EPISODE 92 | Guest: Jennifer King, performance coach with Stand & Deliver
Communication is about language. Words matter, but so does the intention behind those words, the feeling or action you want them to inspire, and the way you deliver them. This is true in any context, whether it’s digital signage messaging, email, Zoom meetings, one-on-one conversations or presentations to thousands.
In this episode, which marks our third anniversary, Jennifer King, theater veteran and performance coach, walks us through some tips for how to make your communications more impactful and inclusive:
- Understand how intention shapes your language skills
- Learn how to flip your mindset from yourself to your audience
- Appreciate the power of the pause
- Hear how to get to the point and ensure people will remember it
- Explore tips for writing, speaking, videoconferencing and Q&A
Stand & Deliver is a consulting and training firm that primes organizations for high-performance communication and leadership.
Derek DeWitt: At its heart, communications is obviously about language. And as T.S. Eliot said, “I gotta use words when I talk to you.” What we say and how we say things is crucial in an age of almost constant communication. We’re gonna talk about some of the ins and outs of how to use language to effectively communicate in all contexts for all kinds of organizations. To that end, I have with me today, a special guest, Jennifer King, head of theater arts and tenured professor at Napa Valley College, artistic director of Shakespeare Napa Valley, an associate artist at Prague Shakespeare Company, and a performance coach with Stand & Deliver. Hi Jennifer.
Jennifer King: Hello Derek.
Derek DeWitt: How are you?
Jennifer King: I’m doing great. Thank you.
Derek DeWitt: Excellent. And of course, today is also your birthday. Happy birthday!
Jennifer King: Thank you very much. It’s a biggie, but we don’t need to discuss that today.
Derek DeWitt: Shhh. I’d like to thank Jennifer for talking to me today and all of you for listening to this episode of Digital Signage Done Right. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to this podcast, and you can go to the Visix website, Visix/Resources/Podcasts for a full transcript of our conversation with handy links.
So Jennifer… Shakespeare, business coaching, gosh. Language is kind of your whole world.
Jennifer King: Yeah. I love language. Ever since I was probably in middle school, I was drawn to Shakespeare. And I think part of it is that when it’s delivered in a means that inspires it can impact an audience. And the same holds true in any professional business setting. And really any communication you have with anyone.
Derek DeWitt: I mean, when we were in high school together, we were in the theater program. Obviously, that’s the nut of that, the genesis of that. But then you got into this Stand & Deliver company. What is that all about? Is that using acting techniques or what is that?
Jennifer King: Well, it’s a combination of… Our CEO, Peter Meyers is a brilliant man with a theater background, is an actor, director. And like so many of us, found that the power of intention, what are you intending? And in acting we say, what is your motivation? Well, the same holds true in all contexts.
So, during the pandemic all acting and directing work dried up. And I thought, huh, I always wanted to work with, you know, business folks. I had mentioned middle school, and I remember my father walking down the hall and saying, I really think you should take drama because it would help with your presentation skills. He didn’t know that it would become my career and it was much to his chagrin that it evolved into that.
Derek DeWitt: Thanks dad!
Jennifer King: But now I’m going back to what he really intended for me. And what we find is that if you’re very intentional about what you’re saying, why you’re saying it, what you’re trying to do, you can really impact another human being, an audience of one, or an audience of 500 to thousands if not millions.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. I know actors talk a lot, actors and directors talk a lot about, intention behind the thing. Why are you saying the line, not just because it’s written on the page? But I mean, how does that really translate? I mean, is it that because you’re so focused on what you’re trying to accomplish in the long run that you automatically make subconscious choices and decisions to sort of finetune everything. I mean, it’s not telepathy after all.
Jennifer King: Oh, it’s absolutely not telepathy. And if you start thinking telepathically, you completely focus on yourself and in your own brain and your own heart. This work is really about the other person. I wanna see their eyes light up! Wanting someone’s eyes to light up by what I say is going to create a different way that I speak those lines than if I was just like, I want them to know this information.
