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No Video Please

January 9, 2011 fm

Since July 2009 I’ve been offering professional seminars in the field of communication, public speaking and presentation skills and the question I have heard the most is, “Do you use video in your seminars?”

Now – I won’t go for the standard bloggers’ trick of making you click through 20 pages till you finally find a common sense answer… I do NOT use video in my seminars.

“But it’s such a valuable tool,” people are puzzled in unison.

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Is Video Really Such A Valuable Tool?

Whose opinion matters more regarding your public speaking performance – your opinion or the opinion of the audience?

If you want to grow as a communicator based on your own personal perception rather than the audience’s, then video is your best friend. Because what you see is what you get.

If you throw your own perception, your own pride, your own conviction over board and trust the audience instead, then video will be poison for your self-improvement.

Years ago, I said goodbye to my personal observance. What we see is not what they see. What we think is not what they think. What we believe is not what they believe. Let’s face it – self-assessment is the biggest saboteur of them all.

As soon as we switch on that camera and watch that video we start to assess ourselves:

“That weird hand movement? I will never do it again.”

“OMG, this voice sounds aweful!”

“Me singing? How embarrassing!”

This is what happens when you follow your own opinion – you hear yourself saying “argh” and “uh”.

What about your audience? They loved your hand movement, because it showed determination. Your audience was thrilled by your vocal variety. And your audience certainly digged your singing part.

Would you like to erase tools from your public speaking toolbox that actually work well?

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Better Than Video

Obviously, this is my subjective point of view. Many trainers successfully use video in their seminars.

Personally, I came to the conclusion that constructive audience feedback beats any video analysis by far. Ask yourself – do you want to see yourself on video? Probably not. It can be destructive and it can lead to false conclusions.

Constructive audience feedback is always a reality check. Not what you see is what you get, but what you hear is what you get.

My suggestion: Switch off the camera and trust your audience!

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