Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Project Presence: Delivery feedback... and a revised version of "Your audience is here"

One of the seven key elements of my Project Presence model is feedback. In the case of leadership videos I'm focused on:
  • Feedback on the message of an individual video
  • Feedback on the underlying values conveyed
  • Feedback on the message delivery
  • Feedback on the value of the videos as a communications tool
In the case of my recent "Your audience is here" video I received a great example of feedback on my delivery. The essence of the feedback is that I'd once again buried the lede (buried the lead to my non-US readers). 

I shared the fact that I've made a poster that goes behind my camera to remind me to look at the lens. This was important enough to serve as my video intro shot but I didn't share the fact until 1:45 of a 2:00 video. 

In most circumstances the appropriate response to this type of delivery feedback is to incorporate it into your future efforts. In this case I decided to explore how the message would change if I moved the  "your audience is here" poster section to the beginning of the video. This section now starts at the 0:25 mark.

If you watch both you'll notice that some of the other supporting commentary changes. Overall the key takeaway, to look directly at the camera lens, remains.

Key takeaway: Look directly at the camera lens when recording leadership videos and consider a note or sign as a reminder.

Learn more about Project Presence: Project Presence overview

Video link:


Welcome leaders, Daren Lewis with Leading Visually. One of the lessons I've learned the hard way is the need to look directly into the camera lens when doing these leadership videos. People are very sensitive to where your eyes are when you are speaking to them or listening to them. That's how they know if you are paying attention. The same thing holds for doing these videos.

I use a very simple prompt to remind myself to continue to look at the lens. Right behind my camera I have a large poster, with an arrow on it, that says "your audience is here". It is a simple tool to remind me what I need to do -- which is to look at the camera lens.

It is very noticeable when you look away. Now I'm going to look at the screen alongside my camera. You'll see very quickly that the sightline goes away when we look back to the camera. This is particularly pronounced when you are using a laptop. Because the laptop is close to you -- your image will be below the camera since the camera is in the top bezel. It is very obvious to people that you are not looking at them.

[This issue] shows up in edit. You won't see it when you are recording the video but you'll notice it when you go back to edit or hand it over to an editor to prepare.

Now, I use a similar strategy on my cell phone camera which I use from time to time to record videos and I have the same kind of arrow that reminds me where to look when recording these videos.

So that's it. Look directly at the camera to start. You may choose to do something else in the future. For getting started please remember look directly into the camera.

I'd love to hear about your challenges and successes as you launch your Project Presence.

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