From Emergency Mode to Strategic: How to Succeed and Lead in a Video-Centric World

Oct 19, 2021 11:00 am12:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Virtual meetings are just an example of the way the pandemic has changed the way people work. Unfortunately, many people are finding themselves spending multiple hours per day on video calls. Are you or your employees suffering from call fatigue?

Everybody likes to work and live in their preferred location, but that usually means regularly attending virtual meetings. How many meetings per day is too many? What are the best practices for making a great impression on a video call? Do we need to use the camera?

In this virtual event, Bruce Dunfee welcomes Karin Reed from Speaker Dynamics and Rose Bentley from Qumu for an all-encompassing discussion on professional video calls. They talk about the appropriate number of virtual meetings, how to make the best impression on a video call, alternatives to scheduled meetings, and more. If you or your employees feel like productivity is hampered by call fatigue, you’ll want to tune in!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Rose Bentley discusses why call fatigue has become an issue and what Qumu does to combat it
  • Why Rose implemented “Focus Fridays” — no video calls on Fridays
  • Karin Reed says video calls are not creating call fatigue — it’s a “meeting explosion” that causes the problem
  • The value of replacing meetings with asynchronous video
  • Best practices for speaking on camera during a video call
  • Why it matters how you show up on video for a meeting
  • Mistakes that leaders commonly make on video calls
  • Authenticity is essential when speaking on video calls
  • The ways organizations are evolving in their use of video calls
  • How businesses are starting to incorporate video into sales
  • Sales and deals are more likely to be struck with the webcam on
  • Rose says video calls should be a time to make a human connection — turn the camera on
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Karin Reed

CEO & Chief Confidence Creator, Speaker Dynamics

Karin Reed is CEO and Chief Confidence Creator at Speaker Dynamics. Her goal is to help people feel confident sharing their ideas and authentic selves through the camera. She is also an Emmy-award-winning broadcast journalist and an award-winning author of two books.

Rose Bentley

President and CEO at Qumu

Rose is responsible for overseeing global operations and implementing the strategic growth plan for Qumu. Her experience and leadership most recently at Teradata and Cisco have been focused on developing and partnering to deliver technology-driven business solutions and services, optimizing go-to-market performance, providing a seamless customer experience, and driving profitable revenue growth.

Bruce Dunfee

VP Consumer & Retail at BWG Strategy LLC

In his role as a Moderator of BWG Forums Bruce brings a wealth of experience and perspective to our team. Bruce joined BWG from Reebok where he was a Senior Director of Specialty & Fashion Sales and has 20+ years of footwear industry experience having worked at adidas, Puma, and Converse. He brings an unprecedented amount of industry knowledge and a greater focus and level of detail to BWG’s coverage of brands, retail, and eCommerce. Bruce strengthens, enhances and extends BWG’s Consumer & Retail coverage.

Event Moderator

Karin Reed

CEO & Chief Confidence Creator, Speaker Dynamics

Karin Reed is CEO and Chief Confidence Creator at Speaker Dynamics. Her goal is to help people feel confident sharing their ideas and authentic selves through the camera. She is also an Emmy-award-winning broadcast journalist and an award-winning author of two books.

Rose Bentley

President and CEO at Qumu

Rose is responsible for overseeing global operations and implementing the strategic growth plan for Qumu. Her experience and leadership most recently at Teradata and Cisco have been focused on developing and partnering to deliver technology-driven business solutions and services, optimizing go-to-market performance, providing a seamless customer experience, and driving profitable revenue growth.

Bruce Dunfee

VP Consumer & Retail at BWG Strategy LLC

In his role as a Moderator of BWG Forums Bruce brings a wealth of experience and perspective to our team. Bruce joined BWG from Reebok where he was a Senior Director of Specialty & Fashion Sales and has 20+ years of footwear industry experience having worked at adidas, Puma, and Converse. He brings an unprecedented amount of industry knowledge and a greater focus and level of detail to BWG’s coverage of brands, retail, and eCommerce. Bruce strengthens, enhances and extends BWG’s Consumer & Retail coverage.

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Discussion Transcription

Bruce Dunfee 0:18

Good afternoon everyone. My name is Bruce Dunfee. I'm the Vice President of retail and consumer here at BWG. We're a community of networking and knowledge sharing, we stay on top of latest trends strategies in e commerce, media tech space. And when the same topic comes up repeatedly, we tend to lean in and host events like we're doing today. One objective is to bring like minded peers together to share perspectives, pivots, pain points, and success stories. So we're looking forward to the conversation today. Before we get started, just a couple quick housekeeping items will be courteous everyone's time and calendar, make sure we end a few minutes before the end time of noon Eastern. We certainly want this to be interactive and engaging. So we we ask that to please do not hesitate drop questions in emails directly or simply drop them in the chat. That being said, let's jump into it. I'm posting 15 to 20 calls weekly with brands retailers in multiple sectors. And it's not a surprise that with the continued pause, and unknowns around the return to the office, and what a hybrid model will look like. To start ensuring there's more of a hyper-focus made on the elevation of video engagement is top of mind across many ecosystems for executives, regardless of their of their sectors. So we asked our great friends and partners from the network over at Qumu, they can jump on the line today and shed some light on this subject on what solutions are out there to take video engagement to the next level. I would like to thank Rose Bentley, COO of Qumu and Karin Reed, CEO at Speaker Dynamics for making the time to join us today. I want to hand it over to you both now for a brief intro on yourselves and Qumu before getting into the conversation today. So Rose when I kick it over to you and you can get started here. And thank you both for making the time to do this today.

Rose Bentley 2:06

Yes, thank you, Bruce. Happy to be here looking forward to having some really important discussions that are affecting us all specifically around video and fatigue and some strategies that we're seeing with our customers with our partners to just be better and give our teams the opportunity to collaborate and live in this new world that's never going away. We have to embrace the hybrid model. So your Qumu we, as Bruce said, we really help understand what takes beyond the video. Right? So we have a video a synchronous communication, even an asynchronous communication. How do you take that beyond the video and deliver engagement analytics and insight into what is happening with that video and how well your message is being received. So excited to be here, Bruce?

