to think about when you're on a stage. You want to think about gesturing just like you would with your friends and family at a barbecue or anything like that. Just natural gestures. But one of the biggest problems is people don't ever stop using them or they put them in front of them clasped or they put them in the fig leaf position where their hands are in front of their private areas. And then we just look less open and frankly, more closed off.

[20:09] - Karen
I mean, I guess that's the opposite of open. And yet when you come to a virtual event, most people are only seeing us chest up. But we've got to remember that you still want to gesture so that you show energy. And this is the same reason why all of these behaviors are so important when it comes to audio. So you still want to be smiling, even though nobody's seeing you. But you have to act as if people are seeing you because that energy is displayed like I used to manage a call center many, many years ago when I worked at The Gap and when we recorded people that were smiling, it was a very different experience.

[20:47] - Karen
I mean, you know this you can tell when people are smiling on the phone or online. But what I was going to say related to gestures online is to beware of using too many gestures and then there in the camera lens. And that's a little bit weird. So you want to be careful about not doing anything that's going to distract your audience either. So it's not just, oh, I took this communication course and they told me to use gestures.

[21:12] - Karen
Yeah, I'm going to use gestures and then suddenly it's over. Done. So find that balance. And that's why video recording is so important. When I do that with my clients.

[21:23] - Nev
Yeah, I can imagine. And for me in particular, I like to express myself a lot by walking and moving. So anytime I do a speech, I sometimes even go into the audience because I can feel more connected to them. So I find it very difficult. I think that's a that's a really good point. You've made Karen. Onto kind of my next question, which is slightly different. I was thinking about Q&A as any kind of speech. You'll get questions.

[21:50] - Nev
And obviously now in an online setting, there are lots of different ways of doing this, this kind of chat moderations. You might be doing a live of speech and people kind of asking questions on the go. And you might have another moderator who's working with you, for example. You might be monitoring those questions. What is what are you what kind of experience is there and what do you recommend, especially for beginners starting off in virtual events speaking?

[22:15] - Karen
Well, I want to talk about an experience that I had just two days ago on the app clubhouse. Are you too familiar with Clubhouse?

[22:23] - Jackie
I am. Oh, my God. I'm raising my hand. I'm on it every day.

[22:29] - Nev
No, I can't. I can't get on. And Jackie's been trying to invite me because I'm not in the US, so we don't know why I cannot get onto clubhouse.

[22:37] - Karen
Oh, no.

[22:39] - Jackie
It's opening to the public in just I think I think they said in March it's going to be completely open, but it is. Yes, I am trying to get Nev in beforehand because I like conversations.

[22:52] - Karen
OK, well if you need an invite Nev then for some reason it would be helpful to try with someone else. Let me know I'm happy. I'm happy to help. So I'm on clubhouse and there's hundreds of people listening to this speaker and the speaker does a great job opening it up to questions.

[23:09] - Karen
And what the speaker did really well is say we've got hundreds of people on here. And to make this as efficient as possible, we're going to open up the floor. So please, instead of giving a lot of context, just say my question is. And that's a great speaking tip. Now, I can't just leave it here because I also want to tell you anybody that's listening how to be a good questioner, because this person was not and it was really unfortunate.

[23:44] - Karen
So she comes on and she says something like, my question is, well, you know, there was a few years back when I was done and I was like, are you kidding me? She gives all this context. She tried, but it just didn't work. And she rambled and didn't get to the point. So as a speaker or a host or a moderator, help your audience with giving them guidelines because people are nervous. Nobody like that woman didn't mean to derail the conversation.

[24:12] - Karen
She even said, oh, there I got it out when she finally did. But you don't want to come across that way, obviously. So as that moderator asking those very pointed questions, like, for example, maybe if it is a big group like that saying, please ask it in this format. Another thing that I like to do, especially when interviewing people, is something like tell me about a time when. Give me an example, when that can help to be sentenced, prompts to get people in the spot, because the biggest problem with people answering questions or I should say asking them or answering or asking to be honest, is giving too much context detail.

