An Actor’s Guide to Authentic Videos

Last Updated August 27th, 2021


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Note: this conversation with Julie Hansen was originally released as Episode 156 and is edited and re-released as Episode 217.

Eye contact is one of the quickest ways to build relationships. But if you’ve been on a video call lately (and haven’t we all?), you’ve probably noticed very few people are making direct eye contact. They’re disengaged, distracted, and even entirely disconnected. Qualities that are prominent during in-person communication, like authenticity and vulnerability, are severely lacking.

Assuming we’ll be good at video communication merely because it’s prevalent isn’t the best way forward. Knowing how to work with the camera and how to adapt to a camera-filled world isn’t innate.

So what can we do to improve our video communication? Well, we can start by practicing good video skills like making eye contact and focusing on creating conversations rather than presentations. Good video skills will help us improve our communication techniques and build stronger, more human-centered relationships faster over video.

Our guest today is Julie Hansen. Julie is the Founder and Sales Presentation Expert at Performance Sales and Training and Creator of the Selling on Video Master Class. To those of us who have felt unfulfilled on both sides of the screen, Julie says, “No, this isn’t as good as it gets!” With her deep knowledge of video psychology, Julie understands (and guides us through) the specific techniques that can get us back to human-centered connection.

In addition to her current role, Julie is a guide to virtual communication excellence, a professional actor, sales trainer, author of Act Like a Sales Pro, and author of the forthcoming book Look Me in the Eye. Julie talks with us about the misconception that virtual and in-person communication are the same, except that virtual communication employs a camera. This assumption simply isn’t reality. To connect with a virtual audience, we need to navigate our relationships by leveraging video skills, as well as our vulnerability.

Julie also notes that, much like actors rehearsing a scene, we need to put ourselves in the back seat and focus on the feelings of those we’re communicating with during our video interactions. By focusing on the feelings of others rather than on ourselves, we are present in the moment — this is where relationships flourish.

Julie is part of a special series we’re doing here on The Customer Experience Podcast. She’s one of 11 experts that Steve Pacinelli and I interviewed in-depth in the process of writing our Wall Street Journal bestselling second book, Human-Centered Communication: A Business Case Against Digital Pollution (Fast Company Press, October 2021).

Throughout this series, we’re back in conversation with each of them in a way that adds to – rather than restates – their insights featured in the book.

Julie Hansen, Selling on Video Master Class, professional actor, acting and sales, improv and sales, selling on camera, selling on video, video coach, sales coach, video training, Human-Centered Communication


In this conversation with Julie, you’ll learn:

How much influence sales has over customer experience
Why video skills are like acting skills
How to speak to a virtual group as if they’re an individual
What best video practices are
How to improve your video presence over time



An Actor’s Guide to Authentic Videos

Hear Episode 156/217 and any other conversation on The Customer Experience Podcast in your preferred podcast player …

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We also embed the full conversation in a playable and searchable format right here in these blog posts. The recording with Julie Hansen is right here …






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Video Highlights: An Actor’s Guide to Authentic Videos

Check out the top five video highlights from the discussion with Julie Hansen, Founder and Sales Presentation Expert at Performance Sales and Training…


1. Customer Experience is What Customers Walk Away With



2. How Acting Helps with Sales



3. Focus and Intent



4. Conversations, Not Presentations



5. Why Read Human-Centered Communication (Dan Hill)



Links Related to This Conversation:

Julie Hansen, Selling on Video, Master Class, professional actor, acting and sales, improv and sales, selling on camera, selling on video, video coach, sales coach, video training, Human-Centered Communication

More in Our Human-Centered Communication Series:



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Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.

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