Jessica Chen is a trusted communications advisor to several elite tech leaders in Silicon Valley and Asia. She is also the Founder & CEO of Soulcast Media, a global business communications agency that partners with Fortune 500 companies to elevate their teams' presentation, presence, and authority in-person and on-video. Before starting Soulcast Media, Jessica was a broadcast television journalist. She has been awarded an Emmy Award for her work at ABC 10News and multiple Associated Press Awards. Jessica is also a top LinkedIn Learning Instructor.

In this episode, we talk about the similarities of the world of broadcast media and the world of presentations, communication for leadership, the different types of virtual meetings, and LinkedIn Learning.

The similar worlds of broadcast TV and the world of presentations

Jessica is an experienced journalist, so when 2020 came and everyone became remote she already knew how to help her clients that do video presentations.

Jessica thinks that the virtual will not go away and always be present. And she also says that “You always want to show up where your client wants to show up.” Video calls are staying for good.

The virtual world - what is different

Jessica says that the hardest thing for her clients is making sure that the audience is listening to them the whole time. Naturally, within a few minutes, people start to lose interest and distract themselves by browsing.

“It is truly the hardest thing, but it is not impossible,” she shares. The camera, your body language, tone of voice, and your presentation deck are there to accentuate your message.

We also discuss how Jessica was contacted by Prezi Video because her forte is especially video communication. She has helped them with some projects and additional content and shares that the way Prezi Video helps us interact is huge.

Different types of virtual calls

Jessica notes a distinction between the specifics of all the types of video communication. She talks in detail about the different scenarios you can find yourself in and the different challenges and solutions.

Meeting with many people on a video call can get messy or become sudden radio silence. You must take a proactive approach if you happen to be the organizer. Send an agenda first or ask the people for input. For example, be clear if the camera should be on or off in advance, set the expectations, and ask pointed questions to perk them up during the meeting.

The second scenario is you giving a presentation where the biggest challenge is to keep the continuous energy. Learning how to speak to maintain people’s interest is the solution. Be careful with throwing all the information at once. Be very clear about what people are going to learn and make sure you reaffirm it at the end of your presentation. Moreover, your tone of voice is very important. Think that you are like a radio DJ, your voice is there to pull people in.

The third scenario is 1:1 meetings. In them, you have to build trust and connection first. Spend some time catching up. Also, pin the other person’s video so you are looking at them, and not at yourself. Watching peoples’ body language gives you so much.

What do most executives need help with?

Jessica shares with us that many of her clients come to her because they think they need help with their public speaking. Many times, though, they also need help with leadership type of communication skills. They are analytical people, for example in finance or engineering, and when managing a team, they have trouble sharing their softer side.

Communicating to motivate and inspire is a necessary skill for building a connection with your team. Many people get intimidated by the people in higher positions. It is important to be a leader but still be approachable.

Rehearsing your presentation

Jessica emphasizes the importance of rehearsing. She shares that she always practices before a new corporate presentation, even if she has given that presentation many times.

It is not just to remember the presentation, but to also help you be succinct. The more you practice, the more you eliminate filler words as well.

She suggests that if you want to practice a lot, do not do it for 8 hours in one day. Practice for one hour every day. Practicing a little allows you to formulate it a little differently. Besides, you will not cram your brain with all the information all at once.


Connect with Jessica Chen on LinkedIn, her Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

You can find her company Soulcast Media here.

Listen to the full episode!