Welcome to The Bicultural Podcast.

I’m delighted to be joined by Jennie Eriksen, founder of Lovely Voice.

This episode will give insight into

  • Growing a brand through voice-over
  • Communication differences across cultures
  • Developing clearer messaging for brands

Hi Jennie, how are you?

Jennie Eriksen (00:32):
Hi, Janina. Thank you very much for having me on today.

Janina Neumann (00:35):
It’s my pleasure.

So tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jennie Eriksen (00:39):
Okay, well, I’m a professional voice-over, so for the last decade or so, I’ve been a professional voice-over and it’s been my privilege to narrate for over 60 countries now. So never a dull moment in the world of voice-over, even though I’m in a small room talking to myself, I have the opportunity to talk and work with people worldwide, which is an absolute privilege.

Janina Neumann (01:03):
Wow, that sounds fantastic. And so many different languages and cultures you’ve experienced through your work it’s really interesting.

Jennie Eriksen (01:12):
Absolutely.

Janina Neumann (01:13):
Is there a particular type of voice-over that you’ve done in the past that you found particularly interesting?

Jennie Eriksen (01:19):
With voice-over it’s one of those things that people would assume if you can speak, you can be a voice-over and, of course, that’s not necessarily true. And with all voice-overs, everybody will have their particular area that they’re really good at or comfortable with. So it’s not a one size fits all, just because you can narrate one thing, well, it doesn’t mean that you can necessarily narrate something else well. So for example, my particular area of expertise, if you like, is e-learning. So things like e-learning and telephone voice are particularly good areas for me because I’ve got that kind of trusting, kind of deep tonality that people like. So it’s warm and welcoming for a telephone narration, and obviously for e-learning it’s also authoritative, if you like, so it resonates there. But also for example, to the other extreme, I love narrating kids’ stories, which is great. So again, my voice lends itself well to that sort of bedtime kind of sounds.

Janina Neumann (02:20):
That’s really interesting and yes, we do have a very trusting voice indeed.

Jennie Eriksen (02:29):
Thank you.

Janina Neumann (02:29):

So tell us a little bit more about your approach when people contact you for a professional voice-over.

Jennie Eriksen (02:37):
Okay, so with professional voice-over, it’s about knowing what the client wants to achieve. So I work with clients, some clients obviously know exactly what they’re looking for and others, it may be their first attempt to using a voice-over and they don’t know what to expect. So for example, a client will approach me and want to ask me to narrate a certain thing. And we look at their audience reach, who they’re looking to put the voice-over out to. So for example, it could be, let’s start with a telephone duration, for example. So somebody might want some messaging for their telephone system. So I will look at the script that they provided and maybe give some suggestions to people.

Jennie Eriksen (03:25):
So for example, telephone is one of those areas where nobody wants to be left on hold with tinny music. So I work with clients in terms of messaging that will keep somebody listening or that won’t upset people as they wait to speak to somebody on the telephone. So I might suggest to the client that we put in some messaging that informs the listener. So for example, rather than somebody stay on the telephone and wait to hear what the company opening hours are, I can maybe direct them to the website so that they’ve got the information there. So I very much look at what the client wants to achieve and add my own input there if I think that there is some way that we could do it better.

Jennie Eriksen (04:11):
And that also lends itself well to when clients have an expectation that isn’t necessarily going to work out. So for example, with something like an explainer video, a lot of clients want to use video in their work, and video and duration is very, very powerful, the visual element. But they might, for example, have a video for one minute that they’ve already created and say, here is the script and it’s 250 words. Well, 250 words doesn’t fit into a minute. When we are narrating, we’re looking at 150 words, that works in the space of a minute, and that’s going to be at a speed that people are going to understand. So rather than this quick pace and people are going to miss what’s being said. A 150 words will work in a minute. So sometimes for a client where they’ve maybe written a script and they haven’t realised, they then have to think about where could we lose a hundred words or you know, we could look at maybe changing the script around it a little bit. So, I look at each individual project that I receive and work back and forth with the client, just to make sure that we’re on the same page in terms of their expectations on what I can provide for them.

