'Would you be my guinea pig?' Of course I said - always keen to help. Should probably have known better - the next minute I am up in front of the audience at the PM Forum meeting being filmed for 60 seconds talking into a camera whilst trying not make a total idiot of myself.
Then, just for fun, we all watched sections of the video back and analysed it. Uncomfortable would be an understatement - but very illuminating (once I got over the fact that my eyes were wonky and my head tilted at a funny angle :)
The person who asked me to talk to camera was Stephanie Hughes, a communications and presentations consultant who for many years has been a broadcaster on BBC radio and television.
Her insight and advice was fantastic. I learnt a lot from Stephanie’s presentation (have a read of PM Forum’s summary below) but the thing I wanted to bring to your attention was how we can use video to improve the way we communicate.
When we looked back at the video she recorded of me speaking Stephanie separated the video and the audio. First, we watched the video with no sound and then, heard the audio with no video.
Before the playback Stephanie asked me what I was trying to achieve in my communication. Then we looked to see if what I had tried to do was actually achieved. I hoped to be confident, authentic and engaging. What we discovered is that my audio was good but my video needed work. There was a gap in how I thought I was communicating and how I was actually communicating. Without seeing it with my own eyes it would have been hard to show me or explain it to me.
Stephanie also carried on videoing after she said she had turned the camera off and it was really noticeable the difference in the way I communicated when I was not ‘under pressure’ of thinking the camera was on. I was better when I was relaxed.
So my advice this week – get one of your colleagues to video you and then analyse it and ask yourself the questions below.
5 questions to ask yourself about what you see/hear on film: 1. What am I doing well? 2. How close am I getting to my ideas? 3. Is my style too formal or too familiar? 4. Is anything getting in the way? 5. How does my face/voice make others feel?