Have you ever seen a loose thread on your clothing, tried to snap it off, but it won’t snap? You tug harder and the material bunches and you tug harder in response and now the thread mysteriously gets longer. It just keeps coming and you start to see things unravel in front of your eyes and you wish you had never tugged in the first place. Getting Video Smart can be a bit like that.
The barriers we face in making this work are not in the technology. You are literally seconds away from shooting quality video on your smartphone. The barriers are in our mind. Once we start unpacking some of the attitudes and assumptions that block our way to presenting ourselves well on-camera, we might well expose other stuff that we’ve been keeping out of sight. Just like the thread, our comfortable view of ‘how’ the world works might start to unravel a little.
This is a good thing for our businesses as it means we grow sales and customer satisfaction will improve and we will be better communicators. Personally, it can be life changing and I speak from experience. I began life as a stutterer. I hated it. I hated that words would not just roll off the tip of my tongue. Somehow they got stuck. It made me play a smaller game throughout my teens and twenties.
They gave me something to hide behind. Physically. Emotionally. I could appear busy. It was a way of putting up a DO NOT DISTURB sign. But it was also a driver for me. I knew it was holding me back from bigger things. I also understood it was up to me to change this.
Not really. Yes, I was in front of people, hundreds maybe, but I was still hiding behind the tricks and the magic props. The focus was on the tricks. In a sense, it was my transitional phase. I now speak on stage doing keynotes. I use a lot of images but they are behind me. There is nothing between the audience and my ideas. It is a wonderfully liberating experience.
The greatest insight from this journey is that it was all in my head. All the speech pathology sessions I attended as a child, all the hours spent practising magic tricks amount to a drop in the ocean compared to the improvements I made from attending to what I was thinking, what I was believing.
That’s why my One:Nine:Ninety Rule states spend ninety per cent of your effort on getting your mindset right. Just as a painter doesn’t blame her brushes, a novelist doesn’t blame her typewriter, we cannot blame the video technology if we fail to miss this business opportunity.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” – Albert Einstein
Einstein was spot on. We need to raise our level of awareness for this to work. Don’t let that freak you out. Nothing I will tell you here is woo-woo. I’m a nuts and bolts sort of bloke with a respect for the scientific process. This is why I’m excited for you. Over time you can be an excellent presenter on video. This will seep out into your day to day life. The people you have working for you can be presenting comfortably and naturally on video, growing your business in the process. Their new found confidence will seep out into their families. It’s a win-win. But it all lives or dies based on the ideas and beliefs you doggedly hold onto in your head or choose to say goodbye to. ‘Thanks, you served me well, but I don’t need you anymore.’
I think losing a loved one is hard. I’ll give that a rating of ten on the difficulty scale. What I am asking of your here rates a two. I am asking you to stare difficulty in the face, just for a bit, and when you start to feel that churning in your stomach I’m going to ask you to hold that stare for a bit longer and see what happens. You’ll feel the churning start to quell, go almost, and you’ll begin to understand that your mind can be a real shit to you if you allow it. Staring difficulty in the face is so much easier when you have conviction on your side. That’s why telling the truth – as you see it – makes you such a better presenter.
That's why this advice by Herman Munster in 1965 holds true for everyone in business worried about being on video.
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