6. Conversation as a Performance

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/6. Conversation as a Performance

6. Conversation as a Performance


Like it or not, we are always being judged. Our team members and others are looking to us for motivation, inspiration, assurances, or even something as simple as acknowledging them during a call.

I’ve found that it’s best to not leave things up to chance. Having a plan and a process for getting ready for a call is a critical part of my day and something that I know has a direct result in my ability to be successful in that interaction.

Here’s the process that I use:

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All right, welcome back to another episode of the show. So I'm Adam Liette. And so great to have you again. So I'm going to really dive into communication over the next couple of episodes, because so much of what we do in operations, running businesses is how we're communicating with our team. And it's not just the very static stale communication going to do on Slack or in a project management software.

Your presence on camera matters more than ever, things have changed so much since the world went crazy about 18 months ago, and zoom became a household name. Prior to that, I can remember even having to train our members on how to use Zoom and even educate them on some of the basic features.

Since then, it's become a regular thing in normal life. But all of this and the Zooms explosion has resulted in a couple of new features and practices really just grind me. And that is that zooms you kind of very informal in certain ways, and increasingly hard to take people seriously when they appear on camera.

So I'd like to introduce the idea of treating your zoom presence, like you're on stage, like you're in a performance. Think of the last time you're at an in person presentation or watching a conference recording the aesthetics and credibility that the presenter surrounded themselves with helped create the impression that they were trying to get across, they were treating it like a stage and all the trappings of performance, all that contributes highly to how well you received information and ultimately, the feelings and the authority that you gave to the presenter.

The same is true on how many of us present ourselves on camera. I remember in the military, we would have zoom, we had things called BTCs video teleconferences. And man that somebody's backgrounds are epic. There's all sorts of authority and rank and symbolism put behind there. And you see that even now with like, if the President's on there's very clear, deliberate things being put behind him, or around them that really contributes to this.

Now, there are a couple in the industry that really do this well, and I want to call them out for being awesome. Ryan Lovak really comes to mind his studio setup is super tight, there are all these really tiny details in the background, that command authority, and he just has a presence on camera. And he's even done walkthrough videos, you can find him on YouTube, where he walks you through his studio.

Another favorite of mine is Jim Fortin. He uses lots of bookshelves, lots of these amazing pictures that are right behind his head. They speak to his expertise about helping people with their mind and helping to reprogram their thoughts. So those are just a couple examples of doing it, right.

And if you look around YouTube or anywhere, you're going to find examples to inspire you. But the more and more I see people doing just wrong backgrounds looks sloppy, or not well thought out at all. There's no character, nothing special to convey the personality that they're trying to achieve.

Nothing to make the person stand out at all, or have any kind of person personalization. In my least favorite ones, by far are the fake backgrounds that Zoom has implemented, those things are crazy. Everyone can tell they're fake. Stop it. Like, please, if you're using that, just please stop it. No one is buying those and they're for kids. Let's be honest. It never looks good.

You're always coming in and out of it. So yeah, I got a big pet peeve about those. If you're anything like me, you've probably invested in your business and you've, you've dedicated yourself to the idea that you'll be doing this professionally for years to come.

So if you're going to be on camera, if you're going to have that part of your business, why not take it to the next level? Why not invest a small amount of money and time to making sure you have the stage set that will help you convey authority, earn respect, and show some of your personality. Think of how you can set up your stage.

So what I like to think of is you want things that help convey your knowledge, your background, your personality, maybe something fun about yourself. So your knowledge I mean, what's basically the universal sign of I'm smart, listen to me, books, diplomas, all these trappings that may seem a little cheesy but if implemented correctly and not overdone can have a big impact.

What's your background? Why? What type of experiences do you have? Prior to getting in this line of work?

My background is all this military regalia stuff I've collected over the years, military coins a big flag behind my head with my unit sing insignia on it. Various awards, I've gotten different things up stuff I've collected throughout the worlds to from Thailand, Indonesia, I have to look behind me to see what's back there. I got some, like cool posters that have been given to me, my my business coach.

