The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

21. Improving communication in a WFH World

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

With millions forced to stay indoors due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the concept of Work from Home (WFH) has gone mainstream.
Working from home has its benefits: Reduced commutes, added convenience, increased family time, and has made it far more acceptable to wear sweatpants to "work".


At the same time, this new working dynamic has created complexities in how we communicate, especially as we add more people to the virtual space. Conducting meetings, delivering presentations, and teaching classes virtually can be challenging, and often requires new tactics and communication tools to make the best of this new communication dynamic.

Eric Janssen welcomes back Eric Silverberg and Eli Gladstone of Speaker Labs to share their wisdom on how to be better communicators in the new WFH world.

You're listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast from the pier l Morris at Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Ivy Business School. In this series I be entrepreneur and Ivy Faculty member Eric Janssen will anchor the session. Let you, guys, introduce yourselves for the audience that may not know you yet. Go ahead, I'm Eric. Hope you can recognize me by my voice, because he can actually see us, so hopefully, and I sound a little bit different, but I am Eric and I'm wanted, one of the CO founders of Speaker labs and I get to with my friend Eli, teach people how to become amazing public speakers. Best job in the world. And I'm Eli, the other cofounder, and we've been we've been at this for a little over three years now and it has predominantly just been us in a room with a group of people talking about public speaking, demonstrating public speaking, watching public speaking, and since all this stuff with coming nineteen, say that's definitely change the game for us and it's exciting to try to think about how that impacts communication, which is a big part of what we talked about every day. Great Well, thank you guys for the reintroduction. So, to kick things off, I'm seeing a lot of content on how to transition to digital and how to manage a remote team in this new reality. But and I've actually hearing two different sides of the story. So, on one hand, I actually did do a little bit of homework before we're speaking today, and there are companies that, having gone more remote than they normally would, team feedback is great because the teams are enjoying more flexibility. Clients are seeming to like it more because the default is to go video versus go over the phone, so they feel like they're actually getting more facetime, even if it's digital. The data supports that. Net promoter scores for some of those companies are actually higher now, and so there are some positives. On the negative side, however, having run the last two weeks of my classes digitally, it's actually very challenging. Digital Communications is not in person communications, and so I thought I'd start with while there are some positives, maybe you guys can walk us through what's different about digital communications versus in person communications. And this is a prelude to why it's actually, in my opinion, more challenging. So what's different about in person versus digital? I mean there's a lot different and I think one thing I would just quickly comment on when you said it seems like MPs is up and people are feeling good with more flexibility. That talks a lot about the positive experiences, but it doesn't necessarily talk about the positivity and outcomes and I think part of what makes some of this type of communication, is digital remote communication, challenging, is that it's harder to get depth of communication, it's harder to get real meaningful connection around ideas and ultimately, when people feel good, that contributes to more productivity and better outcomes. But ultimately it's the quality of ideas and the quality of communication that people are able to share that contributes to the quality of outcomes, and so I'd be curious to see am more longitudinal study on how our businesses performing, not just how are people writing, their quality of their experience getting to take phone calls, maybe in Swat pets. Yeah, the other thing I'll say too is that I think maybe part of the reason that there's some positivity around us all being forced to go to digital communication is because one on one digital communication isn't actually that bad. I think that when you're having a conversation with only one other person, it's really easy to digitally or virtually bounce ideas off each other and to have a conversation. Mean we've all been speaking on the phone for our whole lives and when you're speaking only one other person at works, but Eli and I, because...

