For most companies and customers, video has become the most authentic method to tell your story.
Video can be your most powerful marketing tool – because people tend to trust what they see in a video, the visual cues and clues are more comprehensive than in a written story. After all, you can see expressions, body language and more via video. Meanwhile, your press release can feature a story about a unicorn, magic beans or kryptonite. Today’s customers know the difference between a marketing pitch and a real message.
Is it true that the camera never lies?
For executives with little or no experience in front of the camera, an interview or presentation can be a daunting task. Not everyone is suited to being in a video, but here are some tips that can help when it’s time for “Action!”
The camera is your friend.
When you look at the camera, what do you see? An evil lens, peering at you like some hyper-critical judge, ready to expose all your flaws and add 10 pounds to your waistline?
Don’t let your preconceptions get in the way of what you are saying, especially on YouTube.
As mom always used to tell us kids: if you don’t like your preconceptions, time to get some new ones. (We had a very centered upbringing; what can I say?)
The camera can’t hurt you, but you can hurt yourself if you grimace when that little red light comes on.
What if you were to think of the camera as an old friend – a friend who accepts you just the way you are? If you look at the camera the same way you view the dentist’s drill, chances are the people watching will feel uncomfortable, too. Turn the camera into someone who has known you for a very long time, who accepts you as you are, and laughs at [most] of your jokes.
The magic of working on camera is forgetting all the studio lights, microphones, and behind-the-scenes distractions, and concentrating on telling your story. If this idea of the “camera as an old friend” sounds phony, contrived or imaginary… you’re right! But, if you would rather flinch and scowl, go for it! Imagination is for little kids, anyway.<J>
Check out this one-minute executive video for an example.
- Enjoy telling your story. What you have to say has to be engaging, so make sure you’re engaged. If you say, “I’m passionate about…” in a monotone, you can bet that your audience will be snoring before they find out about your true “passion”. Similarly, there’s no need to go all-out Ballmer to make your point. But be authentic and engaged in the words you are saying. If you’re into it, the audience will be too!
- What if I still don’t like what I see – How can I get better? First of all, congratulations for being brave enough to watch yourself before others do. YouTube is littered with videos of executives and would-be DeNiro’s who have created a new level of personal embarrassment, completely unbeknownst to their ego.
- So, while there’s no magic formula to turn someone into Harrison Ford,there is a way to present your authentic self on camera, and it has to do with being relaxed and comfortable with your own style.
- For many, knowing the material is key – feeling comfortable with the presentation is the focus. But, often the best speakers are the ones who are comfortable with themselves. There’s only one Harrison Ford, but there’s also only one “you” – and no one is better qualified to tell your story than you are. The real trick is to make sure that you give yourself every opportunity to create the best possible online image you can.