Do you want to see my bedroom?

Hello, I want to ask you to do something important but, first of all would you like to see my bedroom?  No, of course you don’t. So why would I do a webinar with my bedroom in the background. 

I saw a webcast yesterday on employer brand – an important subject of great interest to many employers – and the discussion was led by someone who is clearly experienced in this area but I couldn’t take my eyes off the baroque style king-sized bed directly him. 

And I thought, enough. 

Watch the vlog here:

In March we were all plunged into lockdown and many businesses were suddenly fighting for their existence and many employees fighting for their jobs so professional projection on Zoom or Teams wasn’t exactly a priority. 

Indeed for many people it was a humanising experience to see their colleagues at home and it undoubtedly helped people connect better. But as we begin to embed these communication channels into our day to day working lives, it’s time to start taking how we use these tools more seriously. 

The reason for this is simple: most communication is non verbal. 

Your physical appearance and environment create an immediate expectation, how you speak will trigger a response and, finally, what you say will either land well or not. Clearly for most day to day, informal interactions with people you already know, we tend to accept a much higher level of informality but it’s very different when we have something important or complex to say. 

Personally speaking, I’ve always thought that if I’m asking someone for money – a new customer or an investor perhaps  – then I should at least look like I’ve made an effort. I don’t necessarily mean a suit, shirt and tie but I definitely don’t mean jeans and t-shirt.

Some of you might find that old fashioned, but I find it hard to believe that approach has ever worked against me. But let’s say you’re asking for something more important than money – let’s say it’s commitment from a group of employees or the trust of a new customer – then, quite frankly, you better look like you’ve made an effort. And if you have to do that remotely then you really ought to be able to deliver a professional video call. 

It’s not hard but you do need to work at it.

Our webinar last week with Audrie Woodhouse of Honestly Speaking got the largest number of testimonials of any of our webinars in recent months and it had some fantastic tips on how to deliver a great video experience. 

The link to the top tips are in this post and it’s well worth a few minutes of your time. 

In signing off, I’ll share a couple of top tips of my own. 

The first is don’t try jokes in a webinar. The lack of response is very unsettling.  Although that may just be my jokes. Secondly, I did confess on the webinar last week to using a cosmetic aid – namely translucent powder – to take a bit of shine off my rather large forehead.

I had three men contact me afterwards to ask if I had a specific recommendations. I told them I use Max Factor. Not a phrase I ever thought I would hear myself saying,  but there you go, ‘I’m worth it’.

Thanks for watching.

Top Tips: How can leaders communicate effectively through video


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