...of what we do for a living, we always look at communication through the Lens of public speaking and I think that specifically public speaking or speaking one too many virtually is where things start to break down and start to suck a little bit. So it's not all communication that that isn't is good virtually. I think it's mainly the one too many communication, making a presentation, leading your team to discussion, those sorts of things. I think have probably suffered as a result of this, because this is this is better than a phone call. Our listeners probably won't be able to see us, but we're recording this remotely. I can see you, guys right now. So we're doing this recording it over some zoom technology, so I can see you. I'd argue that this is better than us doing this over a phone call. I can see when you want to say something or when you don't. You could sort of lean back and I can. I can read your body language. You're nodding right now, you're smiling, so you're agreeing with what I'm saying. So this is better than a phone call, but it's not better than in person. So last time we did this you were actually we were in the same room together and there's just a different energy when you can literally reach across the table and touch someone. So better than phone call, this is worse than real life, I think. I yeah, I would agree. I think there's really there's two like categories of things that compromise the quality of communication. One is scale. The more people you have in a communication, the more diffusion of responsibility there is by people to speak. If you have fifty people listening to a speaker, then each person themselves doesn't feel the same responsibility to engage in respond. So scale can dilute the quality communication and distance can dilute the quality of communication and distance via phone like distance can be created by speaking over the telephone, it could be created by speaking through a camera. And even though we're seeing each other, there's a stance here and when you're in person there's this there's this palpable energy that is available to you. Even though you're it doesn't feel like it's that different from US looking at each other through a camera. There's that I can I can sense a movement about to happen, not just watch it happening. And so I think when you are dealing with remote communication, you're dealing with a distance that is hard to navigate sometimes, and if you add more people to the communication, and that's the public speaking element, you're now diluting the quality of communication by having more scale, and that's a challenging thing too. So let's try to divide this up, then. What are? What are the different types of public speaking, your digital communications? Eric, you alluded to this, the one too many sort of kills off the feedback loop. So I know you you talked about this in some of your sessions. So what are the different types of communications and are they the same digitally? Do they? Did they translate differently? We break that down for us. I think they definitely translate differently digitally. On that note of feedback loop, though, people always ask us in our course is why public speaking is hard. And you mentioned feedback loop and Eli mentioned diffusion of responsibility, and that's part of why public speaking is hard because you can't have a conversation. It's not iterative or dialogical like it is when you're having normal conversations that aren't one too many. And so the fact that the feedback loop suffers when your public speaking in person. It's even worse when you're community nicating digitally, because at least we're on public speaking in person, I can at least read your facial expressions, I can ask for a show of hands, I can pick on someone in particular, look at them and start, you know, asking them to contribute or or to discuss or to ask me a question. When you're public speaking virtually, I don't even know if anyone's paying attention. I don't know if they're actually listening. I can't tell if they have questions. If they do, they're probably not asking them because the views ability that he I mentioned. So it's getting the involvement from the audience that just seems to be impossible from or through a screen. Yeah, we're laughing at your right now. Are Because your Internet, your connection...

...cut out and it's just like you cut out for two seconds and Eli and are laughing because this is why it sucks. Yeah, that is why it sucked. Does another reason why it sucks is because technology sometimes doesn't work. So what did you miss? Did you everything? I had to say. Yeah, I heard. I heard, we heard most things. You kind of for literally just enough, two seconds, just enough to be laughable making fun of Digital Communication. So all right, well, don't, don't edit that out, lead little. Leave that and leave them the podcast so people can can actually get a live view of why digital communication sometimes sucks. Will keep it. It in. Well. So, I mean we're tying of the different kinds of communication. When it comes to remote communication, you can have a conversation and you can do that with one person, you can do that with three people. There's a certain number that when you cross that threshold, you've entered into to let's say, maybe I'm meeting, where you maybe have one person facilitating a conversation amongst a group of a group of people. But it's not just free flowing open. Everybody can contribute. And then the next layer to that is a presentation remotely where there's one speaker and lots of listeners. And what happened here with three of us is Eric'Ston cuts out a little bit and we chuckle we can comment on it and if we wanted to, if we didn't get the gist of what he's saying, we can say hey, are if you cut out for a second, try that again. But if it's a digital presentation and it's, let's say, one speaker with a room of fifty people, maybe it's a company kickoff meeting, or maybe it's a classroom and there's a teacher trying to teach a class to fifty students, if you cut out for a moment, if there's latency or lags or any technic to whatsoever, you don't really have the luxury of one person quickly saying Hey, wait, you can cut out for a second. Can you try that again? And that's one of the things that makes digital presentations uniquely hard, which are different than maybe a digital conversation or a digital meeting. HMM, yeah, and you hope that. I guess. I'm usually the guy on call. If we have a team call and I'm not presenting or someone else is speaking, I'm not afraid to immediately say that something's not working, like stop, right, okay, here, you're something's not working. Usually, though, especially if you're if you're not at with a team. If it's one too many, one to seventy five people, like mine was, I could be going for thirty seconds, a minute, two minutes, until someone type some in the chat. Hey you, just so you know, we haven't heard you for the last three minutes like that ruins your flow. Yeah, and it almost never happens there here in the minority of people who would ride away say stop, stop, something's not working. No one does that. Only you do that. So you end up probably not even that even knowing that something was broken. Yeah, so let's let's keep going, because I'm overloaded in my linkedin feed and news feeds with how to do this right and all the things that are great, and we'll get to some of the things, in our opinion, that can make the suck less suck, but let's I wanted to get into why it sucks so bad. It's something that I want to start with just based on digital I think that being present in a conversation is going to be a competitive differentiator for at least the age group of students that I'm teaching. So I'm teaching right now primarily for two university students, you know, to call it twenty two to twenty five year olds. An ability for somebody to be present in a conversation and not be distracted I think will be a competitive differentiator for that age demographic. But if you sink someone in front of a computer, I in a classroom of someone pulls out their phone, I'm going to call them on it right away. That's just the way that I am. Those are the norms of the class. On a computer, though, there's endless distractions that people can look up or type or messages pop up or whatever. So I think one of the first things that makes it suck for me is that I could tell that I just don't have people as I would normally have them in a room. So that's that's one for me. Why it sucks? What? Why does it stuck for you guys? I just want to touch on that for one second. That exists in person too, but there's more you can do about...