Derek DeWitt: Well, that’s the thing you get, I think, a lot with business communications, especially internal communications. Like, well, we told them. We informed them. We don’t understand why they’re not signing up for the 401k or coming to these optional meetings or training sessions. What the heck?
Jennifer King: And also, one of the dangers of that is that we is really underneath it all is I. I told them that. I gave them this. I did this, I did that. What would happen if we really focused on your audience? What is it that they want? What is it they need to know? What is it they need to feel? And that’s gonna completely change the quality of the conversation and the connection. And dare I say, create a relationship. And, as we know more and more, it is essential that we build those lasting relationships for lasting business.
Derek DeWitt: Mm. We were talking a little while ago, and you mentioned what you like to call the aria.
Jennifer King: Yes. I will do one for you, Derek.
Derek DeWitt: Oh, excellent.
Jennifer King: Okay. Hey, Derek, I had the best day when I was walking here. I first got a cup of coffee. And then I was listening to a soundtrack that I might put into a show. And then I realized that I was in your neighborhood, and I was gonna talk to you about the podcast. And I was thinking of all the great things I was gonna do. I thought I would talk about delivery. I thought I would talk about content. I, I, I, I, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. That is the power of the aria. And as you hear, it is, I, I, I, I, I.
Derek DeWitt: Right. There’s no me in you.
Jennifer King: There is no me. So what if I, when I talk to you, Derek, I might open the conversation with, I imagine you’re wondering what the heck we might talk about today.
Derek DeWitt: Ah, put it back to the other person.
Jennifer King: Yeah. I can imagine that, you know, we haven’t seen each other in a very long time and there’s been some significant things that have happened in both our lives. And what would be of best service to you as we work on this project together?
Derek DeWitt: Mm-hmm. It reminds me of a line in a Milan Kundera book called The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. A woman’s going through a bad breakup. She goes to the zoo and an ostrich runs up to her. And she becomes depressed because she doesn’t speak ostrich. And if only, if only the ostrich could understand here, perhaps she could get some insight. And then much later in the book, the narrator goes back to the ostrich and says, remember that ostrich? When it ran up, it just wanted to talk about itself because all living creatures just want to talk about themselves.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. And what might be helpful is if we thought about how can we be of service to the listener? What is really at the heart of what needs to happen in this connection for us to move forward together? And the keyword is together.
Derek DeWitt: I mean, it seems to me it’s a bit of a mindset change. I feel like – but this is just because this is what you read – but I feel like millennials and Gen Zers are already kind of thinking like this more than us Gen Xers and certainly more than the boomers. And it’s us and the boomers that are still mainly in those management positions. It seems almost like it’s a mindset change. Like how do I train myself to think like this? Like while you were talking a moment ago, you actually adjusted your language because you realized what you were doing. But that requires a certain amount of self-awareness. What’s the real key there? Is it just focus entirely on the intention?
Jennifer King: Well, I think there’s two things. It’s number one, I think it has everything to do with mindset. And oftentimes we all come into conversations with our own personal history. Some might call it baggage and we might be loaded down with that. So, a completely innocent conversation or a comment that someone is making can suddenly turn into World War III if your baggage takes over, if you’re quote triggered. And it’s at those moments where you feel that emotion in yourself bubbling up is your first cue to, oh, wait a minute, there’s something going on in this, in my orbit. There’s something happening with me. I’m having a reaction. And how can you move from reactivity to responsiveness? And I call that the power of the pause.
Derek DeWitt: Ah, so how does, how does that work? Is that like a technique?
Jennifer King: It literally is just taking a moment and allowing yourself to not be reactive. And sometimes at those moments, it is helpful to simply ask some questions. So Derek, let’s talk about something that you might feel conflict, you’re mad at me about something. Come at me.
Derek DeWitt: Right. I can’t believe that you said that in front of those people.
