How Would You Sound on YouTube in Business and at Work?

Contrary to my business activity in various social media channels, I don’t particularly care to be photographed or videoed. At the beginning of my HR career, it was verboten to view pictures of prospective job candidates, in order to ensure an objective review of a candidate’s abilities, not how they looked. My social media engagement, particularly the use of LinkedIn as a key recruiting and business development tool, has turned my preconceived notion about business visual engagement on its head.

Below is a video of my 5-minute (actually achieved in 4 minutes, 37 seconds as a personal challenge) presentation at last fall’s BOSS (Business Opportunities to Success Summit) event, sponsored by RPI.  I was one of 60+ business owners who spoke about one best practice to share, for the benefit of current and future entrepreneurs.

Like everyone else, my presentation skills are a work in progress, in spite of a number of effective presentation training sessions over the course of my career. My developmental areas are the same as they were at the beginning of my career:

  • I close my eyes when I talk, whether I’m speaking one-on-one or in front of a large group.  I’m absolutely not shy; from a neurolinguistic programming standpoint, as my brain accesses a memory as I’m speaking, I close my eyes unconsciously. I try hard to be more conscious; and if my eyes close, I open them as soon as I can.
  • I don’t do well with bright light due to life-long myopia. In order to properly light the video, bright lights were necessary during this presentation, shining right into my eyes. It was more of an incentive to make eye contact with the audience than usual while I spoke. In the video, my eyes are a bit jumpy as a result.

On the positive side, also thanks to several effective presentation training sessions over the years, I made my best-practice point crisply and well within the 5-minute limit we were given to speak.

As the business paradigm shifts to include visual, audio and print media which makes the walls of any business (or any given professional’s conduct) much more transparent, how would you come across if you were videoed and it was posted on YouTube? Certainly, police officers across the country are experiencing first-hand how they come across in videos recorded by their body cameras, or by citizens videoing with smart phones police officers in the course of duty. In effect, the demarcation between internal and external communications is disappearing.

In developing effective employee / internal communications, the goal is clear and universal:

  • Would you be comfortable having your internal communication published in the newspaper (or presented on t.v.)?

And in the course of communicating with both internal and external customers, how would you come across in a YouTube video?

  • Are you respectful or cruel when delivering challenging performance feedback or a corrective action to employee?
  • Are you patient or snarky to a dissatisfied customer?
  • Do you listen for needs, or do you just shout team-mates down in the face of a conflict?

How will you manage your communication and your tone with all stakeholders (as if everything you said would be presented on YouTube) to support the success of all, in business and at work?


Debra J. M#3

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