...it. Right well, if I see a student in one of our classes yawning or checking their phone, all I have to do is take three steps closer to them and they put it down. They're just sort of get it. There's something you can do when you're live in the room with people that makes them less distracted if you're noticing a distracted audience. But let like you said, digitally you can. There's nothing you can do. The distractions are endless. So I agree with you on that. I also think it's the distracted audience element. It reminds me and sort of myself, when I'm sitting down to watch a youtube video, if I'm just watching Youtube Video, I want to learn about some things, I look it up on Youtube and I'm watching the video and never just watching the video. I'm making a sandwich, I'm letting my dogs out, I'm buying something on Amazon while texting and responding to emails and watching the video, and obviously I'm making a shittier sandwich, excuse my French. My dogs are getting let out maybe a little too late and Pan on the floor once in a while, buying something on Amazon that's overprice instead of searching for the right one. My text responses are less high quality, my emails are less effective and, by interpretation, understanding the videos that louted. So the distracted audience thing is, I think, a huge element, not just for live digital presentations or even digital conversations, but also for prerecorded digital presentations, which is an element that. I think some people try to some people try to prerecord a presentation and then share it digitally so people can watch it on their own time. They don't have to worry as much about the time lags latency. But then you run into that distracted audience times ten because there's no immediate pressure of maybe they see me making the sandwich and therefore I shouldn't do it. So I think you've hit on a big one there. That's a huge one, I think. Another one that I struggle with when it comes to digital presentations is the best public speakers are people who prepare great content and then share it meaningfully with their audience. But it's not that simple, because sometimes what you've prepared isn't exactly what your audience wants. And so the real best public speakers prepare good content, share meaningfully with their audience and adapt to the best of their abilities given a limited understanding of their audience. The adaptation potential in a digital presentation is so much weaker. It's because you get less feedback, it's because there's less influence on the audience to get them off their phones or undistracted, and your ability to adapt and move on the fly to increase the quality of your idea transfer. It's so limited and I think that sucks because ultimately the goal of communication at scale is to get ideas across meaningfully to more people. Yeah, that's a great one. I feel like I can walk out of a class when I'm in person and I can know whether it went well or poorly. You know, I can walk out and say something was off today. You know, I really tried to bring it, but but I just feel like it didn't resonate. I've walked out of the last four classes that I've done digitally. I don't really know. It's like I feel like I'm bringing it and I sort of walk away and go I don't know, I have no idea whether they actually got it or not. So I have a hard time reading whether or not the crowd whether I did well or not, whether I they actually got it. Yeah, I think that's a big one too, and a big, a big element of getting a sense of what people are perceiving, whether they're getting it or not getting it, is eye contact. And one of the funny things about digital communication, whether it's a conversation and meeting or a presentation, is even though we can see each other. Right now I'm looking at a picture of you, I'm not looking at you. If I stare into my camera right now, now it looks like I'm looking at you, but now I'm looking at my camera and I'm not seeing you right, and so there's this element of broken eye contact. You can see the person, but you're not seeing them the same way as when you're in person, and that's a eye contact is like, that's the window to the soul, they say. So it's a it's a big element of strong connection through communication that you lose digitally just by the placement of the camera and the video that you're seeing.