Janina Neumann (05:27):
That’s really interesting. And just reflecting on that as well, I can imagine that some clients may have had an English translation from a different language, you know, and also the language structure of that other language, for example, the words in German are quite a bit longer. It must be really interesting how you also take on that copy editing and writing role for clients.

Jennie Eriksen (05:54):
Yeah, you mentioned a very good there that sometimes a client will come to me and say, “Hey, this is something that we have in German”, or maybe “something that we have in Arabic, and we want an English version of it”. And as you say, the way the word structures work, it’s sometimes looking at a script that they provide because maybe they will have directly translated it from one language to another, and I can see that the wording is clunky. It doesn’t actually work in English. So there’s a little bit of back and forth in terms of making sure that it works. But sometimes when somebody has created, for example, a video that is already in existence and works in another language, we have to work with something called timecodes. So for example, if somebody has said a sentence or some words between say, I don’t know, two and seven seconds, we have to see whether the English words as they have translated, it are going to work. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. And if there’s the ability to maybe hone the script or maybe even do some tweaking with the video, then that’s great, but sometimes there is a bit of incongruency and there isn’t actually a natural fit.

Jennie Eriksen (07:09):
And that’s also true when I have projects that are for dubbing. So for example, I worked last year with a company that had an advert on TV that was in Polish. And I had to fit the English words to fit the Polish text, so to speak. And it was a bit of a stretch. So what might be narrated quite slowly in Polish, you would have to ramp up the speed in English simply because the number of words is different.

Janina Neumann (07:39):
Yeah, and as you increase the speed, you know, you also change the way it’s communicated, you know. Sometimes I think of TV ads, you know, where they say the terms and conditions, and sometimes you can’t keep up with all the terms and conditions, for example. And it’s just really powerful though to make sure that you’re communicating your brand message on all sorts of levels and also taking into account, you know, the audience that you’re speaking to and making sure that they can relate to the message as well.

Jennie Eriksen (08:16):
Exactly. And speed and tonality are really, really important because when you’re narrating, especially something like an explainer video, invariably, there’s a story. And you have to add the light and the shade and the speed has to be appropriate for the message. To give you an example, I may narrate an explainer video where the first part of the story isn’t so good, and this is happening, something is not so good. And then there’s going to be a part in the script where you’re maybe talking about the company and what they can do. And that adds hope to the viewer and the listener, and then the tonality and the pace would change. So it is about looking at the piece as a whole, and seeing where the light and shade is, where you need to add more, maybe some gravitas, where you maybe need to switch up the script to make something more upbeat.

Jennie Eriksen (09:13):
So it isn’t just about going and narrating something, you know, it’s a two minute narration, that’s going to take two minutes. It doesn’t work like that. So for example, when I go into the booth to record, I’m looking at the script and if it’s, for example, it is a minute, it’s 150 words. It’s not my just narrating 150 words and finishing. It’s about narrating something and maybe thinking, “Okay, I didn’t do that line justice. I’m going to do that line again”. So a lot of people would, would say, “Well, you know, narration, it’s just a minute. So you’re going to go in and narrate it for a minute and then that’s all good”. But there’s an awful lot more prep attached to it than just going in and narrating it.

Janina Neumann (09:54):
Yeah, there certainly is. And it just reminds me of, you know, the power of hearing someone’s voice, you know, when we decide to phone someone up or have a video conferencing call or even meet in person, you know, we do that because we can make sure that we’re communicating the right message with the right tonality. So that’s fantastic that you’re communicating that on different platforms as well.

Jennie Eriksen (10:20):
Exactly. And, you know, there are projects I turn down because I can’t provide the client with the voice I know they’re looking for. And that’s obviously when I work with colleagues, so I, you know, reach out to colleagues that do something different to me, and would suggest them. But voice-over is not one size fits all. So for example, for a YouTube video, narrating “10 things you wanted to know about the Kardashians”, you can hear from my voice, but I haven’t got that young kind of urban vibe that may be the narration would lend itself well to, so that’s something that I would pass over. So it is about working within your particular area of excellence, if you like, and, you know, doing that well, as opposed to trying something and not replicating a sound that a client is looking for.

