Balancing the Grind with Lorraine Lee, Editorial Director at Prezi

Lorraine Lee is a top-rated virtual keynote speaker and leader at the intersection of editorial and tech with over 315,000 LinkedIn followers.

She helps professionals accelerate their careers and stand out in in the virtual office. She is the Head of Editorial at Prezi and a LinkedIn Learning Instructor, and has appeared in publications including Inc., ReadWrite, and Entrepreneur.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’m someone who has always loved creating content with impact. 

I studied journalism at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism then began my career at a messaging startup that was founded by one of the first 10 employees at Google. I then moved to SlideShare (a LinkedIn company at the time) as one of two editors.

I later joined the LinkedIn Daily News team, where I was one of only a few editors writing Daily Rundown articles (which has since been transformed into the LinkedIn News module in the top right of your LinkedIn Feed). 

After seeing the potential of this news product, I was sent on assignment to Hong Kong where I wrote the Daily Rundown during my day so LinkedIn’s U.S. audience would have the news waiting for them in the morning. 

When I returned to the U.S., I joined the editorial team’s Special Projects team, where I created and hosted one of LinkedIn News’ most engaging video series (#FemaleFounders), was the editorial lead for LinkedIn’s first newsletter product (Newsletters), developed the social media strategy for the LinkedIn News operation, and wrote and reported for the LinkedIn Lists franchise. 

After 6 wonderful years at LinkedIn, I made the move to Prezi, where I was its first editorial hire. At Prezi, I lead a small and mighty team whose mission is to inspire professionals and educators to create educational, informative, and engaging videos and meetings with Prezi — no matter where they are. I’ve had the pleasure of working with presentation gurus, LinkedIn Influencers and Top Voices, hybrid work experts, and so many more.

In addition to my work at Prezi, I’m also a virtual keynote speaker and an instructor. 

In 2020, I was named a top virtual speaker by ReadWrite, and have since been invited to speak at Fortune 500 companies, tech firms, top-ranked universities, and more on topics ranging from creating engaging virtual presentations and building a personal brand on LinkedIn to leading virtual teams and designing impactful virtual hybrid meetings. 

In late 2021 I launched the popular LinkedIn Learning course, “Virtual and Hybrid Meeting Essentials” (with a nanolearning course about effective hybrid meetings on the way!). I also am an instructor for a cohort-based course, “Unlock Your Virtual-First Advantage.”

I’ve also been featured in publications including ReadWrite, Entrepreneur and Inc.

I’ve remained passionate about helping professionals accelerate their careers and stand out in the virtual office, and I’ve built a following of more than 315,000 on LinkedIn who turn to me for insights and advice. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My days are always different, which I love. Any given day might include finding and working with thought leaders to create Prezi videos that we feature across our channels; checking in with my team during 1:1s about any challenges or roadblocks they might be facing; meeting with other marketing leaders at Prezi to discuss ongoing campaigns; working on the LinkedIn strategy for our CEO; creating presentations for board members or other senior leaders at the company ahead of big conferences; or sharing one of my keynotes with companies like GitLab and Atlassian.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

Yes, Prezi is a virtual-first organization. We have physical “hubs” in certain locations like Budapest (where our HQ is), Riga, and Berlin, but we approach work from a virtual-first perspective, meaning that we assume everyone is virtual and that we’re thoughtful about those who aren’t in the physical office.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance is extremely important to me, although these days I would perhaps frame it as work-life chemistry, a term I learned from Poynter instructor Kristen Hare even before we all went remote. 

With the move to virtual-first, I’ve been able to have more flexibility in my working day. That means doing workout classes in the afternoon, doing laundry throughout the day instead of waiting until the weekend, and stepping out for lunch. It also means scheduling my workday with a format that works well for me. I prefer meetings in the morning and for my afternoons to be “focus time.” A lot of Prezi is in Europe so the timing works out well! 

I use apps like Clockwise to group meetings together and to block out chunks of time for me to do more focused work, and I also am in the process of updating my ReadMe — a document that outlines how I best work. I’d recommend everyone create one, especially if you’re in a remote environment!

5) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I have a few pieces of advice I like to share often:

  • Ask for feedback (and be specific with it!). Showing you can graciously ask for and accept feedback is one of the most underrated soft skills but one that will help you grow more quickly. Even better: Find mentors in the organization who want to invest in your career growth and who will be open to sharing that feedback with you regularly.
  • Be open to your career pivoting in ways you didn’t expect. I used to be someone who wanted to have it all figured out. The problem is if you stay rigid on what your path will be, you’ll miss out on opportunities (one of my big career surprises was working abroad in Hong Kong). I like to say, “over prepare but don’t over plan.”
  • Learn how to be a virtual-first worker! This means knowing how to present yourself on video, how to start off calls with high energy, how to create productive meetings, when to leverage async comms vs. live comms, and more. The future of work is virtual-first, so make sure you’re putting in the work and learning the skills to thrive in that environment.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.