Yeah, while we're bashing digital conversations, yeah, dash it, let's keep it up, let's keep it going. One of the things that Eli and I believe makes for good presentations or lessons or meetings, whatever you have, is making them entertaining, because if they're not entertaining, if they're not fun, if they're not engaging, then it doesn't matter how valuable they are because no one was really listening because they weren't engaged by what you were saying. And I find here, here's how I like to think of it. I mean if when I watch a funny movie by myself in my bedroom, I don't laugh, even if I think it's funny, but when I watch that exact same movie with a group of ten friends, everyone laughs, and that's a really good, I think, illustration of humans get their energy from each other. Presentations are more fun, meetings are more fun when everyone's in the same room and there's this like the emotions or the engagement in the room. It becomes contagious. Contagious is a dirty word these days. I shouldn't use that one, but that's sort of that's what it's like. Everyone laughs together, everyone claps louder, everyone gets sad when something touching happens, and those feelings that Naughty and shares. That's part of what makes a presentation memorable, meaningful, of makes you want to listen. And when people are all sitting by themselves in their own rooms, that magic doesn't happen and that sucks. Yeah, or on Mute. Right, maybe it is happening, maybe some people are laughing, but most people are on mute and you only catch it on video if they're on mute and they go like that. You can see them moving as if they're laughing, but it's just not the same. You don't get that same energy right. That's the other thing. Not only do audiences get energy from each other, but the present inter gets energy from the audience and it's so much harder when you can't read their energy for me, the public speaker, or you, the teacher, whatever, or whatever it is. So that's something that makes it a whole lot less fun, and fun is part of what makes awesome communication awesome. Yeah, try to think about what I do, what I do for my normal classes that I don't do for digital and trying to see if that has something to do with why it sucks. So I think about in my sales classes I talked about having the importance of having a pregame routine. And guess what, everybody, it's my job to teach and there are days that I get up and I don't want to teach and I love this job. This is the best job in the world. I would there's nothing on earth that I would rather be doing. There are days, just like everybody else where, I get up and I don't feel like it, but I have to, and so I've developed my own routines that get me in the place that I need to be so that by the time I'm on I want to be there, and so those are things, like I dress a certain way. So I dress a certain way because to me that signals that it's go time. I typically caffeinate before. I stand a certain way, I breathe a certain way. If it's a big presentation, I have a certain playlist that I've listened to. I do that even for some of my normal classes and I have to say that when, even when I've done some live classes here in lecture, I'm not dressed a certain way, I haven't followed my same pregame routine. So I think there are things that I'm not doing for digital that I actually we probably should be doing that seem to work for me in real life. Yeah, it's a good point. I think that probably the best presenters or the best teachers do have rituals like that to get them in the mood and it's really easy to let those things slip when you're sitting by yourself getting ready in your Home Office or your bedroom or whatever it might be. Yeah, well, another thing that I find I do a lot when I'm in person, whether it's one on one, one on five or a full large group of people is I leverage whiteboards and I leverage flip charts and I write a lot because I myself from a visual person, so it helps me express ideas. But a lot of people are visual in the way that they learn and there's something about sharing visuals when it comes to remote communication, especially remote presentations,...

...that's a little bit limited. When you're giving a remote digital presentation, having a whiteboard behind you and trying to whiteboard on the fly, that's that's really messy. Some people might be watching on a smaller screen, some people might be sitting further from their screen. There's there's a real, big difficulty with the clarity of the visual and if you share your screen a little white slide and you're in like Microsoft paint from one thousand nine hundred and ninety five and you're trying to draw, it's not going to be clean. It's not going to be legible and while people will forgive messy writing on a Whiteboard, they're less forgiving, or at least I'll speak for myself, I'm less forgiving to really squithly messy lines on a white screen share digitally and then, on top of that, one of the things that both arc and I do a lot when we're giving presentations live as we use powerpoint, some of these Google slizes, keynot whatever. We use a visual aid. When you're giving a digital presentation and you give the visual aid, the visual aid becomes the predominant visual when you're in person, even if you have a massive screen behind you, you are still the focal point. As long as you're making effective slides, you're still the focal point. But when you're giving a digital presentation and you go to share your screen so people can see your slides, the slides are taking up eighty ninety percent of the actual screen that your audience is looking at and your some you're in a tiny little box in the bottom right or top right corner, and that's a that's a difficult thing to deal with. That's a really good one. So you're talking a little bit about physical environment, so let's let's stay on that for a second, because physical versus digital environment very different. I think for me, if you've if you've done your homework and set up the physical environment properly when you're presenting in real life, it's sort of just works. I don't need to monitor the door, I don't need to monitor a chat que. I don't need to like help someone else out with their audio or unmute them. If they want to talk, they just talk. And I find myself, when I'm even when I met my best doing this digitally, I still find myself doing a bunch of other things. People are coming in late and I've got to let them in. Someone tells me something's not working and someone's trying to talk with her. So I'm presenting and then I'll jump back to administrative and close my full screen, share that I'm presenting and then go back to share it again. I just find it's like almost for the full hour, start stop, start, stop and wearing two different hats. So it's a tunne momentum killer totally and a flow killer. Who knows if you're going to find your way back to the exact right point or forget what you were going to say or where you were at. They it doesn't work as well for the flow of your content or for the momentum of your delivery. Yeah, anything else? Any other reasons why it's not preferable, why it sucks? I think that's a pretty good list. We've been riffing pretty hard on why it sucks. Yeah, and and let me be clear, I think it does suck. There's one last final thing, I guess is Eli and I. One of our core beliefs is that the difference between amazing public speakers and aspiring public speakers is their relationship to nervousness, fear, the psychological constraints that come along with communicating, and those fears are different for everyone. Some people are afraid of large audiences, others are more fraid of intimacy. Some people are more fraid in front of strangers. Others love strangers, but they're really nervous speaking in front of a family and friends. So so the psychological element of public speaking barries from person to person. But I can tell you that my biggest fear is not being good enough. It's not about not getting my content right, it's about well, no one enjoyed that. That wasn't fun. Everyone felt kind of that and I have a really big fear around I cannot create the same type of awesome environment digitally like I can when I'm live in the room controlling the experience, and so, quite frankly, I'm kind of afraid of digital communication. And when you're afraid, the best version of you just doesn't show up. That's...