Bruce Dunfee 2:50

Awesome. Karin, how about you?

Karin Reed 2:51

Hi, thanks so much, Bruce. So I am also really delighted to be on this panel discussion with you Rose, and then Bruce. And so my organization is bigger dynamics. We are a communications training firm. Our specialty is in video communication. So I've been teaching people how to be better on camera communicators for a decade, primarily that was the executive leadership team. Then the pandemic hit. And suddenly we went from training the ELT to training the entire enterprise because everybody needed to know how to be effective video communicators. So since that time, written several books, Suddenly Virtual, how to make remote meetings work came out in March, and there's a new one coming out next year called suddenly hybrid, managing the modern meeting. So it's taking two areas of expertise, my co authors, a meeting scientist, I'm a video communication expert. And both of those are really essential to be able to leverage video in the way that it works best across the corporate landscape.

Bruce Dunfee 3:51

Awesome, thank you for that. And a reminder to everyone on the call our friends at Qumu were kind enough to be sending out we will be sending out posters call a copy of Karin's book that she just mentioned, Suddenly Virtual making remote meetings work. So our team will follow up with everyone on the call today, who's listening in and participating virtually, to make sure we have your correct address, etc, to send those copies out. So thank you Rose and the kuhmo team for doing that. So maybe we'll get started. And Rose, I'll start with you. You just mentioned kind of in your at the top there when you introduce yourself just this idea of video fatigue. So what about video call fatigue became a real issue and continues to be what are some of the adjustments that are being made out there to combat that in your opinion?

Rose Bentley 4:41

Yeah, I think I think probably the number one is the one thing we can control, which is our calendar. We just have to recognize that meetings have exploded, people are taking meetings on all ends of their calendar and we now need to reset that and I think put some better best practices around how we engage in meetings. Some of we're doing is we're put some policies in place like, we actually want to make sure that we never have a 60 minute meeting again, I even heard you burst your intro to give time back even towards the end so that people feel like they're not just rushing from meeting to meeting. We also I don't know, our listeners or audience knows this, but you can actually go into Outlook and change your meeting settings, so that your default meeting settings are 20 and 40 minutes, so that you will never even when you just go to schedule them, because we all have the habit of scheduling a 30 minute or 60 minute meeting, it gives you the opportunity to just shorten that meeting and give time back. This is a big change. For us. It's we're working on it, no one's perfect. But even if you could just start by running a 60 minute go 45. And just see how it goes. I think this has really been allowing us to get time back into a calendar and giving time back to allow people to innovate and focused. Also, on the thought of focus, we have focused Fridays. So we've now there's no meetings a lot of Fridays. So we have a structured four day workweek, where Fridays are focused days, where we don't schedule during me internal meetings, of course, five meetings come up now and then. But our goal is to give the team again, the ability and the time back to focus and to get the work they need to get done.

Karin Reed 6:11

And there's definitely been a recalibration of video use what I saw is initially when the world when suddenly virtual, everybody wanted to have some way of replacing that face to face interaction that was suddenly off limits. And so they went to all video meetings. And then we expanded the number of meetings and we expanded the length of those meetings. So people ended up in these video calls for eight hours straight, which is exhausting on many different levels. But it's not necessarily videos fault, it's more of the meeting explosion problem that really created all of that video call fatigue. So what I've seen now is this kind of change and how people are using video in a synchronous way. And a lot of times they're moving to asynchronous video, where they're using video, but recording it, and then sending out information both before and after a meeting. So say for example, you want to talk about a new initiative, rather than going into a live meeting, people are recording a presentation on what they are going to be discussing. People can watch that before going into the meeting. And then when they get to the meeting, it is time for just dialogue and and to build upon what they saw and to perhaps make decisions related to it. So it's a better use of synchronous video enabled by the use of asynchronous video.

Rose Bentley 7:33

Yeah, sorry, Bruce, that I think the power just to build on that here on the asynchronous video is to really watch it whenever. Yes, right? It's, it's not concert. This is a synchronous conversation you log in this is when you get it. But the ability to just put a recording out there and have them have the flexibility or timezone or around their working or childcare schedule makes all the difference.

Karin Reed 7:53

Yeah, I actually was talking to a CEO who says that he has all of his senior leaders do a quick video update that they then upload on to their channel that they're using on their collaboration platform. And he almost like lines him up like a podcast where he'll just put it, you know, on play and play all of the updates as he's walking. And, and it allows him to get some exercise and also taking the information efficiently and in a flexible way at the end of his day.

Bruce Dunfee 8:24

That's great. I also, you know, my former life in the corporate side I was at my last brand was at Reebok and we were living through this as well. And you you know you mentioned focus Fridays, we also started to shrink the day, and only have meetings tend to for have blocks uncertainties at 12 to one you couldn't do them either. So we were trying to address the fatigue side. But I think the one thing that was always interesting to me because I was always on the sales side of the business was everyone assumed because the sales teams in the field were remote, that they would adapt easier to being virtual, which is true, but at the same time you're taking the core competencies of a sales professional away from them, because if they're good, they're good at engaging in person across the table. It's a completely different skill set to be good over video or also feel maybe fulfilled on the sales side because it's they're a little bit unique is they're usually the frontline and face of the brand. So it's a really, really interesting conversation about Karin, just over to you on the next question, just in terms of how is the use of video across the corporate landscape changed as a result of the pandemic in the last, you know, 1820 months in your opinion. While there's

