Beth Collier, owner of Beth Collier Consulting, understands the power of telling a good story.
In her nearly two-decade career as a communication and creativity specialist for many blue chip companies, she may not recall all the numbers-filled presentations she once sat through, but she can remember the leaders who told compelling stories.
“When you have a leader who is willing to be personal, vulnerable, or just illustrate their point with a story, it's so much more memorable. Stories help you connect in a way that data doesn't,” Beth said.
Through much of her career, Beth connected with her clients in-person, but when the pandemic shifted meetings to video, she had to explore new ways of making human connections.
That’s how Beth first came to use mmhmm. When the pandemic hit, she pivoted and began delivering all of her workshops and coaching sessions online. And she was determined that her sessions would be different – and more enjoyable – than so many she saw, where the slides dominated the screen. By using mmhmm, Beth could stay on screen with her content – and stay connected to her audience.
“I have clients who spend 7+ hours a day on Zoom or Teams. My sessions with mmhmm are different. They are more engaging – and more fun,” she said. “I can post an image as a prompt for discussion, use colorful backgrounds, or post a GIF in response to something someone says.”
With mmhmm, Beth can be creative with the way she communicates. Instead of long, unwieldy, text-heavy bullet points on her slides, she can tell a story about a leader who inspires people, show an image of Dolly Parton over her shoulder, and give her audience that element of surprise that keeps them engaged.
As a coach to business leaders, Beth understands how crucial strong communication has become for those managing a hybrid or remote workplace. “The pandemic was an opportunity for leaders to connect with their employees in a new way, to show empathy, and be curious about one another,” she said. “If you're sitting at home with no one to lean over and talk to or engage with, there's a need to hear more from the leaders at the center or the top. With more people working in hybrid or remote situations, clear, simple messaging is more important than ever.”
In her own work, Beth uses mmhmm to run live sessions and also records videos sharing tips and stories that illustrate why communication and creativity are such important skills for everyone to develop. Using mmhmm in this way helps her deliver her messages while engaging with her viewers. Being onscreen with her presentations means the audience can benefit from more cues, like facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice, that enrich storytelling and understanding. “Video can be a great way to communicate because it gives that extra layer to your messaging, and helps avoid misunderstandings that might happen when your audience has only your words to interpret,” said Collier.