...just how it works. So my fear of not making this awesome because I feel like it's basically impossible. That impedes my ability to be good. It's really as simple as that. That's a really interesting one. But it's like a there's a physical space, mental there's preparation, there's a bunch of different buckets here. So people sounds like better than phone calls. So maybe this is why right now, with a lot of remote we're going on, people are like, Oh, this is actually good because they're getting more, at least digital facetime. But presentations and teaching, I would say, is not as good digitally as it is in person. How can we make it even a little bit better? Do you guys have any recommendations for how we can take some of the big things that maybe make it suck the most and try to make it a little bit better? I'll start with something really, really simple, and we talked about this a lot in our live communication program to which is your ability to become really, really comfortable not getting the feedback and comfortable in the silences before people start getting involved. So I mean you can picture being in an audience and the presenter says, are there any questions? And then crickets, right, and that moment of crickets because no one's raising their hand is really awkward. Well, now multiply that by a hundred when you're speaking digitally, because the diffusion of responsibility for everyone on their own end hoping that someone else is going to chime in, and because some people write their questions in, let's say, the chat of the of the Google hang out or the zoom meeting or the or whatever it is that you're using. And so you need to become really, really comfortable not getting the feedback and really comfortable taking some time to just wait for it, because it just takes longer. So the more comfortable you can get in silence and waiting a little bit, I think the better off your presentation is going to be, because the contribution that you want to get from your other team members or your students or your audience, they're going to come on the other end of that silence. So you need to be really comfortable waiting for it. So wait even longer than you would for the in person when you're digital. Yeah, you're going to have to, because it takes people a second to get over the diffusion of responsibility, have time to type out their question if that's the way they're going to do it, and so the fact that it's going to take longer means you need to wait longer. You can do some creative things like saying, whenever I ask for questions, I know that it's going to take a little while for you to write your questions in the chat, so I'm going to be silent, I'm going to camp to sixty in my head. We're going to wait for a full minute and see how many questions come in. So you can play with it and set some expectations to make it a little bit less scary to just sit there by at the end of the day. Sometimes you're going to have to just sit there, especially in presentations where you're hoping for discussion or hoping for Queity. Yeah, that's a great one. Give it a little bit better time, I think on that on that discussion piece, in live public speaking, even really large audiences, you can create a feedback loop. You can ask questions to the audience and you can get them to respond and you can create dialog. Eric and I were at a conference in the states one time and we were giving a presentation to an audience about three hundred people and we ended up having a conversation about Sushi, just calling on random people in the crowd talking about their favorite things to eat when they go for Sushi, and it's sort of it's just fun. It was playful and that's available to you. I think when you're trying to create a bit of a feedback loop or get some form of discussion, it needs to be a bit more preplanned when you're doing it in a remote presentation. So maybe you actually have a slide where you put up a question for multiple choice answers and you say, I'm I'm going to share the question here and I want to know which of these answers you think is right, and on the next screen we're going to share what the right answer is. There are some tools, I believe, that you can do to actually create a real interaction where people can submit their answers and you can see what percentage of people the point is the feedback needs to be a little bit more planned and a little bit less ad hoc. It's not to say you can't, like Eric said, if you're going to do Ad Hawk pose your question, set the...