Karin Reed 9:37

been tremendous adoption of video as a means of communication. Sometimes it's the primary form sometimes it's the only form of communication that is possible. And that's been really interesting to watch from my vantage point because I've been teaching these skills for a long time and when I do effective virtual communication workshops I always begin with the question How often do you turn your webcam on? For years? The answer was Never. Now, I never get never as an answer. It's usually every time or only when I see everyone else doing it. So there is definitely an acknowledgement that video has value, especially when you're in these virtual meetings. But what I do find interesting is there is still a reluctance to some degree of wanting to turn the video on. And there are a variety of reasons why I often talk about how I play into areas that most people hate, which is public speaking, and cameras. And my job is to make people feel comfortable and confident doing it. But there is this still concerned about just, you know, being on video, and a lot of it stems from the fact that people think that they are performing when they're on camera. And that's not the case at all, the camera is the conduit to your conversation partner, and you're in a conversation, you're not entertaining. And so if you can just get that in your head, that this is just the way that you are going to reach the person on the other side, it can take some of that anxiety away, and make you feel less, you know, concerned about how you're coming across, at least, you know, in terms of being like a performer, it's a matter of shifting your mindset. And that can help you to be more effective whenever you're speaking via video.

Rose Bentley 11:15

There's a lot of best practices to I mean, I think simple best practices for the lighting from centering just gives people the confidence to be on video, and to be more authentic and not feel like they're performing. And I think we all got very comfortable, myself included with hearing a dog bark, I remember before, if a dog was brought my dogs or I was you know, panting you know, where's the mute button to make it so that people don't see that or hear that, you know, UPS driver come through, we're now we're coming into this very accustomed that, hey, these are the lives we lead, and we're just now on camera more often, and people are just gonna have to appreciate.

Karin Reed 11:48

And if you don't have the ability to convey your body language, you're missing a huge part of how you communicate a message. So it's not a matter of, you know, being that Performance Base, it's a matter of being able to communicate in full because we communicate not just the words, not just with our tone of voice, we communicate with our whole bodies. And if you don't have your video on that body language is silent. And it makes it really difficult to read the intent of your message. And if you are talking to somebody, and they have their video off, it's really difficult to tell how your message is impacting them. So it makes for just a richer experience for everyone when the video is on. So it's more about effective communication as opposed to, you know, performing.

Bruce Dunfee 12:32

Yeah, it's much more of a to your point active even I would even say, compared to live in person meetings where there's not one person on the call that hasn't been in them, and they look around the room and someone's distracted looking at their cell phone. It's much more active listening and participation when you're on camera, because you know, it's rude to do that in person. But it's even worse to do it when you're here. And I also think the other thing you mentioned in the beginning about people's not hesitation or maybe some trepidation to get on camera. So for us we'd always encounter our global counterparts would actually get offended if we wouldn't get on. Because culturally in Western Europe, they were doing it a lot before the pandemic happened. So there was that adaptability, or just that level of quick acceptance to get to that next level. And Bruce, I

Karin Reed 13:20

think if I could play off of that I actually had a client who was saying that they were kind of called out for not having their video on, they were talking with somebody who they have been engaging with for some time and and finally his his client said to him, Hey, why don't you guys ever turn on your video. And, you know, he said, in the clients that, you know, it felt weird that they never turned their video on. So if you don't embrace video, and in your communication strategies, you can end up looking out of date and behind the times. And I think that that's something to be aware of. Because as we go forward, as Rose mentioned, this isn't going away, this is going to be part of the corporate communication DNA for the foreseeable future.

Bruce Dunfee 14:04

100%. And I think the asynchronous thing, too, is something like, again, always easy to correlate things to your, you know, to my former life in corporate America, but like the reality is, how many meetings of everyone has everyone been to that they couldn't attend, and then they get this crazy long recap, and they're never going to read it. And a lot of work was put into it. But one of these asynchronous videos could literally highlight the three or four bullets and key headlines and just everyone watches it. It's engaging, it's fast. And it's to the point and I think those are the things that people will get more and more used to just adaptability and bringing into the organizations. What about the idea about reluctance on camera? Are you still seeing some organizations that are reluctant to use video Karin or no?

Karin Reed 14:50

I definitely am. And a lot of it is just due to the fact that people feel like it's another thing that they have to kind of curate, which I understand but you It doesn't take much to fix things, I would put it that way. You know, Rosie, you mentioned the idea of having good lighting. There are some simple strategies that you can employ, you know, face a window. Natural light is one of the most effective ways to illuminate your face, even light. If not, grab two lamps and put them on either side of your webcam, so your face is well lit. That is half of the battle, you know, making sure that you're positioned in frame squarely so that you are cutting off body parts, you know, making sure that your audio is crisp and clear. It's not something that has to be you carefully curated to the point where you're in Better Homes and Gardens, your background is clean and uncluttered, you're good. It's just all about making sure that you don't have anything distracting, you know, around you, whether that is poor audio, bad lighting, or a messy background. And that can give people confidence to be able to turn on a video and use it the best effect. So it can require a little bit of training, it can require somebody kind of setting the tone, if leaders are all in on video that sets the standard for the organization. So it's really important that senior leadership, adopted video first orientation.

Rose Bentley 16:18

And we've seen Karin in our customer base an explosion of usage of video, as you can imagine, but also with that explosion, it's now just as we're talking through, not at the top C suite, right, the content creators, the managers are leveraging video all the way down. And so what I think there's some, just some honest understanding that it doesn't have to be highly produced, it just has to be authentic. Yes, false and the best practices. So you have the confidence, but just know we're trying to create human connections, and have communications and deeper engagement across the organization. And that doesn't need you to be this robot and, you know, look perfect, it needs you to be authentic, that actually leads through I've read some of your work through the lens, rather than feeling like you have to be, you know, too polished or performing, as you mentioned, right?

Karin Reed 17:03

Because authenticity is what works on camera perfection should not be the goal. And if you have a lack of authenticity, then that's going to be exaggerated by the camera lens. And one of the mistakes I do see sometimes is that people will understand, okay, I should be looking at the camera when I speak, but they look at the camera, but they look dead inside because then they're not communicating. They're simply staring at the camera lens, you have to pour your your eye contact as well as your energy through that lens. And always keep in mind that there's somebody on the other side receiving your message, and you want to be able to to emote to them and the cameras The only way to do that.