Janina Neumann (11:08):
Yeah, certainly. And also to make sure that the message is authentic, you know, the whole concept of ‘who do you listen to?’, you know, if you don’t have someone visually there that you can relate to, that you can relate to them through the voice instead.

Jennie Eriksen (11:23):
Exactly, exactly. And, you know, we really resonate with voices. We resonate with sounds. It kind of ties into the NLP thing in terms of anchoring. We hear adverts on TV and we recognise the voice, or maybe the strap line of a supermarket or a particular brand or something. And we buy into that voice. It’s a voice that we resonate with, that’s why, you know, the voice of a brand is so important.

Janina Neumann (11:49):
It certainly is. And it communicates consistency as well. So you show your brand values on different platforms and that becomes trustworthy because you consistently show up with the same message as well.

Jennie Eriksen (12:05):
Yeah, exactly. And even if the narration is just a couple of words. So for example, Nike would be “Just do it” or Tesco “Every little helps”. It’s how “Every little helps” is said. It’s only three words, but those three words have to really give the listener security, to remind people to shop at Tesco, for example. So it’s really important. It’s only three words, but it’s three super, super important words because they really tie into a multi-million pound or multi-million dollar industry, for example.

Janina Neumann (12:44):
Yeah, very important, indeed.

So tell us a little bit more about how you work as a professional voice-over has been working across cultures?

Jennie Eriksen (12:55):
Because of the joys of technology, I can work in real time with somebody, for example, that is in Los Angeles or Australia or in Dubai. And the great thing about it is I can have real time conversations with people if I choose to, or if the client wants to listen in. So for example, I could have a voice-over where I’m working with the client who is based in say Los Angeles, the agency could be in New York, so we can all talk in real time, or maybe there might be an agency involved where they are interacting with a country whose first language isn’t English. So they can be if you like a middleman. So they can help with the client who, as I say, whose first language isn’t English, translate what they’re looking for, and that’s how we can make sure that I complete a voice-over to their satisfaction in the way that they would like it narrated.

Janina Neumann (13:55):
That’s fantastic how you’re communicating across cultures like that.

So did you notice any communication differences, for example, with different clients across the globe?

Jennie Eriksen (14:06):
Yeah. I mean, obviously some cultures are maybe more direct than others, and we have to remember that, obviously not everybody you speak to their first language isn’t of course, English. So sometimes that directness can come across as being abrupt or maybe demanding. And certainly with voice-over, there are a lot of time constraints that sometimes people may have waited for a video or something may be time sensitive. And there is a lot of pressure. So sometimes there can be a bit of directness, which, you know, when you listen in English, it can seem very harsh or demanding. So it’s about understanding particular cultures that you work with and understanding the time pressures that people are under, that sometimes the person that is wanting to work with you and needs the voice-over, like yesterday, they’ve already had time pressures from somebody maybe higher up the chain that is really wanting them to get something turned around quite quickly. So it’s about being sensitive to two different people and appreciating that often when they are wanting to give you instructions that they’re doing so in a language that’s not their first language, so to speak.

Janina Neumann (15:24):
Yes, definitely. And also, you know, with your coaching element to what you do, I can imagine that you can overcome those barriers as well, by making the client feel reassured and making sure that their messaging is fine-tuned.

Jennie Eriksen (15:38):
Yes, absolutely. So it is about working with them. Communication is everything in this. When we’re looking at the written word, it can be open to interpretation. So it is about making sure that you and the client are on the same page, so to speak in terms of their expectations for you and what they’re looking for. And sometimes that even involves doing something like a quick dry run. So for example, when we narrate audio, it’s not about just sending what’s been recorded. It has to be cleaned and processed. So it sounds absolutely crystal clear. And sometimes it’s about hopping onto a quick call, maybe having a client quickly in the studio with you on a Zoom or on Skype or something, to listen in, or also just to send something and just say, “Is this what you’re looking for?”.