...expectation that you're going to sit in silence for a little bit to welcome those questions in them time to come in. But in the scenario where you want to really optimize the discussion with a group of people at scale digitally thinking, he's be a bit more preplanned and a bit more structured. Yeah, it's good. That's good. They agree one. There's one more thing that came to mind for me. Eric. You were talking about how, when you're communicating virtually, it seems like you're both the presenter and the administrator, and that's no fun because it ruins your flow, both in your content and in your momentum of your delivery. So if you have the luxury of you know, if you're a teacher, put one of the students in charge of the Admin, you know, give them a been rights. Make sure they're the ones taking the questions, they're the one getting people back into the virtual room if they got kicked out because of poor internet or whatever. Make sure that they're the ones reading all the questions that have accumulated in the chat to you. So, if you can, or if you're on a team and you're not teaching, assigned someone else on your team you know, I'm going to be the presenter, but I hope you can help facilitate the adminner or getting all the questions in from the chat or whatever it might be. If someone else can take those ad ment asks off your plate, you might feel a little bit more free and you might get interrupted a little bit less because you can only focus on the message that you're trying to to convey. It's a good idea almost having the person that's doing the content, almost have them just show like they just have to show up and deliver. You know, like the environment is such that and you're at you could assign this to a student as part of contribution. You could say, like make them the cohost and they make sure that people can get in that you can call me if you can't leave. Know you be the one that tells me that you can't hear me. If you can't hear me, you can always just assign a lot of those admin duties to somebody else. That's a great idea. That's a good one. I think that's a good idea in live presentations to for when eventually people are able to do them. Eric and I will always co present and sometimes you don't have the luxury of doing this, but if you can, one of us is always sitting at the back of the other person is presenting and if for some reason the slides go down to the text stops working, the non speaker goes up to fix while the speaker continues. It's a similar thing live as it would be digitally. I think it's even more important digitally, though, because there's a lot more tasks that are that need to be handled. Another this is a very little tactic, but most people are probably listening to this auditorially and so they can't see this visual but for both of you, when I stare into my camera Lens Right now, I'm speaking to you very differently than when I'm looking at your videos, and that change. I'm now talking to you because I'm looking at my camera versus now I'm looking at your little pictures, and it doesn't feel the same. Right. Yeah, for everyone listening, it makes it that does feels feel a really different. Actually, yeah, really. Yeah. And so so, I mean Eric mentioned, fear is a big, a big inhibitor of showing up and being effective in your communication. A lot of people are afraid of not looking at the people on the other end of the camera. But if you focus on your communication, is about how they are able to receive your ideas and look at the camera when you're communicating them, and there's a higher likelihood that they're going to receive your ideas more meaningfully, stay more engaged, not check out and check Amazon because you're speaking to them, but you lose being able to see their reactions a little bit. We've already talked about the fact that digital communication has a weaker feedback loop, so you might need to accept that and swallow that pill a little bit and then focus on some direct eye contact. That's good. That's really powerful. I don't know that anybody's ever looked into looked into my eyes like that on a Webcam, so I like that. Something that is worked for me and maybe this doesn't work when you maybe it does. I'll ask your opinion on it afterwards. I actually am not a big cold caller in my classes, but I am when I was when I was doing these virtually this week. So I prepped in advance. There was a little mini assignment do. I went through them before the class and I specifically wrote down some people that I wanted to call on for individual parts. Probably ended up calling on maybe eight people in a one and a...