Bruce Dunfee 17:41

Yeah, 100%. So, so why don't we maybe double click into that in terms of just why why does it matter how you quote unquote show up on on video?

Karin Reed 17:51

Well, if you're a leader, you certainly want to make sure that you are projecting the right professional brand, and protect your professional brand and your personal brand. And one of the things that I stress is, it's not a matter of vanity to ensure that you show up looking the best you can on webcam. And when I say best you can, it's not making sure that you're, you know, your hair is perfect or your makeup is perfect or you're wearing a suit and tie, it's a matter of ensuring that people can receive your message as easily as possible. So that's when you're talking about having good lighting on your face. You don't want to have your back to a window because then you'll appear in silhouette, making sure that you have that that professional background making sure that you have crisp audio that can be heard very clearly. And that's something that is often overlooked, because we can't hear how we sound to others. So what I always recommend is that you either record yourself and listen back to it. Or you hop on a call with a trusted colleague who will say, hey, you sound like you're talking from a tin can and you can pick a different audio option that will improve your audio fidelity because research shows that people are more tolerant of poor video quality than they are poor audio quality when you're in a meeting. So it's really important that you have that nice crisp audio.

Bruce Dunfee 19:12

Yeah, for sure. I'm laughing at the lighting comment because you remember, you see some of those. Some of those on camera shots are like the witness protection program shot. So you gotta

Karin Reed 19:24

wonder like, Did you look at yourself on screen before you went into this meeting? Like how did that happen?

Bruce Dunfee 19:31

Yeah, I mean, to everyone's fairness in the beginning of the pandemic, I mean, let's call it the first 6090 days it was such a massive transition that you know, there was there was some good comedy there too, which is fine. Everyone deserves a pass. How about just throw it out to both of you. What would you call that are some of the better practices for leadership to follow effectively in terms of just making sure they're elevating their communication on video?

Rose Bentley 19:59

Yeah, I can Jump in first, I think some of the most important best practices are really respect for the meeting and respect for the lens. I mean, you are truly leading through that lens. And I've never become more clear of that, that your energy comes through that lens. I think that's a strong best practices that people sometimes forget. Because if you're slumped to your back here, you're not really thinking if they're like, you just need to respect that the lens is where that energy is captured. And I think that's a really important thing. And that, you understand that you're showing respect to the audience on the other side by how you deliver that message through the lens. Those are some of my top two. And then the one we've already talked through, which is really just better structure of meetings, like we've come too much into the meeting side. And if you can really focus on how do you structure those meetings better with the right individuals with the right agenda with the right pre read, post read, all of a sudden, you realize that I have on my calendar, I have less meetings and more time to actually engage on the content and be there as a leader for my team?

Karin Reed 20:57

Yeah, absolutely. And n rows, how many times have you seen a leader try to conduct a meeting like this? Like, Where are you looking? Yeah. So a lot of folks have multiple monitors, which makes sense, because it is hard to just focus on a laptop monitor for the entire day. But it is important to recognize that if you want to speak with impact, you do need to engage with the camera lens. And when you're not speaking, by all means, look at the screen, because then you can reap the benefits of reading the body contacted those who who are speaking. So I think that that is really critical. And just ensuring that you are setting the standard by encouraging webcam on whenever you're in a meeting that is right sized for video. And when we talk about right sizing for video, that means you want the right people in the room, you want to have it be shorter and purpose driven. You know, this is a pretty intimate environment. And that allows for some opportunity, you can have some pretty, you know, intimate conversations that can be really effective if you keep it to just a couple of people. So if you follow the advice of my co author, Dr. Allen, he says five to seven people in a video meeting is pretty much tops if you want to have a decision be made at the end. So with that in mind, you know, that's a pretty small group that you can actually have a strong dialogue with. And to that point, proactive facilitation is really critical. Because if you wait for people to just kind of jump in, you'll end up with that kind of stilted and stunted conversation because people don't know when they have the floor. So as a meeting leader on video, it's really important for you to be guiding that conversation proactively.

Bruce Dunfee 22:43

Yeah, I mean, I want to just get up on one of the things you just said there because I think it's it is an issue in general, maybe video or in person. But I think the fact that like Rose mentioned the top that corporate labor was trying to be proactive on adjusting schedules, making sure time is maximized. But what you just said a second ago is one that really is sticking with me with just in terms of actually making a decision and driving efficiencies. And I had not heard that previous about five to seven people max on a call. makes a ton of sense, just again, because I do think that people bounce from meeting to meeting daily, but like at some point, you got to check the box and say this is done. We made a call. And that's an interesting one just on your attendance to take in because I had not heard that previously. I'm going to bounce a question off of you that came in in the chat. Just because it's in line with what we're talking about. It says the lack of meeting discipline is arguably an academic an epidemic in most organizations. Do you feel like the move to virtual camera based meetings has made meetings generally more effective, or just added more layers of inefficiencies

Karin Reed 23:52

rise to may take that and you can add or do you want to start? So I would point to Dr. Allen's assertion that most meetings were bad prior to the pandemic COVID-19 did make them worse by and large, but I think that there is a process of evolution and adjustment being made. You know, Rose mentioned that, you know the the focus Fridays and I've heard of no meeting Mondays and changing the way you're looking at your calendar. So I think there has been adjustments made by some but not by all but it's really critical this meeting best practices which are common sense, but uncommonly practice really become critical in this in this setting because there's less margin for error. You know, it's harder to make up for mistakes. So that means having an agenda starting and ending on time, making sure that you are allotting the proper amount of time to each agenda item. So there's still the epidemic of people trying to fit 10 pounds of content into a five pound bag when it comes to meetings and that's when you feel like you're not getting stuff done. But, yeah, tightening up, the number of people in that meeting helps. It's you don't need spectators in your meeting, you can record your meeting and send it to them later, just so they have it for their information.

