It took a pandemic for Zannie Abbott to wind up exactly where she belonged.

Zannie, the 118th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, spent more than two decades in PR and communications. But she specialised in events – so when coronavirus hit, her work disappeared.

Fortunately, Zannie had already taken steps to branch out into video production. If not for COVID, Zannie might’ve stuck with her safe career and done some enjoyable video work on the side. But the pandemic forced her to dive headfirst into what she really wanted to do.

In May, Zannie and a friend founded, a video production agency. Zannie’s business partner operates the camera, while she does the interviewing. 

Zannie was made for this role; she loves people and she’s very easy to talk to.

As Zannie explains, a good interview involves an element of seduction. If you cut straight to the chase, the interviewee won’t feel comfortable. So you need to build a relationship and ease them into the interview. Then, when you get to the key questions, they’ll open up to you.

It’s funny how even with a technical art like video, old-fashioned people skills come to the fore.