[24:56] - Karen
That's irrelevant. That's why I find that to be a very helpful way. And then how do you interrupt someone that keeps going on and on? You want to first look for a way I like to call it the empathy bridge, and this is not my term, I don't know where it came from initially, but empathy or acknowledgment bridge try to grab something that they just said and then interrupt with that, like some of affirmation, like, oh, my gosh, that's such a great point.

[25:25] - Karen
Not that you want to say the same thing every time, but something like I remember when I had a situation like that. As a matter of fact, I'm guessing someone else listening probably had the same situation. Let's hear from someone else. You can hear how it's just you affirm and acknowledges this basic customer service training, affirm and acknowledge and then move on to your point so you can almost think about it as if you think about a flip chart.

[25:51] - Karen
You can think about a big dot of the person talking and then take the arrow and move. It may or may not be a good visual for the arrow is taking their stuff like the stimulus of whatever they said and then moving it.

[26:08] - Jackie
There's a lot that was really good information, and I feel like people really think about how to moderate those conversations because you want to engage audiences, right? But you don't want the audience to come up and take over the stage.

[26:20] - Jackie
You want to stay on task is really good advice. And yeah, like in Club House, I've seen some really good moderators. I'm going to have to I'm going to have to find you, Karen.

[26:31] - Karen
Yes. Let's follow each other. It is really fascinating. I was thinking about that too, because of course I've been on clubhouse all weekend and the last few days I'm hosting my first room today. Yeah. So if you want to come, I know it's irrelevant for this discussion.

[26:48] - Jackie
I would be happy to.

[26:52] - Karen
OK, so now I forgot I was going to say about oh, just the moderation piece, how it is really interesting how some people I'm going to say something that I think doesn't go well when you affirm every single person and almost repeat what they said. Yes. Oh gosh. Yeah. That was such a great point. And I'm so glad I'm moving on. Or even people that are waiting to take the stage. And I know we all have it's there's this human need somehow to acknowledge or think people like, oh, thank you so much.

[27:25] - Karen
I'm so glad to be here. This is such a great conversation. Thank you for having me. And it feels counterintuitive to just jump in and just say, here's what I have to offer. The conversation last week I was dead of that. I mean, even that is sort of an extra pleasantry. Here's what I have to offer. You could just jump in to say my experience is that it it it. So keep that in mind and be careful about this.

[27:50] - Karen
Also, this is also really important advice for when you're beginning to talk, whether it's a virtual or a stage event or even a meeting. Is the pleasantries up front like this? Thank you so much for having me. Oh, my gosh. I'm just thrilled to be here. In fact, gosh, I'm so excited. I can't wait to talk to everybody. It's like just get to the point. I think one thank you is fine, but be careful about hanging on it because I think people do this because they're nervous.

[28:17] - Karen
I'm so excited. I'm thrilled. I can't wait. And we have such short attention spans that you're going to lose people pretty quickly, although most people are socially conditioned to hear those things. So it won't be that bad. But the payoff is if you actually eliminate they eliminate those pleasantries, you're going to stand out like 90 percent above the rest.

[28:43] - Jackie
That's amazing advice that I'm really happy about. Like all of the I don't even know how to say it, like the humanness you bring to all of this, if it feels it may feel so basic, but we need to be reminded of it so much. So, I mean, I just want to thank you for your advice.

[29:03] - Jackie
I know that today. Sorry, what I'm saying, I feel sorry. I feel weird saying like thank you for coming on today.

[29:13] - Karen
Now I think one is fine. Just be careful about doing too many. Noticed the difference though. Let's just take this as an example. Let's do option one. Option two, option one. Thank you so much for coming. I'm so happy to have everybody here at my event. This is going to be a really exciting day. We've got a great lineup of speakers. And so there's option one option to. Henry Ford once said, don't find fault, find a remedy, we've got a big lineup today, folks, and we are all going to focus on finding a remedy rather than fault, just like Henry Ford said.

[29:51] - Karen
Let's jump in.

[29:54] - Jackie
I love it.

[29:55] - Nev
Very to the point.

[29:57] - Karen
yeah, that's just such a different experience, you can still be friendly, you can still come across again. Yeah, it's just friendly tone and all of that, but it's much more directed.