Rose Bentley 25:10

Like, it's like anything, it takes discipline and awareness, like, go look at your calendar, and be like, Am I being the most productive today? And go through the meetings and say, maybe reach out to the organizer? Do I need to be in this meeting? What is your agenda for this meeting, if you start setting the example and have the discipline and hold your account, or your calendar accountable, you'll see the shift, and you'll feel the lift of not feeling like you're having to be consumed by your calendar, which is just I think we've just got to move away from that for us all, to make sure that we're not feeling so burned out. Because there's a lot of burnout across the organizations, we're seeing it. And as you know, this isn't, I mean, there's a talent war right now. But you need the employees, on your teams, myself included, to feel like we've got the time and we're not being burnt out by just back to back eating, just not the way we just we have to hold ourselves accountable to fixing it.

Bruce Dunfee 26:06

Yeah, yeah, that was one of the biggest issues, I think, in the beginning of this, in particular was that everyone was available, technically, right? No one's traveling, no one's in the air, etc. But there was no reality to say, you know, let's make sure we get x, y, and z into this meeting, like when in reality pre pandemic, you would have probably never invited half of those people to the meeting. So there was a misnomer, misconception that, hey, let's just get everyone in the room because they can in their home, and they're in front of their camera, which is really one of the main drivers of what led to the fatigue was that people were afraid to say no to the meeting. You know what I mean, at least in my in my experience, from that standpoint, so thank you both for commenting on that. What about shifting gears to the flip side? If you know in terms of counsel that you can give leaders to drive efficiencies and be good on the video side, but what mistakes have you seen made? That you will call out?

Karin Reed 27:09

rows feel free? No, I mean, yeah, go for it. So I mentioned the the one that I see most often, which is where people just have a lack of awareness about where the camera is, but also just not setting a good example, where we're leaders will kind of show up in a sloppy sort of way. And that kind of gives license to their employees to show up in the sloppy way as well. And, you know, just a horror story that I heard from one of my, my customers, he is in sales, and he was on a meeting with a prospect, and he had to have somebody else from his organization come in, who was kind of a technical adviser. And he came in my client, you know, in a professional way, meeting with this prospect. And then when the technical advisor came in, he was basically lounging had really poor. video quality was all grainy lighting was bad audio was crackly, and that prospect had been a really good prospect, they were about to land the deal. Turns out they didn't. And he blames A lot of it to the fact that the technical adviser showed up in a very sloppy sort of way, which made an impression and not a good one. So it's really critical for leaders to be setting the standard for the entire organization because people notice people

Rose Bentley 28:31

really do. Yeah, so I'm gonna say it again. But it's you appear fake and not authentic on video. I mean, I've seen that happen time and time again, where just be authentic, be yourself. And yeah, you might say a more or you might not feel as professional but it will take practice, you'll get to the point where you feel very comfortable and confident on video, and just not be afraid, right to get out there and be your authentic self on video. I see that all too often. And then the video kind of falls short, the message might have been good, but especially as Karin was saying, you can see the energy in the body language and see if they're actually meaning it or if they're just regurgitating it or just saying it and I think that's a really important distinction and a mistake I've seen quite often right

Bruce Dunfee 29:15

yeah 100% I mean it's really I mean it'll a lot of the things back to a camera were saying before a lot of it is it also goes back to some of the core pieces of public speaking in general like you don't you never want to be reading from a script you don't want to be repeat you know, looks so robotic, etc. So there has to be some more bullet point kind of mindset to your approach when you're when you're on camera.

Rose Bentley 29:39

challenge that just a little bit first because I also recently watched a video where someone was reading and she came into the video and she said, You know I've really thought a lot about this and I speak better through words I want to read this to you and that's where you saw her authenticity. And then she pulled up a piece of paper and she started reading the message she wanted to deliver because she felt she could have heard To get better for herself, and I was like, that was a very well done video because that's beyond, you know, just bringing yourself to it. Even if it doesn't feel to your point like the reading of it, you're right, you don't wanna just be heads down reading. But if you at least tell your message or why I think that really brings the ability to see the person along with the message.

Karin Reed 30:18

That's so interesting rows, because I never would have thought about that as being a possible technique. But you're right, because they were being authentic and saying, I know that I can say it better if I'm reading off what I've prepared. So I'm going to read this to you. But no, it's coming from the heart like that is a very different approach than the one that I often see, which you've probably seen as well, where people will put a script up on their monitor, and they will just be staring at their monitor. And like, oh, boy, that is you are completely disconnected from your audience. And so it also requires, like, for example, if you're doing executive communication, for the folks who are supporting them to give a little bit of wiggle room for their leaders to actually communicate in the words that come to them in the moment, because if you script your leader, and they're not good at reading off a script, then that message is going to fall flat.

Bruce Dunfee 31:09

Yeah, 100%. But I agree with you, you know, that's an interesting one, in terms of setting the table for people to say this is what's going to happen. And this is the expectation level, it probably makes it a completely different experience. That's that's a good call. What are what are some of the ways as we're getting close to two years, in terms of, you know, this employee adoption and organization adoption on video being much more systemic? I mean, what ways are you seeing organizations evolve and use video now?

