Gina London is an Emmy winning former CNN correspondent and anchor. Gina has clients in five continents and guides the top companies and executives in the world to more positively connect with their employees, their brand and themselves.
She currently writes the Business Leadership Column “The Communicator” in Ireland’s largest circulated newspaper, The Sunday Independent, and provides interactive and motivational keynote speeches on the power of communicating with purpose and impact.
In this conversation, Judie Russell talks to Gina about the Myth of Authenticity - how to be our authentic selves, the move from anchoring for CNN to short form portrait videos and tips for leaders who want to create more video content.
1. What is the Myth of Authenticity?
Gina was invited to speak at a recent TEDx talk where the title of her talk was ‘The Myth of Authenticity’, so what is authenticity and what does it mean?
“Authenticity, as defined by a psychologist, is the degree to which a person’s actions consistently connect with their desires and their internal values.”
Authenticity isn’t just about letting people know the real ‘me’. In order for us to “grow and develop, to be more purposeful and mindful about how we show respect and how we value other people,” we must take more control of ourselves. This in turn will allow us to better connect with people in our own lives and it will also be reflected back into our videos.
2. CNN to Short Form Videos
How does Gina approach this new type of content versus more of the longer form landscape content that we’re used to and what is her process for planning this kind of content?
For Gina, it was a jump going from this ‘professional’ style broadcast content, with softbox lights, to just holding up the phone in front of her face and talking from her heart. In Gina’s short form videos, she is “driven by communicating and connecting”. It is important for us to find where people are connecting well, whether that be on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.
“I never would have thought I’d have put up a hand-held little phone video on LinkedIn”
When it comes to planning videos or creating content when she has an idea, Gina finds that a mix of both can be helpful for her. For example, with her team, they were able to plan a ‘Month of Selfcare’ videos that would be recorded together and then posted out on different days. However, also, if she comes across someone or something interesting that she would like to share, she will post about it.
3. Top Tip for Leaders Who Want to Create More Videos
It’s so important for the executives and leaders to connect with their team or their audience through video content.
“Your employees don’t want to read a memo from you or another email - They want to hear you and see you in a video clip.”
Becoming confident and comfortable with talking to a camera is key to creating meaningful conversations and connections. To become camera friendly, Gina suggests focusing on your lighting and your camera set up, don’t look like you're reading from your screen and become voice energised.
“Get a coach, get some training - You can do it. It’s in your grasp”
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