Onehour class, but I started doing it early and I think because they knew that they had the like there was a chance they were going to get called on what I called on everybody. They were on it. They had great answers and there was nobody that was if they were doing something else. They did a good job of hiding it because they were really quickly able to on mute and give me an answer and didn't have to reask what the question was. They were really on it. Cool. Yeah, I think that that one is something that it definitely would work. People will be less distracted, which was one of the reasons that that virtual communication sucks. Right. People will be less distracted if they know that they could be cold called at any moment. The problem with it, I think, is there's a bit of a stigma for teachers or presenters or facilitators or leaders who cold call on the people in their audience, the audience members. Kind of thing. I you're just trying to bust me for not paying attention or you're just trying to be a bit of an ass, trying to catch me. You know when I'm when I'm not on my toes and when I'm not thinking right. So one of the things that I'd probably recommend doing if you are going to cold call, which I do think is really important when you're presenting virtually, is let your audience know that you know that's not me. I'm not trying to catch you off guard. What I'm trying to do is I'm trying to make the best of this really limiting environment. So I hope you'll bear with me. Until we can be live again in person. I'M gonna have to use cold calling. Is something that's going to keep us all engaged all together for the hour that we have together today, so that they don't think you're doing it for for the wrong reasons. But as long as you cover something like that, man, that'll make everyone pay attention so much better. He has ever given a presentation in one of your sessions sitting down the whole time? Yes, actually, once I really had to do that, but we both had to do that. We both been forced into that because of physical ailments. I broke my toe and we happen to have to be out of town the very next day and so we ended up driving. I didn't even have a chance to go to the hospital that night and the very next morning we had to deliver our presentation, and so I just sat down the whole time because I couldn't really lock and it was interesting. There was a couple moments where I I like endured the pain and stood up and took two or three steps just because I felt like I needed to switch it up a little bit. I mean, granted, we're speaking for a long time, our workshops are lengthy, but it certainly felt different for me as the speaker. I believe it probably felt a little bit different to the audience, but it was definitely manageable. A similar thing happened to me. I threw out my neck one day and so not only did that to sit the whole time, but I couldn't even turn. You picked like zoolander how he can't turn left like for one day. I was not an Amby Turner. I couldn't move anything, but but I still stuck with it and decided to do the presentation. The interesting thing that happened though, at the end for both Eli and I, when Eli broke his toe when I throw out my neck, was I came up to Eli the end of my presentation when I had to sit down and not move around the room and I said, man, that was so much worse. I really suck today. And Eli said, what the Hell were you talking about? That was still great. And the same thing happened with him. He came up to me afterward and he said, I wish I could have been walking around the room. I could tell they were just so much less engaged. And I said that's totally made up in your head. You were equally good sitting down. And that's back to the psychological element. Is You're going to have to be okay not knowing what your audience thought, beating yourself up about how it went, because often those those those critiques that you have of yourself, they're more delusion than anything else. So I mean, obviously I do agree that if it was binary, presenters that walk around the room are better than ones that stands still the whole time or that sit down the whole time. But you can still being awesome in spite of that, as long as they have the right mindset. Yeah, that's good point. So it's something that you guys talk about. It is variance, right. If you and I find that in person, I will roam up and down the aisles. I'll get really close to somebody and get quiet, I'll get far away and get loud, and you can, like, you can...

...vary a lot more. And maybe this is just my own psychological limitation, but I limit myself more for sure. When I'm doing digital I try to bring I'm like, okay, I really got to get fired up, I got to be louder than I'd normally be, loud and have to be quired and softer than I you almost have to like do it more extremely yeah, but physically I find it hard. You know, we're used to, I guess, I think, used to doing these podcast interview styles. Typically do them sitting down, but when I'm presenting I want to use the space, I want to move around, and when I you could, you could feel it. I think you could hear people in their energy when they start to like sit back and relax and lean over a little bit when they're presenting. So I think there's probably a smaller box that you stay within, but still using this, using the variance, has to be a part of it, I think. Yeah, I mean this just sort of came to me right now, but maybe the best thing you can do. It's not necessarily that sitting down is bad. It's that you are bringing a different type of energy when you are sitting down. But I mean I think of one of my friends. His name is Jesse. He's on are sometimes it's sports that he's on the desk. I've never seen him stand up on TV, but he's awesome. Think about the energy that Steven a Smith brings when he's ranting about basketball sitting down right. So it's so it's less about sitting sucks and more about you better just bring the energy, pretend, pretend you're sports reporter for the afternoon and bring that type of energy when you're sitting down, when you're making your next virtual presentation. Yeah, I mean I just decided to stand up and and move around a little bit and I do feel a little bit different. Yeah, it's totally feels different. I'm now standing right now and I feel like there's there's a little bit of a kick of energy and me. So I think there's something to be said for I'm further away from the camera right now. So even if I were looking at the Lens, at the actual camera, I don't know how the eye contact is. I don't know how the facial expressions come across with the video, but I think whether or not it adds value to the audience from a visual perspective of me standing out, of me further away from the camera, if it adds value to me as a speaker and I feel good walking around the room, then tap into that a little bit. But just make sure that you're also including the sitting down looking at the camera, because there's a lot of emotion and it and meaning that's conveyed to facial expressions and that's one of the things that's important about digital communication is being able to see a person's face and actually getting to engage with their expressions. So I think feel free to walk around as certainly that energizes you. Just make sure that you also bring in the variation to the sitting, which is a core part of this, and levers of facial expression and sort of small, more minutia of variation. Cool. Feel like I've got a better playlist or hit list for next time I do digital lecture style. One last thing that I want to finish with. Is there anything you think would you guys present to a ton of different audiences all over the place, different walks of life, different titles and rules. What makes a really good audience member like? What can people do to be a really good audience member in person, and is there any lessons from that that you can in order to be a really good audience members digitally? There's two things that come to mind for me. The first is try to hold yourself accountable to not being distracted. I think it's it's basically an impossible task. Your notification is going to pop up that you just got a new text message and and you're going to get you know, you're going to get remind at our crap. I really need to buy those concert tickets because they want on sale at ten o'clock, but the presentations going on, things are going to pop up up. So be forgiving with yourself, but also be a little bit hard on yourself and try to stay engaged. Gage in an audience virtually is so hard, so try to eliminate the distractions. And then the second thing, and this applies to audiences both in person and even more so virtually, is give the presenter a break and when they ask for involvement or discussion, try not to fall for that diffusion of responsibility by something into the chat, ask...

