A pair of socks helped me make more effective videos that people wanted to watch.
The Army’s simple strategy involves tearing you down to nothing then rebuilding you. They take everything you arrive with, even your hair. Then they start taking away everything they gave you when you arrived like pillows, blankets, ashtrays, towels and little by little, like lab rats, you learnt that if you pushed the wrong button you got a zap and the right button got you a pellet of corn. I could accept that. In return they had to accept just one thing: they couldn’t have my sense of humour and there was much to laugh at, unannounced locker inspections for one.
Any one item out of place resulted in the contents of your locker being ripped out and tossed to the floor. This gave you the ‘opportunity’ to start afresh. I actually like being neat and tidy and ordered. Mine was a model locker, faultless to a point or so I thought. For this character trait I expected praise but I was wrong. It infuriated them and they were ready to pounce, waiting for me to slip up.
Done carefully, socks that are folded with the end rolled back over have a neat, curved line. Knowing they were gunning for me I even ironed the socks. I was way ahead of these amateurs, or so I thought. Credit where credit is due, they outgunned me on this one.
My Platoon Commander had so much starch in his shirt that he crinkled like a broadsheet newspaper on a crowded commuter train. The smell of leather polish, Brasso and Brut 33 rushed up my nostrils as he invaded my personal space and began to hiss.
“You don’t have smiley socks Pte. Mather”
“Sir?” I was honestly puzzled.
“The curved bits on your socks are pointing down, they look like unhappy socks. This is a happy platoon Pte Mather, in this platoon socks need to curve up, in this platoon we have smiley socks!” I uttered a curt ‘Sir’ in confirmation and he gave himself a self-congratulatory nod. His attendant henchman had a wire hook at hand and gravity on his side. He stepped forward and disgorged my locker contents. To this day I am compelled to correct socks into a smiling attitude.
I am reminded almost weekly of this story as I am looking at the videos the participants in my GetVideoSmart workshops have created. These videos are perfect in many ways except for one thing... the people have forgotten to smile.
They are so focused on getting all the elements of the video right that they are missing out on the wonderful power that the human smile brings to relationship building.
A smile is free. A smile softens hard-to-accept content. A smile makes you feel so welcome. A smile says everything is alright between you and me.
Write yourself a little note if you must and tape it to the side of your smartphone when you are recording your video. Please do yourself and your audience a favour and remember to smile.
Confidently presenting yourself on video is now an essential career skill.
I'm here to help, not hinder you. You can can unsubscribe discreetly at any time.