Jennifer King: All right. A defended person might say, I said that because it’s what I believe. And I think it’s absolutely right. If I took the pause and my blood pressure was still elevated, I might ask, what did you hear me say, Derek?
Derek DeWitt: Uh huh. But doesn’t that sound a little bit like avoidance?
Jennifer King: If I don’t address what you said. What I might need is some more information. And by asking you that question, I get to buy some time to calm down and also to stay curious about why you are upset. And the bottom line is if I want to continue to have a relationship with you, I can’t operate from that own, my own reactivity. I have to be able to truly listen to you. And if I’m in a reactive place, I may not be able to do that.
Derek DeWitt: I’m also struck by what you said about people being triggered. And this seems to be a term that is coming up much more often, even in professional and business and organizational communications and context. It seems to me; it is a lot about that context. I know that there’s a lot of talk these days about the young generation, Gen Z, the zoomers, where they have certain social concerns. And every interaction almost seems like it’s, you know, people say it’s a, it’s like walking through a minefield because they’re not contextualizing. Look, that’s all well and good, but you know, the environmental concerns are not what we’re talking about right now. We’re talking about how to organize meetings in the future.
Jennifer King: And this is big. We have been through a significant trauma over the last two years with COVID. And I think that we’re going to see that more and more of this kind of conversation, where you’re gonna see this level of reactivity. And I think that we are just discovering how we can have conversations where we can move forward and still feel like that person is being heard. And yet we can still move on to the task at hand. Because one of the things you and I have talked about in the past, Derek, is how these conversations can just suck up time. We can get into a spin cycle. And I think at those moments, as you hear someone spinning, to try and see what is really under their point. So, if you’re in the spin cycle, I can say, hey, Derek, am I getting that you’re really upset about the fact that I mentioned that you were late? Yeah. I am really upset about that. Okay. So, can we work together to see how we can remedy that situation?
Derek DeWitt: Right. ‘Cause the old 20th century mindset is don’t be late.
Jennifer King: Yes.
Derek DeWitt: And the reason for that is because I’m your boss and I told you.
Jennifer King: And that doesn’t fly anymore. I mean, it can, I’m sure in some contexts. But again, at those moments where… You know, I’m a Gen Xer, and I loved operating from the place of, because you’re late and because it’s your job and you’re gonna be fired. But these days we can’t afford to do that. So how do I stop from what felt really easy in the past to doing a new practice, which is more time consuming, but in the process might deepen a relationship and actually promote better performance.
Derek DeWitt: And I would argue it’s maybe not more time consuming if you take a long view. Yes. At the moment it might be instead of a three-minute meeting, it might be a six-minute meeting, but you’re gonna have fewer meetings in the future.
Jennifer King: And you may have kept that employee from resigning, which is gonna attribute to more costs more time in trying to find someone who can fit that skillset, particularly in this employment environment.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, for sure. The time of the big quit. So that’s all sort of one-on-one or small communications, especially verbal communications. But the fact of the matter is, most organizations, especially larger ones, they’re communicating, using a lot of, let’s be honest, digital communication techniques: email, digital signage, Teams, Slack. Like there are all of these, these different channels that are being used. How do you apply these things to a wider context?
Jennifer King: Well, I think that the heart of it is what is your point? You know, what is it that you’re trying to say? And Derek, I think that you had a really great point the other day that you were saying about digital signage. What was it?
Derek DeWitt: Oh, it’s what Sean Matthews, the CEO says. He says digital signage at its heart is about changing human behavior.
Jennifer King: Okay. So if… We were talking about mindset. If you had that near you all the time. If that was on your digital signage, at your desktop, if it was on your coffee mug, or if it’s in your brain, that is going to feed into every single choice you make. So, what if you thought about what is your point with every interaction you have, whether it’s with 500 or one-on-one. When they leave that meeting, what is it they are going to remember most?
Derek DeWitt: Right. Or read the email or whatever. Right.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. So, you know, you know that great song, All You Need Is Love.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah.
Jennifer King: I said, are those the only lyrics in the entire song?
Derek DeWitt: Right. And we had to think about it.
Jennifer King: Yeah. But that is the refrain you remember. So, what is the refrain you want the other person to remember? So, when they leave the meeting, they say, Derek, you know, what was that meeting about? Well, all you need is love. Okay. I can digest that.
Derek DeWitt: There, there was a bunch of other stuff, but that was the nut.
Jennifer King: But the bottom line is… Oh, and if you are really true to your point, then that is going to activate your team to do what you want. Is your point clarifying or is it creating more confusion? And the other thing, which is so great about what you, the CEO said, is that’s a transformational outcome. We deal in transactional all the time.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. That’s true.
Jennifer King: Derek, I want you to be early. What can we do to make that easier? What needed, adjustment needs to be made? All right? And that’s a transaction, you’re going to do that. Then, well, why is that important, Derek, that you come here on time?
Derek DeWitt: Well, that’s what I was gonna say. As an employee, which is why I now work for myself because I can’t seem to hold onto a job, because I say things like, why is it so important that I be on time? What does it matter?
Jennifer King: So really your transformational outcome, I’m gonna say, is for yourself. But something you made aware is, I want enough time to be able to fully access, I call it gifts – that’s a little woo woo, but I’m from California – to access and apply my gifts to the world. And being in this other environment where I’m held to certain values or principles or rules, isn’t really going to serve my personal mission. And the way you would flip that is, well then how is my mission serving the world? And that’s a great way to check in. Is it really about me or is it really about sharing what I know and can do with a larger constituency?
Derek DeWitt: So how does that translate into say emails or digital signage messages? How do we impregnate those nonverbal non-face to face communication techniques and methods with intention and with, uh, listening? How do you do that?
Jennifer King: Well, I think one of the things that’s so great about digital signage is right there. You’ve got the whole coffee cup metaphor, a point. Uh, digital signage is about creating a really clear point that inspires people to take action, whatever that can be. And so that is why, you know, I would say that this work is so important is what are you trying to do through that signage? What are you trying to activate? The same with email though. Email is so tricky.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. Yeah.
Jennifer King: And also, when you start an email, are you starting it with, hi, I want you to do this. Or are you even in that email, allowing it to be curious or allowing it about to be the other person, even if it’s for one sentence. Hey, I recognize you might have a lot of work right now. You know, even, even the question of hope you’re, or the comment, I hope you’re doing well.
Derek DeWitt: Mm-hmm.
Jennifer King: You know, or I understand that you just were promoted. That is awesome. And then going into, in the nice brief statement, I’m looking for this.
Derek DeWitt: Right. Or this needs to happen.
Jennifer King: This needs to happen. And just like you, like, I’m sure that, you know, whenever you’re working on content, you might have another eye on it. And email, I think that’s more important than ever is to get a second set of eyes on that email. We do a lot around practice at Stand & Deliver. That really is about practicing your message, honing your message with a group of people and getting peer feedback. And so, the same holds true with email. Think about a practice session. I’ve written this draft, Hey Derek, will you take a look at it? And you can read it as though it’s inflammatory or even you’re not making any sort of point here. So, the power of practice and the power of feedback.
Derek DeWitt: Especially if you’re sending out a mass email to, you know, 300 employees, the audience is a mass.
Jennifer King: Yes.
Derek DeWitt: Why not have a little bit of a small group on the creation side?
Jennifer King: Absolutely. On the intentional side.
Derek DeWitt: Right. Right. So that’s a lot of the, the what behind it. Let’s get into some of the nitty gritty on the how. Specifically, how do we use language to make the, the best impact? And I know best is a subjective term, but you know, the outcome that benefits the most people.