[30:07] - Nev
Yeah, I think I think if anything, you've definitely taught us that public speaking is a skill that one can learn. And if you practice and you apply techniques, it's not one of those things. I like talking so I can do this, but it's not quite that. It's you have to practice like anything else that you do in life. So thank you so much for that, Karen, and thank you for coming on to our podcast. I know that our listeners will very much enjoy this episode.

[30:33] - Nev
They've got a lot of knowledge to gain from it.

[30:38] - Karen
Excellent. Can I add one other thing ?

[30:42] - Nev
please

[30:42] - Karen
So I think it's important to talk about this study. That's a classic study from a long time ago now. But the the results keep getting replicated. So I think it's worth talking about a book.

[30:53] - Karen
Albert Mehrabian is the guy's name. He wrote a book called Silent Messages, and he did this study on how we come across and what matters related to our credibility. Now, this was done back in nineteen sixty seven, so we didn't have PowerPoint in all of that.

[31:07] - Karen
But that's what's fascinating is the numbers just it keeps getting reinforced. So there are three components that are in any message that are in person talking about or in or virtual when you have video that's verbal, vocal, visual. So verbal or the words. Just the message itself, vocal, how you sound and then visual, what people see of you, not your slides or anything else, just give you the equal one hundred percent. So I was always ask people, what do you think?

[31:39] - Karen
If you think they're all equal, that's fine. Do you think one outweighs the other? So I would ask your listeners to think about that just for a moment. What do you think? And I'm curious about you, too. What do you think holds the most weight or do you think they're all equal across the board? So the message itself, how you sound with your voice and then the visual.

[32:00] - Jackie
I'm going to say so we stay on topic, that it is the way you sound.

[32:06] - Nev
I think it depends on the topic, depends on what you're talking about. So, for example, you could do an interpretive dance, which I think could be very powerful and a message can be conveyed very powerfully without having used any words. So I think it just depends on your topic.

[32:29] - Karen
I love this. This is so good. OK, so here is a study showed. Seven percent of what matters is your message. Thirty eight percent is your voice and fifty five percent is visual. Now, let me explain what this doesn't mean quickly, it doesn't mean that only seven percent of what we say matters, these numbers relate to an inconsistent message. So if the words that were saying the message that we're putting out is not matching the way we come across, our listeners are going to default to the visual and they're not going to hear our message.

[33:08] - Karen
And where do we spend most of our time? The what's called the verbal in the study, the message itself. So, in other words, just a very quick example. If I'm saying I'm excited and I say it like I'm really excited to give this talk today. You're going to go what it doesn't jive, so you've got to have all of this aligned, so it's consistent.

[33:33] - Jackie
Beautiful.

[33:34] - Karen
Something to consider.

[33:36] - Nev
God, now I'm thinking, have we aligned, we aligned, are we aligning?

[33:39] - Jackie
You know, now I'm thinking about like how we can possibly do an interpretive dance to get our messages across. You may be tone death, but I am not coordinated.

[33:50] - Nev
You sing. I will dance. Karen will coordinate.

[33:54] - Jackie
Perfect.

[33:55] - Karen
So, you know, what's really interesting about that study is when you take the visual away and you prorate the numbers. Eighty four percent of your voice is what matters and 16 percent is the message when people just hear audio. So this is why it's such a great example to for podcast hosts to have that energy when they're in their voice and all the things that we've already talked about. So thank you for indulging me. I wanted to add that one other study because I think it's just such a powerful one to keep in mind, and it's surprising for most people.

[34:28] - Jackie
That is thank you for sharing it with us and for sharing it with all of our listeners today, everybody. Karen Laos. Please follow her. We're going to have all of her links on the page. If you want to get in touch with her, you can go ahead and find her again. Links on the page. Karen, thanks so much for showing showing up. Thanks for coming on the show today.

[34:51] - Karen
You're welcome. Of course, it was my pleasure.

[34:54] - Jackie 
All right. And to all of our dedicated listeners, thanks for coming in. And we will. And we'll do another episode next week. Thanks.