Jennie Eriksen (16:30):
So communication is everything. And especially if a project is a long project, that the last thing you would want to do is to create something that the client says, “Well, that’s not what I was looking for”. So communication before the get-go is everything. But of course, when you work with clients on a long-term basis, there’s a lot of peace of mind for them because they know what you do and how you do it. So they can just say, “Hey, Jennie, you know, here’s another module for an e-learning program, same as before”, because they know exactly what they’re going to be getting.

Janina Neumann (17:03):
Yeah certainly having some clarity in what you’re producing helps everyone really.

Jennie Eriksen (17:11):
Absolutely.

Janina Neumann (17:11):
So has there been an increase in the demand for e-learning since lockdowns all around the world have happened and people have to adapt to different ways of working.

Jennie Eriksen (17:24):
Yeah, absolutely. Now more than ever, we have the opportunity to programs or courses that may be delivered in person. We can now deliver online. And that’s great. So it doesn’t have to be an either/or, it means that clients can now actually deliver a program in person. They can create something that’s online. And that means that that involves learners across the world. So rather than just being in their particular area, that can translate across the world. However, there are lots of people that maybe when it comes to delivering something online, they kind of get in their own heads, so to speak. And what came naturally to the maybe to create in person, they’re thinking, “How do I do that online?”. So I very much work with clients, and I really advocate clients narrating their own programs, but sometimes people are, “Well, gosh, you know, I don’t know how to do that. How would that work?”. So I work with them in terms of helping them gain clarity in how they can deliver something, especially a program that they’re going to record. So rather than delivering it necessarily in person, something that they can record so that that potential clients can buy their program, and they’ve got a recorded version and it’s delivered in a way that really resonates with participants.

Janina Neumann (18:51):
Yeah, certainly. And you know, that brand asset never goes away and, you know, you can reuse it for all sorts of occasions as well. So it’s a great investment as well.

Jennie Eriksen (19:04):
Absolutely. And also with things like eBooks or even audio books, again, it’s great to be able to narrate that kind of thing, but when an author narrates their own, it really connects the author even further with their particular story or whatever it is they’ve produced. So again, I work with people who want to narrate their own stuff.

Janina Neumann (19:27):
That’s really interesting.

So tell us a little bit more about the way you coach people to have clearer messaging in their branding, for example.

Jennie Eriksen (19:38):
I’ve been working in the online space for the last 10 years, so I’m very used to working online with clients across the world. And actually I also work with clients in terms of role-play situations. So for example, that might be interviews. I have a particular client I work with who sells his product on an online shopping channel in the U.S. And obviously the numbers there are very, very important. So the more you sell, the more likely you are to be asked back onto the show. So for example, he and I, when he has the opportunity to go on the show, we’ll do a role-play situation. He’s only got six minutes in order to sell his product. So that’s a back and forth between the presenter and between him. So we take on a role-play situation where he does his selling thing, and I take on the role of the presenter.

Jennie Eriksen (20:28):
So I’m used to working online, but of course, so many people aren’t. This year has obviously challenged lots of people that have been used to talking about what they do and who they serve in an in person capacity. So with my coaching work, I work very much online with people that want to show up to networking meetings who want to do Facebook lives, webinars, who are great at what they do and not necessarily great at telling people what they do. And if I had a pound for every person that I meet online, that I think, “I can see you’re great at what you’re doing, but your message isn’t landing”, then I’d be quite wealthy. And that’s a shame, that whilst it would be lovely to be wealthy, I’d far rather go to a networking meeting where somebody’s messaging is going to land and resonate with people.