Rose Bentley 31:39

Oh, we see this across our customer base. I mean, because what used to be right, and all hands, like everyone flies in from across the globe now. Done virtual, right. And it's a very strong message to be able to deliver a CEO townhall virtual, especially when you can not necessarily incur the cost of the meeting. Now you don't have to necessarily have people find childcare, because using the cost of the company, sometimes the cost to the employee to actually, you know, make the travel arrangements, I think that's a big use case we've seen which has gone really well. We've also seen one of our customers at Toyota needed to release a new truck to the market and their ability to do it virtual, gave them broader reach, and it saved them couple million dollars on not having to fly everyone everywhere and give the ability of urgency of the message. Because if you think about if you have to deliver it across multiple time zones in the field, it's harder to keep that message consistent and timely for this was a, here's the message, here's the launch, which was a very powerful way to release a product and a very powerful way to engage the audience. So those are a couple that we've seen across the customer base, that I'm just excited to start seeing more of,

Karin Reed 32:49

and definitely a place to the idea of this work from anywhere ethos that is you know, spreading across the globe, where you are not bound by geography and how you hire for a position. So that means if you want to have those all hands meetings, you need to have some sort of way of doing that, you know, in a recorded form, but also be able to get those messages out quickly. So what I'm seeing with those all hands meetings is if they were held quarterly, they're maybe sent out like weekly, in recorded form. And, or it's live to tape, as they used to call it, you know, where people can then go back and watch it and it doesn't matter if you are in Singapore or in London, you're going to get the message at the time that makes sense for you. But But within the same sort of, you know, time parameters, so that they're receiving it, you know, whenever they need to. So that has been a big shift in executive communications, that people are using video more and more. But what I'm also saying is the arm overhead red Rose, no sorry, surgery. So onboarding, has also really transformed as well. So I had a client that I wrote about in suddenly virtual that had to take their entirely in person onboarding process, virtual. And it was a pretty intensive program about three weeks long. And they did it very successfully through a lot of communication, a lot of creativity, but now that they are able to go back in the office for some things, they're finding that they're sticking with some of the virtual aspects, even though they could do it in person, because they found it work better. So for example, they have an Olympics that they do with their new hires, and that's team building. And so they're going to do that in person. But then things like, you know, small group relationship building exercises, they're doing that virtually, because this sort of environment that we're in right now, it does feel pretty intimate. And it also can allow people to feel like they can express themselves, you know, more fully and in a kind of a more psychologically safe place than if they were meeting as a big group.

Rose Bentley 34:57

Yeah, you brought up the CEO example earlier and our CEO has a great use case where he actually delivers a snippet to his board. So to our board of directors, he is able to do videos right every Friday, here's here's kind of where we happen in the week. And he's very good at communicating and cuts down the email, and it stops him from having to call each individual and provide that update. So again, it gives the time back gives them the ability to give a message that resonates. Yeah, the other thing we've been seeing quite a bit, this is for me anyway, especially since slack released the the video clips is that we all know that email can just get over, it's just to get too much. And same with the meetings, right? We, there's a way to use email, there's a bad way. And I think what we're finding what we're seeing is that video can eat replaced emails, multiple emails, and give you a very consistent message. And even slack super put in there now that you can just launch a video, part a quick video, it's under two minutes, so they cap you which I love. And you can just send it directly in there, which saves a lot of headache, or even all open emails, which makes such a difference to being able to give time back. And again, as we were talking earlier, gives that asynchronous communication and the ability for them to watch it whenever not maybe having to be pulled back into email, which we all know can get a little out of hand.

Karin Reed 36:10

And video provides nuance and tone, which you don't get in an email. I mean, how many times have you, you know, read an email and thought, oh, what did they mean by that? You take away a lot of that potential misunderstanding by doing it through video as well.

Bruce Dunfee 36:28

I mean, what do I mean that? Well, there's a couple things off your guys commentary. I'd love to just touch on really quick, though. First will be the onboarding piece just because there's many people I just I just was speaking with someone two weeks ago, they're they're just meeting people in person that they worked with for 15 months, right? So came on board in February, never got to an onboarding, training, everything shuts down. I mean, how how do you when you couple those type of dynamics with also what Rose mentioned in terms of OPIC savings? Just on the teeny budget side? I mean, I mean, don't you feel like that's just the reality is through 15 or 18 or 20 months, everyone has drove high efficiencies without having to travel without having to entertain? Do you ever think those apics budgets ever get back to where they were travel ever gets back to where it was? Or do you think this is still a mid term gap period, and maybe it could go back, I'm just curious, your your take on just that whole.

Rose Bentley 37:24

For me, it'll, it'll, it'll never go back. I think we've now put the power back into the employees and have a better quality of life, it's never gonna go back there. and rightfully so I don't think it ever should think that was inefficiency that we need to let go and respect that we've got efficiencies now. I do think, though, that, at least for us, it really helped us realize that you still need the teams to meet in person, it's just a different kind of meeting. And it's a meeting focused on relationship building human connection, and really making sure that the teams feel they've got the unity, where you get that on video. But sometimes it's like when you just meet a person. And you can I mean, a lot of times videos, right, we miss the small talk the watercooler right, and that I think we really miss sometimes a relationship building, which we've personally right and really pushed our teams to just meet, get the teams together once a quarter and focus it around team building events, focus it around, you know, the collaboration, and make sure that was a worthwhile meeting and not something that could be done over video, if it could be done over video, you shouldn't be doing it. And you can't do video over dinner table, you can't do video. So just try and make it very impactful. And I think deliver that human connection. And that's a place to build on the efficiencies that we have today.

Karin Reed 38:35

I think you hit on so many great things that are rows where it is important that you have that social lubrication, where you build those relationships through that non business, small talk that is more difficult to have take place in a virtual setting. So a lot of the organizations that I looked at for the books Suddenly Hybrid that's coming out is is really, that's one of the best practices where Yes, they do a lot, you know, in remote through virtual means, but they make a point of having these in person events. Some of them are like there's one organization called Envato. That has back to base meetings where what used to be like an off site is now an on site off site, where they bring everybody in, to just have fun together, you know, to have team building exercises. Yeah, there's some, you know, business worked on but there's also a lot of just, you know, getting to know each other going out and having a cup of coffee, sharing a plate of nachos, things that you can do very well through this sort of means. So I think that's really important as we're transitioning into this hybrid workforce, that there's an understanding that video absolutely has a place as essential, because as much math is done to make sure that people can have team meetings in person, there's going to be an ad hoc meeting where you're going to have some people who are remote and some people who are in the office and so you have to have video as a way of connecting Everybody, but there also should be some strategy where you do have everybody come together at certain times of the year, just to make sure that that team cohesion is is able to be built.