...a question live make an objection or even be hard on the presenter and and put the holes and what they're saying. The Brig Ender is dying for the feedback and the involvement. So, whether it's positive, negative or just curiosity, make it happen and try to get it a little bit more interactive and I think everyone will be better off for it. That's great. Yeah, I think one of the thing is in a live audience there's every so often that one person in the audience who's sitting on the edge of their seat, smiling ear to ear, nodding like crazy when everything just to say that they're with you. They're laughing at a joke even if it's completely missing any humor whatsoever. They are just like so there to make the presenter feel good and while if everyone in every audience was like that, then I think the speaker loses a little bit of accuracy and how their audience is receiving their communication. So I'm not suggesting that every single person go and smile ear to ear and not your head up and down incessantly and laugh at every single UN funny joke, but when it's a digital conversation you can't get a sense that the speaker might not have a clear understanding of whether they're not people are internalizing ideas. Throw a couple extra head nods in there, toss a little pity laugh once or twice, give a nice little grain or even a full smile, and I think you're probably going to install a little bit more comfort and confidence in your speaker, which then will culminate in none being able to share their ideas better for you and you get to consider some new nuggets of information to immate into your own existing years. That's great. Anything that's come to mind for you, Eric. I was going to go to typically what I've been an audience, there's really two groups that I notice. There's the groups that are the sources of energy, the ones that are smiling and nodding, and you're like, all right, I've got them, I could say anything and I've got them, and then there's the people that are like distracted and out of it, and usually I'll go to the person that's distracted and out of it and if I can get them on board, then I know I've got everybody else. And I find that challenging when you're doing digital because there's always going to be even if you ask everybody to be on video, there's always going to be somebody who's not, who's just called in or on mute or whatever, or whose camera is conveniently broken. Right. Yeah, I say that's crazy. I can't get it to work. So I think too, to be a good audience member, digitally participate to the fullest extent that you can digitally. So, like be at your desk. You if you can, you know, be on mute to not be annoying, but like have your mouse ready to come off the mute button to contribute to the conversation, use the camera function and to your point, like variance. You, even if I'm on mute and I'm agreeing, I'm nodding my head right now, but like you can't see it if I'm not in digitally up. Yeah, Oh, yeah, for sure, or like thumbs up, you know, like I agree with you. I think you almost have to, as an audience member, go over the top with your reactions. Yeah, I agree. And the other thing where I thought you were going, where, which you didn't really say explicitly, was do what is intended for you to be doing, if this is meant to be consumed on your laptop, because I'm going to be sharing some visual aids and you're meant to have your camera on. Like, don't call in on your cell phone in your car. Make sure you're on the laptop and not seeing the small, crappy version on your on your iphone, because you can't read this slide that way. So try for your presenter to consume it the way it's meant to be consumed. Yeah, yeah, that's good. I think it was helpful for me at least. I'm still a digital presentation rookie. I've done thousands and thousands of conference calls and video calls, mainly for teams, but rarely what I do it as a, you know, twoh our presentation or class discussion. So it's a...

...little bit of a different format for me and I'm still definitely learning. So I got some good tips. I'm excited to do my next few classes and try to use some of the tips that I've gotten. But I appreciate guys, thank you so much for dropping some dropping some knowledge and riffing on the topic of digital communications and how to make it suck less. I appreciate the time. Yeah, it was fun. I mean, Elan, I we intended to say at the beginning that we are live public speaking experts, not virtual public speaking experts. So instead of saying at the beginning here here, we are saying it now. You know, take everything we said with a grain assault because we don't have too much experience doing virtual presentations either. But hopefully you got a nugget or two and it was certainly fun to spit ball and play with the topic and, you know, try to give our two sens on what we do know. That said, the demand right now is higher, for sure, at least in my lifetime, that it's ever been. So if we're all hoping that we return to some semblance of normal city over the next little bit, but it seems like over the next few weeks at least, digital will be the prime means of communications, so we may have to see church over a little bit. Yeah, the context of the global context as force AARIC and I to think about it a little bit, but this conversation has certainly made us think about it even more. So that's awesome. Thanks for that cool. Thank you, guys. Appreciate your time. Take it easy. Thanks for having us. You've been listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast to ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit IV dot Ca, a forward slash entrepreneurship. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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