Jennie Eriksen (21:16):
So what I do with clients, sometimes it’s just fine-tuning. Sometimes it’s just tweaking their messaging. So it just needs a bit of a fine-tuning in order for people to understand what you do, and sometimes it’s actually blowing things apart. Sometimes it’s about revisiting what they do, who they serve, what pain points they address, and also looking in terms of the opportunities that people get. So are you going to a networking meeting where you are only going to get the opportunity to speak for a minute? Maybe you’re going to have the opportunity to speak for five minutes. Perhaps you might be invited into somebody’s Facebook group where you’re going to be interviewed, or even something like this Janina, going on somebody’s podcast, where you talk about what you do. So I help clients tailor their messaging according to the time they have available.

Jennie Eriksen (22:12):
And for example, going back to, as I mentioned before, if you think about 150 words is one minute, if you only get the opportunity to speak for one minute, those 150 words really have to count. And whilst we may think, “Well, I can fit many more words into that. I could get 170 or 180 in”, which perhaps you could. I’m looking at messaging that makes an audience go, “Yeah, I get that. I understand that”. And in terms of networking, networking meetings are not just about rocking up and, you know, “Buy my stuff”. It’s about engaging with your audience. And it’s about being good ambassadors for each other. And I want to leave a networking meeting where I’ve met people, knowing what people do. So as I go about my business, I can be a good ambassador for them, but if, you know, somebody speaks to me and I don’t, I don’t get what they do, they then become Susan that nice lady I met at the networking meeting, I don’t know what she does, and I don’t want that. I want to be a good ambassador for people. So I help people with messaging, talking about what they do. So even if they only get a chance to speak for a minute, that minute is thought provoking. It gives a snapshot into what they do so that people will reach out and say, “Hey, can we have a cup of coffee or can we have a longer conversation? Because that really peaked my interest. And I’d love to know more”.

Janina Neumann (23:37):
That’s fantastic. I mean, it just reminds me of scenarios in the past where I’ve been thinking, “Oh, this was lucky that I met person, or it was lucky that that person introduced me to that person”, but actually it comes down to how clear you are and how clear that other person was about who they’re looking for.

Jennie Eriksen (23:56):
Absolutely. And, you know, we met because of clear messaging. That’s how you and I were actually introduced, when I said what I did, we had the opportunity to be connected because I was very clear on the work I did. And that’s the power of networking. Our messaging is so important. It can open up so many opportunities, but it’s about being able to succinctly say what you do and choosing the right amount of words for your audience and for your opportunity.

Janina Neumann (24:29):
Definitely. And also, you know, when I listened to people saying, you know, “They work with small businesses”, and, you know, in the UK, most businesses are small businesses. You know, that’s not really specific, you know, it could be anyone. And when I reflect on the work that you do with your coaching program, for example, helping the gentlemen with the online shopping channel, it’s very results driven. You know, time like is limited and, you know, the clearer you are with the messaging, the more products he sells. So it just shows how important it really is to be clear in your messaging. And sometimes I think, you know, the times where we all met in person, you know, to be that clear, because we thought, “Oh, you know, I can explain who I am next time”. Whereas now, you know, you might only have that one chance to meet those specific people in that room because they might not be able to make the next meeting online.

Jennie Eriksen (25:33):
Exactly. There is an awful lot of people that presume we know what they do. There are a lot of people that for example, will dine out on jargon, “I’m a strategic something or other”, and I always want to know what does it mean? So especially in breakout group work that you do in networking meetings, I want to ask, “What does it mean? What do you do? Because I don’t from your title. I don’t get what you do. And I would love to know more about what you do”. And there are also people that say, “Well, you know, everybody knows what I do. And I’m a small business accountant. So everybody knows I work for small businesses”.

