by Michael Piperno -- Emmy Award-winner Kerry Barrett knows what it takes to be camera ready, whether you’re managing a crisis or promoting a business. “People who want to get on video are usually worried about criticism,” said Barrett. “After 20 years in the TV business overcoming my own insecurities, I know what works and what doesn’t.”
You might think that someone with two decades of on-air experience as a news anchor, reporter, and producer on NBC, Fox News, and ABC has always been fearless when it comes to speaking in public. In fact, Barrett was terrified of public speaking until a pivotal moment early in her career.
“One day there was a breaking news story that I had to handle by myself because my co-anchor was not there,” said Barrett. “When I got to the end of the show, it hit me that I had handled it all. I proved to myself that I can handle anything. It might not be perfect, but I can do it and do it well.”
Since then, Barrett has won several industry awards, and has interviewed heads of state such as Janet Napolitano, financial guru Suze Orman, and top celebrities such as Bradley Cooper. Today, she focuses on using her media and communications experience to help others be more comfortable and effective on video.
Bland Video Gets You Nowhere
Barrett’s passion for helping people make their use of video compelling is contagious when you speak with her. “Bland video gets you nowhere,” said Barrett. “People often say that content is king, but it’s not just about the words. Good delivery matters.”
Her advice? “Think of video like a web page. If it’s just a wall of words it won’t keep someone’s attention very long. However, if the page has clearly delineated thoughts, visuals, bullets, and even animation, it will be more compelling and better to experience. Video is the same way. You need to lead viewers by hand through the piece from start to finish.”
The Journey from Former TV News Anchor to In-demand Media Trainer
“I certainly don’t miss the 1:30 a.m. wake-up call,” Barrett said with a laugh when asked about her transition from TV anchor to consultant. She left the news business to pursue opportunities in public relations, and quickly found that her on-camera experience was in high demand for people who need to tell their stories, perform as credible spokespersons, or promote their businesses through video.
A fun fact about Barrett’s journey is that she studied pre-veterinary medicine at first in college. “But it became clear that chemistry and I were not going to happen,” she said. She switched to studying communications and got an internship with a TV station that ignited her passion for media.
Two years ago, she launched her business Kerry Barrett Consulting, which provides individuals and groups with the resources and information they need to enhance their public appearance in the best way possible. From camera prep for media outlets to developing thought leadership pieces for websites and social media platforms to preparing for TED Talks, Barrett ensures her clients perform at their absolute best.
“Follow your passion and don’t be afraid of taking risks,” said Barrett. “For the last two years, I’ve woken up every day excited to go to work. I haven’t felt that way in a decade.”
Barrett lives in Sparta, New Jersey with her husband John, a Delta airlines pilot and Iraq war veteran, and their three children.
Don’t miss her upcoming talk, Surviving a Crisis and Choosing the Right Spokesperson, on June 16, 2021. Learn more and register here.
Michael Piperno is a communication expert, trainer, and coach who helps people communicate clearly, speak and present effectively, build and maintain positive and healthy business relationships, and lead with confidence. Learn more at WeAreComvia.com.