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When the pandemic closed in and shut down businesses in March, Pat Lore, a Guilford resident, seasoned TV reporter, and video production expert, found a new niche and a new way to help others by sharing her pro tips on marketing themselves or their business or organization via video and live camera. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lore )
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“I always tell people the worst compliment you can give me is to call me perfect,” says video storyteller Pat Lore. “I want you to call me authentic. Because now, it’s all about being authentic, and the fastest way to grow your business idea is to put yourself on live video—or at least put yourself on video.”
When the pandemic closed in and shut down businesses in March, Pat, a Guilford resident, seasoned TV reporter, and video production expert, found a new niche and a new way to help others. During the three months of the stay-home, stay-safe shut down, she became a go-to pro for those in need of going virtual.
It has been a fulfilling journey, she says.
“I’m so passionate about this. I’ve been living this for 90 days through this pandemic, and I actually got my professional speakers designation for the National Speakers Association,” says Pat. “So I’ve been loving it. I can’t tell you how everything is flipped around for me, in that when I talk to people, teach people, and go on [Facebook] live, I feel like I’m channeling my true self. And I don’t worry about making mistakes. In fact, I encourage people to make mistakes, because we’re all human—we’re not robots, and we’re not television news reporters!”
One Door Closes, A Virtual Window Opens
“I’m like the Queen of Reinvention,” says Pat, laughing. “What happened is all of my video production got canceled when the pandemic started. I was scheduled to be on a cruise ship in Europe doing stories, and that got canceled...My corporate award shows, all this stuff got canceled. Everything got pulled out from underneath me.”
Luckily, Pat had a few other irons in the fire, including an online beginner’s course she’d created at her website patlore.com that teaches people, “how to ‘show up’ on live camera,” she says.
“I created an online course that went live right before the pandemic,” says Pat.”So basically I had my first class of students graduating in the middle of the pandemic, and they were like, ‘Oh my God, Pat, this couldn’t have been a better time to learn this skill.’”
Pat is now also being sought out by corporations to help teach effective video practices for Zoom meetings as well as colleges wishing to help recent graduates interview virtually with prospective employers.
Back in March, about the same time Pat’s first live video training online course got underway, she was also contacted by the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
“They asked me to be a guest speaker very early on in the pandemic, when they started doing their virtual live shots for their meetings. And I think that’s why everybody started asking if I could be a guest, because everyone needed this skill. So I started talking about how you need to ‘own your square,’” says Pat, who trademarked the term is now developing a new curriculum for an “Own Your Square” course, as well.
Pat also provided assistance to local businesses via a webinar she put on for the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce (SCC) during the pandemic. Originally set to be a keynote speaker at an SCC event that had to be canceled, Pat had recommended going virtual with the event, instead.
“This was mid-March, right after things shut down, and at that point everyone was still kind of taken aback and unprepared for this virtual world,” says Pat. “What ended up happening about a month later is that I put on a free webinar for them, and for all of their members, teaching people how to show up and own their square—basically, how to be dynamic on camera. So I have been talking to chambers and networking groups and e-women groups for three months now, giving them tips about lights, camera, connection.”
Even the Guilford Free Library (GFL) came calling. Pat was GFL’s very first virtual speaker during the pandemic. She offered a free series that drew 206 participants. After the series ended, she invited anyone interested in further building their skills to sign on at her virtual “confidence lab”—her five-day beginners’ course that teaches camera confidence (and costs just $7). Participants post their completed course exercises of actionable steps in the private Facebook group with Pat providing feedback and support.
“So if people want to dip their toe in, for the price of a sandwich, they can take the course for five days and I’ll pop in and look at their videos and give them some tips,” says Pat. “The trick is you really need to practice and get feedback to get better. So that’s what I work on with people in my course. We have a private Facebook group and people post in the group and that’s how they see their progress.”
In this digital age, Pat says organizations, individuals, and businesses who can “show up” on video or live video have a golden opportunity to dramatically increase their outreach in a world where people are seeking out connections online.
“When you go on camera, you build up a ‘know, like, and trust’ factor. It’s authentic. It’s you. Your face is the new handshake,” she says. “It is the new normal, and even when we get back to normal, it will still be the new normal. So don’t keep thinking about it! Take action.”
Even during a pandemic, the time is right to add this skill to your marketing toolbox, she says.
“I tell people even though the world might seem like it’s on pause, don’t put your career on pause right now. You’ve got to keep the momentum going,” says Pat. “And this is what people can do to enable themselves. If they’re feeling lost, if they’re feeling down and out...think about all the skills people have, and knowledge—you can make anything of that. You can actually start a business from scratch, just by having your knowledge. I want people to know they can reinvent themselves at any point in life.”
Helping Out During COVID-19
At a time when the state’s COVID-19 shut-downs were still at their peak, Pat also worked with several local organizations to help them. She went live with the Guilford Art Center (GAC) and Executive Director Maureen Belden to preview GAC’s program of virtual classes; she interviewed Women & Family Life Center Executive Director Meghan Scanlon on camera to help drive in virtual fundraising during the Great Give; and she interviewed business owners at Guilford shops Flutterby and Rock Paper Sistas.
“I helped those people get their messaging out, because they, like so many others, were struggling with ‘How do we do this?’” says Pat.
Last week, by posting her own energetic live video on the Simply Guilford Businesses public Facebook group, Pat put out a free consultation offer to the first local business to comment on the video.
“I said if you put in the comment section ‘Live with Pat,’ I’ll come to your business and I’ll walk you through a live shot, or teach you how you can get involved with this yourself,” says Pat.
Skinsations of Guilford messaged first, and Pat’s on her way to help them out. She’s also hosting a free Facebook Live webinar with the Hamden Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, July 22.
Working with a Pro
Pat’s providing advice and sharing experience she’s gathered over 30 years as seasoned pro in front of the camera, deepened by her own personal experience of once feeling that she wasn’t “good enough” to go in front of the lens.
Before starting up her own film production company and her role as a video and camera coach, Pat gathered more than 20 years’ experience as TV journalist, storyteller, host, and reporter.
“I’ve been on video for the 30 years. I did what I believe is the first video selfie back in 1990,” as a TV reporter, says Pat. “And I say that because I was a one-woman band—I was shooting, recording, and editing stories myself. But that being said, it was not forgiving, live video. You had to be perfect. You were put in this perfect box, and I didn’t like living in that perfect box.”
After being on television for years, Pat experienced a moment that changed the course of her life’s work and life journey.
“I was doing a live shot and I literally froze,” says Pat. “And all of the sudden, I felt like everyone was judging me, and I wasn’t good enough, and who am I to be the authority? And it literally paralyzed me for years. It was silly; it was a moment in time, and I blew it up to be this big thing. I’m over that now. That doesn’t live inside me anymore, but I understand people who dread it. Public speaking is one people’s top-five fears in life.”
At the time, Pat went behind the scenes and started her award-winning video production company, Headline Productions (headlineproductions.com).
Pat says one of the most important takeaways she can share with others is that anyone can learn how to be authentic and comfortable on camera and live video.
“This is the kind of transformation you can make once you buy into yourself. And that’s what I want people to do, to believe in themselves and to buy into themselves. I tell people all the time ‘You are good enough—why not you?’” says Pat. “It’s a terrible path to go down when you have fear of anything, and I just want to take that pain away from people and take that fear away. Because everyone has a story to tell, and I want to help them tell their own story. I still love my storytelling, but I equally love teaching people how to show up on live camera. So it’s a wonderful mix for me.”
To contact Pat Lore, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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