Jennie Eriksen (26:11):
And I’ll give you a quick example, if I may. I went to a particular meeting, quite a big meeting, where there could be a few of the people that did the same sort of thing. And it was a quick introduction around the room before breakout groups. And there were two small business accountants and first lady spoke, “Hello, my name is Mary, and I’m a small business accountant. I help small businesses with their accounts”. And I could see from Zoom, there was another lady in sort of the far corner, just almost putting her hand on her head and shaking, “Oh my goodness”. And I thought, “Well, you’re a small business accountant. That’s what you do”. And when it was her turn to introduce her little voice said, “Oh, you know, hello, I’m Janet, and I’m a small business accountant. And I do the same as she does”. And it was wow, okay. Obviously you don’t do the same because even if you’re both small business accountants, you’re going to do different things. And as it happened, I had the opportunity to meet her in a breakout room and we did some more introductions again.

Jennie Eriksen (27:11):
And I said, “Oh yes, I heard you were a small business accountant”. And she said, “Well, yes, I do the same as the other lady does”. And I said, “But, you know, do you? Do you know what she does? If I asked you, who do you like to help? Who do you serve?”. She came alive. She’d gone from this little voice person to, “Well, I help people, you know, people that put all their receipts in a Tesco carrier bag and put them to one side because they can’t do their accounts. And they’re busy in their businesses. I help people that get in a mess with their accounts or they don’t want to do their accounts. And I didn’t tell people that I did that, did I?” And no, she hadn’t.

Jennie Eriksen (27:47):
So for example, the other lady might have wanted structured accounts every month. You know, you’ve got to send in your detailed spreadsheets. That’s what I need from you. But this lady liked helping people that were in a pickle with their accounts. You know, people may have put their receipts to one side and scared, you know, that they might get in a situation with the tax man or something awful might happen. So their particular areas of expertise could be very different, but unless you articulate what you do, you tell people to the nth degree what you do, people can’t really look out for you. And whilst most people in a room might not necessarily go, “Yes, that’s me. I’m in a pickle with my accounts”, because people don’t necessarily want to admit that, it might pique a conversation, “Hey, you know, we met in that meeting, I’m in a bit of a pickle with my accounts. Could you help me out?” So, you know, being specific is so important. Specificity is a really hard word to say as a voice-over person, but being specific is much easier, telling people what you do and what you were looking for.

Janina Neumann (28:53):
Yeah, you’ve summarised that beautifully. I’ve just find it interesting how accountants generally introduce themselves at networking events as if they’re a boring service, yet everyone relies on them. So I think, you know, they’re not helping them lift the mood, you know, by saying, “Oh, it’s something boring that I do”, because actually everyone values what they do.

Jennie Eriksen (29:19):
Exactly. The peace of mind that the perceived boring accountant can give is amazing. Even if these two ladies that I gave us an example, even if they did everything the same to the nth degree, you just might like one better than the other, because there’s a better vibe. But when you’re specific with your messaging, that ‘know like, and trust’ is so important. So many people will go to a networking meeting, “Oh, well, you know, it was a waste of five pounds or a waste of an hour and a half of my time, I didn’t click with anybody”. But it’s about honing and refining what you do and creating those relationships and building that ‘know like, and trust’. And also, you know, as I say, you asking for what you’re looking for. The six degrees of separation now are something like 3.4 degrees. So we think, well, we can maybe throw out there, “Does anybody know somebody this, or know this particular person?” I bet they’re not going to, but you just never know. I’m one degree away or one separation away from the guy who plays Homer Simpson. I could tell you how, but you know, if people said, “Hey, do you know the guy that plays Homer Simpson?” “I don’t know him, but I have a friend who knows him”. So you never know, unless you ask the question, you’ll never know.

Janina Neumann (30:40):
Exactly. And I think people like to be vague because they’re stuck. So actually it’s a time of actually asking someone for help and also acknowledging that their skill sets lie in being very clear. But also they have a completely different perception of your business that you might not value or you haven’t seen.