Jennifer King: Well, Derek, one of the things I think you wanna highlight is in terms of delivery. How many times have you listened to someone speak who is just on one note the entire time, and they may have the deepest, most wonderful voice…
Derek DeWitt: So, if you turn to page seven and your reports, you will see…
Jennifer King: And so, in other words, monotone. And a great way to just flip that is adding some vocal variety. How are you changing your pitch? How are you changing the rhythm? How are… And see right away, I took a pause and Derek, you know, Derek could have just been out on Saturn, but because I paused it, drew him in.
Derek DeWitt: Right. Especially when it’s in like a town hall meeting or something, I think the first thought is, did I make a noise? Like I was zoned out, did I make a, like a squeaking noise or something?
Jennifer King: And how often Derek, when there’s a pause, do you wanna fill it if you’re speaking?
Derek DeWitt: Oh, constantly, I’m a chatter box.
Jennifer King: Chatter box. And then what if you’re in a presentation and you suddenly go up? Do you try and fill that with as many words as possible, so no one gets that you have gone up? I would even say that the power of the pause is even more crucial at those moments. Nothing like seeing someone thoughtfully access information. And if you’ve done the proper preparation, that information is there. But embrace that moment of pause. You know, in the theater, you know, we, we, we embrace improv.
Derek DeWitt: Yes.
Jennifer King: And there’s nothing like somebody going up on stage to bring us right back into the present moment. And the same can be said for presentations and other engagements.
Derek DeWitt: However, not everyone who is being forced to give a presentation is a good speaker. I mean, you know, so I think of – I know it’s such a cliche and I apologize to the IT people out there – but the IT people are, are like, hey, you’re the one who knows the most about this so give that presentation. But that IT person is an introvert and isn’t very good at public speaking. It doesn’t mean they’re not good at their job. They’re just not a good speaker.
Jennifer King: Stand & Deliver and myself fundamentally believe that everyone can enhance their power to communicate. We work deeply with the tech industry. We’re based in San Francisco. And everyone has the power of story within them.
Derek DeWitt: Mm that’s true.
Jennifer King: We’ve been doing it ever since we were little kids. Our ancestors have been doing it ever since they were in caves.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. Yeah.
Jennifer King: And I think it’s important to recognize that we can access story. We become such a data-driven society. Is data memorable?
Derek DeWitt: It’s a vague concept.
Jennifer King: It’s a vague concept, but storytelling can lift it and allow that data to become memorable.
Derek DeWitt: To go to the other side of the thing, those of us like me who think we are good speakers, very often maybe we won’t prepare enough because we’re so good at off the cuff. And yet, like word choice and things are important, and you might wanna finetune and hone your presentation or your talk before, or your email or, or your digital signage message before you send it out there.
Jennifer King: Preparation is absolutely key. And answering some specific questions and doing some background and some work and crafting that message, whatever it is, email, one-to-one, presentation, whatever that is. It’s absolutely crucial to do that prep. And practice. Practice, practice, practice. So that before you go into that engagement, you put it away and you’re able to be yourself. So, someone like you, Derek, we wanna see yourself, but if you haven’t practiced, you may go off the rails. Because you may, you may like the sound of your own voice because you know you’re really good at it. But are you so in love with the sound of your own voice that you’re not paying attention to your audience and if things are landing? And one of the things that I think is crucial is concision. Do you really need a hundred words in what can be said in 10?
Derek DeWitt: Right. Whether that’s the right word choice or just, or just boiling it down. You know, like in digital signage, there’s the – well, it’s an old PowerPoint design trick – of the three by five rule: three bullet points of no more than five words each or five bullet points of no more than three words each. Get that message down to the bare minimum.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. What is memorable? What is going to stick? What can be on a digital sign?
Derek DeWitt: Well, you know, I often think of, there’s a character in some of Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op stories about a private investigator for the Pinkerton Agency. One of his colleagues, one of the guys who works for him, has the most succinct way of speaking. He talks as if he were a report. He doesn’t even use full sentences. He just basically goes, noun verb, noun verb, noun verb. Stood outside, 10 minutes, waited, nothing, car, black, like that. He, and he has an outrageously succinct way of speaking.
Jennifer King: Well, and that is wonderful in a theatrical sense. You do that in a meeting, and everyone is going to zone out. Because you, again going to that, it is what is expected. They’re gonna talk like this, like this, like this.
Derek DeWitt: ‘Cause it’s not a story.
Jennifer King: Right? And also, how do you break out of that constant – we’re gonna call that monotone – so that you take someone on a journey with the spoken word.
Derek DeWitt: Mm-hmm. I know we were talking earlier about Pecha Kucha, which is often spelled Pecha Kucha, a presentation technique that comes from two expats living in Japan, which is, call it a PowerPoint presentation. You take your message; you divide it into 20 segments. Each segment is delivered by the person giving the presentation vocally. There is an image projected behind them that reinforces that image, and they get 20 seconds for each segment. So, the whole thing’s only three minutes and 40 seconds. And then the rest of the time is open for discussion Q&A and so on and so forth. It, it’s a very concise way to get across the meat of the sandwich.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. And that does require a person to be able to embrace Q&A, because that is creating a platform for deeper discussion. And are you prepared for that?
Derek DeWitt: And I say in Q&A, too, you’ve now included your audience in the narrative that you’re weaving together.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. And so often people are petrified by Q&A. But Q&A is a huge opportunity to deepen relationship, to continue to hone your point, to expand on things, to add clarity. It’s actually one of those great gifts. But again, because you don’t know what’s gonna happen next and may not have the tools to handle Q&A, it can become a very dear in the headlights situation.
Derek DeWitt: Right. Well, like what do you do if somebody asks you a question and you, you don’t know the answer? ‘Cause I think the impulse is to just kind of bluff it.
Jennifer King: Bluff it. And what does that do if you bluff it?
Derek DeWitt: Well, I mean, a lot of people can see it right through it.
Jennifer King: They can see a lot through it. Right. And so is that gonna…
Derek DeWitt: It invalidates your whole thing.
Jennifer King: Right. You totally lose credibility. You lose trust and you lose, uh, that relationship. There’s nothing wrong with saying I’m gonna get back to you on that. But committing to making sure…
Derek DeWitt: And then actually do it.
Jennifer King: And do it. And you know, what’s great is I’m gonna get back to you in 12 hours or 24, whatever you can do, but really allowing it to have a timestamp. ‘Cause that sends a message that person takes me seriously. Or noticing that someone in a room may have that information and going over, hey, Derek, uh, I believe that you work in this area, can you shed some light?
Derek DeWitt: Right. And then that person may go, why are they picking on me?
Jennifer King: Absolutely. So what you can do then…
Derek DeWitt: So, you have to give them an out and say, it’s okay, we’ll follow up on this later.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. It’s, it’s a dance you do. And again, it speaks to preparation, hey, Derek in Q&A, this may come up. Do you mind if you cover this subject, ’cause I’m not as strong in it?
Derek DeWitt: Right, right. So, I may call on you if this comes up. Be prepared.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. And that speaks to preparation. Do you have some allies in the audience to support you?
Derek DeWitt: Ringers!
Jennifer King: Exactly.
Derek DeWitt: Now with the remote workforce becoming more and more of a thing, or at least a hybrid workforce, we still have meetings, but they are very often on Teams or Zoom or something like that. But these same techniques still apply. I would think that’d even be more important because the little subtle cues of being in a physical space with other homo sapien sapiens, body language and so on, aren’t there.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. And brevity is even more crucial ’cause we just do not have the capacity to have attention on these Zoom meetings, Team meetings. Any, whatever digital platform it is, it’s very, very challenging. And also, when you’re in space with someone in the physical space, like you said, there are so many cues. All we have is the physical posture, the tone of voice and eyes when you are on Zoom, Teams. And in that, are you aware of what your body and your eyes and your voice is doing in order to facilitate a relationship in a digital medium? So, what do I mean by that? Let’s say you have 10 people on the screen. If you’re…
Derek DeWitt: Tiny, tiny boxes.
Jennifer King: Tiny little people, tiny little boxes. I, I know I do this is I’m staring down at those boxes.
Derek DeWitt: Mm-hmm. Even though your camera’s up there.
Jennifer King: Your camera’s up there. And if you do a tricky thing of you put your camera up there, that audience is gonna feel you with them. So, there’s a tricky dance that if you choose to work with Stand & Deliver, you can learn the dance of the virtual platforms in meetings and one-on-ones.
Derek DeWitt: It’s like the old trick for, you know, if you’re an MC or a comic or whatever, you look right over the heads of the audience, and everybody thinks you’re looking directly at them.
Jennifer King: Absolutely. And also, the power of spatial relationship that when you move to someone, if they’re completely distracted – I mean, this comes from my time of being a professor – just move in their direction and they’ll stop.
Derek DeWitt: That’s, that’s true. You go, um, I believe it turned towards me.
Jennifer King: Yeah. We can really own the room. and I, I don’t even like that term, but we can fully possess ourselves within the room so that people wanna let us in. I mean, we are in meeting, after meeting, after meeting on virtual platforms. We are often checking our phones. How many of you in your audience try and do those emails while you’re in a meeting?
Derek DeWitt: Oh, everybody does that.
Jennifer King: Everybody does that. And everybody knows that you’re working on your emails, so can you actually…
Derek DeWitt: Or, or Wordle.
Jennifer King: Or Wordle. And, and that’s telling. So, what do you need to do to keep yourself in the room even though it’d be so easy to cheat and move somewhere else? Because again, your credibility is on the line at all times. And that also speaks to length of meeting. Does the meeting need to be an hour, or can things be done in 10 minutes? I mean, that’s up to leadership. But how can you contribute to a functioning virtual work and engagement space?
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, that’s true. Well, you know, I’ve always thought that, this is what we say with the digital signage medium, that it’s better to communicate in shorter bursts more frequently than to, well, we have a meeting once a month, which is three hours and it’s just a, it’s an attention killer. It’s a time killer. Nobody wants to do it. Whereas if you’ve got 15 things you want to say in that meeting, you can reinforce it ahead of time and afterwards with, for example, messages on the digital signs. And you actually shorten that meeting. And it’s better to have a meeting once a week instead of once a month and make it 15 minutes instead of hours.
Jennifer King: What I’m hearing you say is creating meaning. Stories create meaning. Your point is all about clarifying meaning. And that is what digital signage does. And you can apply those principles to every meeting you have.
Derek DeWitt: Mm-hmm. And repetition makes it true. We all know that.
Jennifer King: Repetition. It’s a refrain. All you need is love.
Derek DeWitt: All you need is love. All you need is to leverage language in a way that builds relationship and maintains relationships, and creates narrative and story so that things land and that they stick in your audience’s minds. Whether that’s one on one, a meeting in the same room, a meeting on Zoom or emails, or even digital signage. Super interesting stuff. Uh, I could talk about language and communications all day long, but I know you’re busy. So, I’m going to thank my guest, Jennifer King, head of theater arts and a tenured professor at Napa Valley College, artistic director of Shakespeare Napa Valley, associate artist at Prague Shakespeare Company and performance coach for the company Stand & Deliver – links in the transcript on the Visix website. Thank you so much for talking to me today, Jennifer. I wish I was a mid-level manager or CEO, and I could take a Stand & Deliver course
Jennifer King: Well, everyone can, whether you’re mid-level or entry or in the C-suite. Derek it’s been a real pleasure.
Derek DeWitt: Oh, thank you very much. And thank you once again everybody for listening to this episode of Digital Signage Done Right.