Bruce Dunfee 40:13

I mean, that's, that's kind of the next thing I want to ask you, especially as I mentioned your book coming out on the hybrid idea. I mean, there's a lot of push pull there, because there's, you know, I talked to a GM in northern North American brand two weeks ago, and he said, You know, he went forward in the northeast, is where they're located with them, with his employee base coming back into the office three days a week, because they had already lost the building was only four years old, beautiful office, you know, there's there's that idea to that people want, not just the the element of, you know, person, a person social engagement, but they also want the feeling of bigger brand. And they'll feel like part of the culture, which is hard to get pulled out of, and he even said to me, when he did it, he's like, I didn't even know who was going to show up. I mean, that's the risk. Everyone takes on that side. So what, what is the Where do you think especially doing the research for the book, where does hybrid evolve to? Where do you think we net out and 18 to 24 months? In your opinion? In my opinion,

Rose Bentley 41:18

your crystal ball? I like that's a tough question. I love it. It's

Karin Reed 41:21

funny that we've been doing a lot of that for the book, which was almost like flying the plane as it's being built. Because, you know, do we know exactly what's going to occur know, we can only tell you what we're seeing as potential trends. So what we found is that hybrid is going to, in all likelihood, be the predominant way of being of existing as a business just because there has been such a focus on on flexible work arrangements and the genies out of the bottle, you're not going to stuff it back in, people have really enjoyed having this flexibility. So how are organizations going to adapt to that? Well, some will say, okay, we are all in, we're going to make this work, they're going to be others who will push back. And I've seen that as well. But there's going to be some people just self selecting where that how they want to work. And so there are those who are going to say I love being in the office, I love the hum, I like being able to separate fully my professional life and my personal life, they're going to gravitate to those companies that do want to still have the in office culture 24, seven, or maybe nine to five, Monday through Friday, and that there are going to be a lot of folks who are also going to want to continue to have some flexibility that they have enjoyed as a result of the pandemic. So there has to be some some careful planning. from a technology standpoint, obviously, from a people standpoint, but it will absolutely be a retention tool and you alluded Rose to the talent battle that is going to occur and if people want flexible work, and you're not willing to do that, that's going to be a problem.

Rose Bentley 43:03

Yeah, when the pandemic hit, I haven't joined Qumu yet. But our CEO decided that we're going all remote, no question. And I just did an onboarding, speaking of changes and onboarding, onboarding our two new CSM, and I asked them, you know, was this a determining factor for you? And both of them, like, very clearly said, yes, this was a very strong position, I took that I wanted to be remote, and be able to have my quality of life where I was. And one gal even shared with me that she was actually overlooked for a job, because she wasn't able to come into the office. And she was like, three, three hours out. And so one of the internal employees of that company she's interviewing was said to the hiring manager, if you're willing to hire fully remote employees, why can't I be remote? Why do I have to be in the office? And so it is this, it's going to be this challenge of like this hybrid work versus remote and then people that are choosing to be remote, they will make the choice by company, I couldn't agree with you more. But the hybrid model will cause it's hard if you're either all in the office or you're all remote you can see but the hybrid I think we'll we're still learning there. That's why I said that was such a hard question. What is this hybrid experience look like? How does that start separating companies from each other, and employees for how they choose and where they want to work? It's going to be a very interesting I think, I think we all assumed would happen this year, like I was like, okay, people are gonna start figuring out but you can still see large companies are deferring when employees come back in office, you know, into 22. And they're like, Okay, so we're we haven't figured this out yet. I think it's going to be a real challenge and it's not good. But there

Karin Reed 44:36

is an argument to be to be made to have a remote first orientation always regardless of whether you are remote only or hybrid, just because there is some disparity whenever you are a remote employee versus an in office employee because you don't have those, you know, serendipitous bumps into people in the break room. And so you can have some communication silos. You can have, you know, kind of the vestiges of the past where, you know, if you are seen, then you are truly seen, and then you may be promoted more readily than somebody who's working remotely. So there has to be a change in orientation for all within the organization to ensure that if you are truly hybrid, that you are valuing the in office employees as much as the virtual employees, and you have equal opportunity there. So that, for example, in a meeting, if you are leading a hybrid meeting, and you are primarily in the office, don't always lead your meeting, from the conference room, you should be leading the meeting, sometimes from a remote position, you know, even if it's in your office sitting at your desk, just so you remember what it's like to be a virtual attendee. So it requires this this level of awareness to be raised for all and some specific strategies to to employ in order to ensure there's not a tiered system of importance within the organization.

Bruce Dunfee 46:02

Yeah, there's some great call outs. I was I was really curious, just to pose that to you, since you've been doing the research for the folks that thank you both for, for interjecting there. How about, about your thoughts on ways that other traditional ways of doing business are starting to incorporate video in a bigger way that you're saying?

Rose Bentley 46:24

Yeah, sorry, your sales is probably the biggest. I mean, we're a gone user, heavy Gong user. And there's, there's now the ability, I was just watching one today with one of our regional sales managers on LinkedIn, where he just did a video on LinkedIn and was talking about here's what Qumu does. And it's him very authentic, with his Qumu swag on on LinkedIn thing, like, Hey, here's what we do. I don't know if you're following these trends. But here's what I would recommend you watch. And there's higher engagement, and even more percentage of deals close based on this so that I would see one of the bigger areas and it's part of my experience to being in sales is great, you're so used to being in the field, even as a remote worker in sales, you're in the field, but you're in the field, seeing customers or prospects. It's different, right? And so I think that's an area that's really had to evolve, and we're closing large contracts, multimillion dollar deals over video, right, and that never would have happened. So I think there's a real evolution in

Karin Reed 47:21

sales. Now. And I think that I love that you talked about gong Rose, because before the pandemic, whenever I would be making the argument for turning your webcam on, I would point to a statistic that they shared from God that 41% more deals or one went with the webcam on. And I thought, gee, if people are not listening to this, you know, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. So I think sales has really transformed and Bruce, I haven't been in sales, you'll appreciate this. I spent so much time with sales forces training them how to go from a handshake model to a virtual handshake model. And I would hear time and time again, I cannot wait until we go back to normal and I can get back into offices again. Well, McKenzie came out with some research indicating that only 20% of b2b buyer buyers want to go back to an in person sales model. And I would tell people that I've made say no, because that's what they're used to. That's what they've done their entire careers is going in and building relationships face to face. But you may want to be back in the office, your your buyers may not want you there. So you have to adjust. And I can tell you can build relationships really effectively, even just through virtual means. I've never met my co author in person ever and we written two books together, we have a very close relationship, and it's been built almost entirely over zoom.