Jennie Eriksen (31:01):
Exactly. And when you articulate what you do and you tell people what you do, that’s when the extra conversations happen, that’s when people reach out and say, “Hey, should we have a one-to-one? That was lovely to get a snapshot of what you do, but I’d like to know more”. So even if you’re only getting a one minute opportunity to talk, you can make that one minute count. People say, “I can’t tell people everything I do in one minute”. “No, you’re absolutely right, you can’t. But you can give people a snapshot that will pique people’s interest into that longer conversation. And for people to say, ‘Hey, you know, I’ve got a Facebook group, you know, could you come? Could I interview you?'” Or even somebody, just like you, Janina, saying, “I’ve got a podcast, and I would love to know more”. That one minute can make such a difference. But it’s about having 150 words that land with people and make people go, “Oh, that’s cool. I’d like to know more”.

Janina Neumann (31:57):
Yeah, certainly. And also if we think about, you know, if the networking event is open to everyone around the globe, what we might use in our script, like idioms, for some other people, English is only their second language. So having someone else refine that for you in that scenario is really important because, you know, I know myself, I use idioms all the time and we might not just be aware of that.

Jennie Eriksen (32:23):
Exactly. I mean, even I’ll give you another quick example, if I may. I went to a U.S. meeting, I do quite a lot of networking meetings in the U.S. and again, the opportunity for people to speak for a couple of minutes about what they do. And this particular lady said, “Oh, this is my third startup business, and our work is drains. So that’s what we create. We create drains for people”. And she spoke a little bit further, and people were nodding. People don’t like to call people out or just, you know, ask more questions, necessarily. So people were nodding, and I thought, “I don’t think the rest of these people understand what she does”.

Jennie Eriksen (33:01):
And I was thinking in terms of drains under the sink or drains outside the house. And she had a couple of minutes to speak, and after about a minute and a bit she’d finished speaking, and I said, “I’m ever so sorry. I don’t quite understand what you do. Do you mean you work with plumbers? What do you do?” No, she didn’t mean that at all, what she meant by drains was people that had maybe had surgery that needed drains in their body to drain fluid. She created drain covers for people that have to have tubing inside their body and, you know, become sore and irritable. So her third startup company creates something that makes it a little easier for people when they’re recovering from surgery, or maybe having some special treatment. Not the same thing at all, nothing to do with under sinks or drains outside of houses. So then when she started to tell the story a little bit about why she created them, because in fact she’d known somebody that was suffering, and that’s why they created it. Completely different. But unless you articulate that or unless somebody asks you the questions, the three other people in the room were leaving thinking, “Okay, what does she mean? Drains under the sink?” We don’t know.

Janina Neumann (34:13):
Really interesting. And also, you know, once you shared that she had, you know, a reason why she did it, you know, a personal reason, she comes across a lot more relatable and you’re thinking then, “Oh, she really knows what she’s talking about as well. And she has, you know, the drive in the right place”.

Jennie Eriksen (34:33):
Exactly. And we don’t tend to remember the small details of people. So, for example, if I gave you three top tips in a meeting, you might remember one of them. But if I tell you my story, if I tell you why I do what I do, that resonates more with people. Storytelling is so important that when we turn up to a meeting and go, “Oh, I don’t remember, that’s that lady again. I don’t remember what those three top tips were, but she was the lady that did that thing, et cetera”. That’s how we build relationships by giving over some of our story.

Janina Neumann (35:08):
That’s fantastic.

So if people love listening to you, Jennie, how can they connect and work with you?

Jennie Eriksen (35:15):
Okay. Well, if anybody would like some voice-over work or like a chat about that’s a lovelyvoice.com. So www.lovelyvoice.com. And if you want to master your messaging, so if you want an opportunity to, as I say, turn up at a networking meeting or create even a Facebook live and you’re struggling with confidence and your wording, then that’s masteryourmessaging.com. So you can find me at both places.

Janina Neumann (35:46):
Oh, it’s been fantastic talking to you, Jennie, and thank you so much for all the insights into what you do. I’ve learnt so much.

Jennie Eriksen (35:54):
Been a pleasure. Thanks, Janina.

Janina Neumann (35:55):
Thank you.

If you have enjoyed reading this article, why not subscribe to The Bicultural Podcast?

WAYS OF SUBSCRIBING TO THE PODCAST