And these are not only things that I want people to know about me, but honestly, it's like a way of re centering myself every day, I look back and I see that part of me. And so it's great. Anything about your personality, things that you might be passionate about. If you're in a music business, you should probably have some kind of musical instrument back there, something like that.

Things that help display the deeper sense of you. And something fun about yourself, too. I actually have a bobblehead behind me a bobblehead of myself. That was given to me when we broke seven figures. And it's just something a little bit fun, not only says something about my success in business, but also the fact that I made gigantic office nerd, although I think that makes me Dwight, so I might have to take that back. So spend some time creating this stage self recording, even take, pop open that zoom just on a self record, see how it looks.

Take time to rearrange things, move stuff around, play around with different things, things that you think might look cool behind you, on camera that just don't work. I have this great statue of a paratrooper that I love to have behind me, it just looks like garbage on camera, so I'm not going to have it even though it's a very important thing for me.

Now you're putting all this time into it into creating this stage. Don't skimp on the lighting, above all things. You know, with video, we often say like, you know, the video can be subpar. But as long as it sounds good, right? Well, one quick way to amp up your video presence is to invest not a whole lot of money into some nice soft lighting, I'm talking the soft boxes or like the stuff with the umbrellas. You can buy a whole kit for about $120 You turned it on before you get on camera. And it really helps brighten your face, it helps brighten the room and helps people see your facial facial expressions more.

And by doing that, you're able to command a greater presence, you're able to use all those little areas of nonverbal communication in a much more effective way. So with everything getting cheaper and cheaper, invest in some cheap, cheap, umbrella lights, light boxes, it's gonna go a long way to eliminate those shadows just make your stage very clear and visible.

So I have this all set up in my office and I basically live within my sage, it's very much a part of who I am and how I present myself to the world. It's I go on every meeting in the same area. It's something I've actually found I look forward to stepping into and having my stage gives me a great deal of competence. It really reminds me of when I was a poor performing musician.

When I strapped on that guitar, and I got under those states lights, I was a different person, I channeled this person inside of me for that performance. And what your font you're going to find is going to happen with you as well is when you have an area, a ritual, which we'll get into on the next episode of the podcast, we'll talk about some pre call rituals that I've gone, I've taken the time to just develop over the years, when you do that enables you to have a confidence, a presence, a peace of mind.

And just overall, you're going to increase your ability on camera, when leading meetings and in a leadership position to really a higher level. So this is all the easy part. This is just the aesthetics, it's setting up little things behind you. It's making sure you'll have lighting, it's making sure that you have a place to to have these meetings and to be on camera in a way that's conveying your professionalism.

That's the easy part. Right.

But it's the part that's most in our control, you can very be very deliberate about it, you can take your time, there's and leave nothing to chance, you know, there's really no risk in taking the time to get started on this. By being very deliberate. It takes just that one variable out of the equation, when needing to perform on a live call. And that will in turn, help keep you in control.

I'm all about taking variables out of the equation, so that you really only have to concentrate on the things that matter most. So I'll ask you like really what will be on your stage. How can you share about your background and your presence and really up your game into setting that stage and having that place where you're conveying your authority.

Take the time to think about that and put please do send me an email back. It's Adam at Adam liette.com.

Any questions or any, anything that that inspires you, I'm looking forward to seeing some awesome stages. And I'll be sure to share a picture of mine as well.

Because this is, like I said, it's, it's a very small thing. But it's something that you can control. And you can use to bring out your own personality and your own light. So why not take advantage of it. If you're going to be doing this for a while, you're going to be working in the same room for about the next 1015 20 years. Why not make the most of it?

That's, that's my mantra. That's where I'm living from. And I hope this was effective.

I hope you got some good ideas from this. And I'll see you next time on the podcast when we talk about pre call rituals. I'll see you then.

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© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing