The Video Does Not Lie

“Auditioning in a Video Resume” – that is the title of the article in yesterday’s NY Times. (Click here for access to the complete article.) Your resume on a video? Say it isn’t so! Today, I noticed that it was the most emailed article on the Times’ website. So, obviously, this strikes a nerve – and possibly gives people an edge on their competition.

How do you see it? Rather, how does your prospective employer see you? How do your customers see you? Your spouse? Your friends? The dean of admissions to your college of choice?

Let’s face it: YouTube and MySpace have changed the communications landscape. Your image matters. Now, more so than ever. Your image is being shaped and broadcast by others to a computer or cellphone near you – or around the world. What are you doing to help shape your own image? What is your image? Is it what you thought it was? The camera does not lie. What can you do to make yourself more telegenic?

“It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It”

This is not only an aphorism. It is the title of a wonderful book by Joan Detz. She is a professional speech coach who has advised prominent executives and politicians. Her book is filled with ready-to-use, and tested tips that can help you communicate effectively in almost any situation.

In yesterday’s post, I cited these statistics (from “The Exceptional Presenter,” by Timothy J. Koegel):

7% of our impact is determined by the words we use.

38% of our impact is determined by our voice: how confident and comfortable we sound.

55% of our impact is determined non-verbally: our appearance, posture, gestures and movement, eye contact and facial expressions.

“It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It!”

How do you say it? How effective are you at communicating your message? Are you sure? Do you see what your audience sees? Does your audience see what you want them to see? How do you know this? Have you video-taped your presentation? Did you like what you see on the video? If not, what steps are you going to take to improve your communication? To ensure that your message is being understood and acted upon?

Can you take the necessary steps to improve your communication skills by yourself? Yes, you can. It is possible. But is this practical? Probably not. If you really want to be a top communicator you should seriously consider hiring a coach. A speech coach and / or a media coach. After all, 93% of the impact that you have on your audience does not come from the words that you use!

How you say those words and how you look while you are saying them makes all of the difference. Effective or Not? Deal or No Deal? Get the Job or Not? These are your outcomes. How badly do you want the job, or to make the sale or to get your message understood? It’s your choice.

We communicate visually. Read the NY Times article and see what the future holds for you. You are on camera:

“Many people don’t have the proper experience in being engaging and welcoming to this piece of technology,” said Bill McGowan a former anchor, reporter and producer at ABC and now the founder of the Clarity Media Group in Manhattan. “How do they engage a piece of metal with the same kind of warmth that they might engage someone individually? That’s the big hurdle for some of these people.”

Perhaps you will never be interviewed on camera. Maybe, you will never be caught in a compromising or unflattering position and have the misfortune of seeing yourself on YouTube. Or having your boss or client see this!

However, your are constantly communicating. And a camera or a coach will help you to improve your ability to communicate effectively. Joan Detz suggests the following are reasons to hire a professional speech coach:

!) When it’s especially important for you to do a terrific job

2) When you’re speaking to an influential audience

3) When the media might be in attendance

4) When dynamic speaking skills could boost your career (or when weak presentation skills could harm your career)

5) When you must tackle embarrassing delivery flaws (Are you embarrassed about your voice? Is your body language awkward? You probably don’t want to address these private problems in a public course – but if you don’t address your problems, you’ll never fix them. Individual attention from a professional coach would prove beneficial.)

Are you ready for your close-up? Are you properly preparing to communicate your message? Are you successful?

Look at the video – yours… or the video in the minds of your audience!

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