Bruce Dunfee 48:40

Wow, that's amazing. Yeah, I think that you know, you're both of your points. They're so interesting, just because I do feel sales as we knew it, quote, unquote, will will completely change. And just like this whole dynamic, in general, the evolution of everything is going to be is going to be so drastic over the next especially like you said, Rose. I mean, there really is no roadmap, especially when you see no, there's not even a roadmap to follow in terms of larger corporate America to your point, because everyone's pushed out again, to the beginning of next year. So it'll be interesting to see. I've got one last quick one. Because of the optics reductions we talked about in the travel entertainment site. Do you see organizations starting to shift dollars to just tech stack investments to make sure that their video platforms are not just stopped gap with a zoom etc. are you seeing that happen just from a trend standpoint?

Rose Bentley 49:32

What are you seeing?

Karin Reed 49:34

I am definitely seeing that happen. I think there's been an acknowledgement that the temporary emergency mode is no longer going to work people have to be more strategic. So there's shoring up everything to support you know, hybrid work or virtual work. So lots of investment in you know, meeting room technology ensuring that you have good high quality cameras that you have sufficient audio That you have big monitors so that whenever you're in a hybrid meeting, for example, the people who are virtual, have as much presence as those who are in person. And I'm also seeing there being a push to equip people who are remote, so that they can have presence whenever they show up in those meetings. So that means high quality webcams headsets, you know, audio options that will make sure that their their audio is, is easily heard by those on the other side.

Rose Bentley 50:29

Yeah, I can see, I mean, a lot of what I'm even looking at some of the requests we're getting from customers around, how do we evolve the product, right, because they're leverage our product to deliver a world class experience and to, you know, allow for use cases like a 40,000 person, town hall for a CEO. And a lot of their use cases are make it easier, right? Because they make it to the mobile like, we have a mobile app. So it's just like, how do you now be able to record video and make things very easy. And I think that's a lot of the trends we're seeing. It's, it's not is this like, you need more deeper, but it's just like, really make this easier for me, where I don't want to have to, you know, necessarily be in front my laptop, record their video, I want to really do it on my mobile, I want to be able to be on a call, be able to walk away and have the call transferred to my mobile with with synchronous, you know, communication be able to understand, and I think that's a lot of the trends we're seeing are the innovation that we're being pushed on by our customer base, which is making it easier, and frankly, make it the production quality that you want a lot across the organization, right? We talked about that early on, but it's this large production, we just don't, we're not going to do anything. But so make it easier for team members to create virtual backgrounds to pull in a PowerPoint presentation and talk to their message while they're on screen. Like give that level of collaboration through video, run polls, you know, be able to do both so that they now see video as an engagement tool, not just as a, you know, a source of just have to sit here and listen or, you know, consumed by the content, but really make it a little more engaging. That's a lot of the trend that we're seeing. That's not a special event,

Karin Reed 51:58

this is an everyday thing. So let's make it as easy as possible for individuals to leverage it.

Bruce Dunfee 52:05

100%, that's super helpful, we're just getting close to time. So before I hand it back over to you both maybe for any final key takeaways, I just would like to first thank you both and then also encourage the audience. If you're interested in the Qumu product and a conversation with Rose or her team, please don't hesitate to reach out to us we'll obviously be bridging and connecting everyone after but they come very highly recommended from everyone in our network who's utilize them. And we ourselves are looking to do that we're in a little test phase right now ourselves with the utilization of the product. The other thing, quick reminder, like I mentioned at the top of who's again, kind enough to send out the copy of Karin's book, Suddenly Virtual, making remote meetings work will be reaching out from our team to connect and get correct addresses and get that out to everyone. But thank you again, Rose’s team for doing that. But maybe both over to you for maybe one last or final thought before we close here. Yeah, I

Rose Bentley 52:58

mean, I think for me, Thank you, Karin, for this, we always had such a great dynamic on these. I think for me, it's really understanding that video shouldn't be scary, right videos should be just part of the day and feel comfortable to be authentic, feel comfortable to be yourself. Don't be scared to turn the video on. If you can't turn video on sometimes have a you know a good reason why but use this as a time to engage and create that additional human connection that so many of us Miss, and then prioritize your teams to not get burned out. Use video, use asynchronous video so that you don't get pulled into 60 minute meetings anymore. Oh, I'm so over 60 in a meeting. Don't do that. And also, let's not get so stuck into email. Email is an opportunity, I think, also for us to reinvent. I think we've been looking to reinvent that for a long time. And many of us go on holiday come back and we'll question why we went because our email got so inundated. And it's opportunity to leverage video more. And so you'd have a real impact on the team and give you time back to innovate and focus. And you'll just have a better quality of life because of it.

Karin Reed 54:02

Excellent. So I would say the video is a differentiator, those who embrace it and use it well. We'll see their stock rise. Those who do not will be left behind.

Bruce Dunfee 54:16

Yeah, I think that's well put by both of you. Thank you again for the time. Really enjoyed the conversation today. And I hope you guys have a great rest of your afternoon,

Rose Bentley 54:25

YouTubers. Thanks for taking us through this. Thanks so much, everyone.

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