This is the podcast of “Opened Dawes” Live, which runs weekly as a live video show on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn at 11 am on Tuesday mornings so that we can throw open the doors and welcome you in for a relaxed sharing of information, tips, thoughts, and answering any questions about public speaking and presentation/communication skills you may have.
So, make sure you set the reminders for the shows on Facebook or YouTube (links below) as they are scheduled online and get involved. The stream is designed to be interactive, with comments/questions able to be shown and attributed on screen.
This week’s show delves into something that has become much more vital over the last year or so! Communicating via and presenting to a camera, especially a webcam.
Whilst workplaces may be returning to use, there is going to be a degree of home-working remaining, and a reduction in travel to face-to-face meetings, presentations, and training. Webinars have grown in popularity too, but it is not a natural thing for many of us to speak to a black hole in the camera’s lens! So how do we cope with the challenges, and how do we still make it fully engaging? This week we touch the surface of that area of training that we provide to leave you with some thoughts and techniques to make the most out of it.
This show can be watched live (and previous shows recorded) from the following locations:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCnwlPiWylgEDLrwemI8ZZjw (or search YouTube for Open Dawes Training and click subscribe to be notified)
Thank you for listening to the Opened Dawes Live podcast. This is actually the audio taken from our weekly live video show that you too can get involved in or watch past episodes back by going to Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn and searching for Open Dawes Training. That's da w e S. For other ways to connect with us go to Open Dawes training.co.uk forward slash Connect. There you'll find ways to communicate with us free downloads and information about our training programs, whether that is face to face online, or a blend of the two, all designed to help people grow in confidence, willingness and skills to communicate in public. Whether that is giving presentations or speeches, providing training, having great presence or communication skills in meetings, or just having those difficult conversations effectively. public speaking is a soft skill that gives your core skills of voice and can open doors that you may not even know exist yet. But for now, let's dive into this episode of Opened Dawes Live. Good morning. Welcome. I am just about morning on I apologies, it's a little bit later than than intended I think. regulars will know that it's supposed to be 11. And I suddenly realized I'd set it for 11pm rather than 11am. And the way that this is all sheduled, you can't just suddenly go, Oh, I just knock it back a little bit. It transpires I probably could have because I've had to cancel the LinkedIn broadcast of this live as well. But we're still going out on Facebook and YouTube. And thank you so much for joining me at kind of puts into, into like next week's show, which is, how to deal with technical glitches or anything else that could impact the flow, and how you really want to make sure that it doesn't. My name is Chris Dawes, founder of Open Dawes Training and today's subject. Over the last year and a half has become the hottest topic probably is how to communicate with audience when you're not actually with your audience. It's one of those unfortunate byproducts isn't it where we've been in lockdown, and even afterwards, it's all managed about how much we can be in front of people. And you, I don't know how much is going to come back, I think there's going to be a legacy of communicating via webcam that's going to stay face to face is the best, it's not going to be replaced. But if you I've often sort of thought about it now and gone, well, I don't know, let's say I had to go to London or New Castle or wherever it might be for a sequence of meetings is that actually, we have a meeting face to face, then we have a sequence of conversations via webcam. And then we jump up for the final meeting, whatever that final meeting is. So it's going to be there a lot more. I've been delivering training via webcam as well. And it will go on, I don't necessarily mean the online training that if you saw the the piece at the beginning, we've got this hybrid online online training where people have training videos, audio lessons, we also do stuff via webcam, video conferences, in groups as well. But there's also still the face to face. And that's starting to make it a return. And it's great. But we've got now this whole hybrid so that people can do it own place own pace, as I like to say. But the biggest problem is that people don't find it completely natural to speak to webcam. And yet, we have to try and find a way to do it, whether you are having meetings into organizational meetings, let alone, you know, with external parties, whether you're receiving or providing training online, whether it's even presentations, of course, we got the whole ability to share screens and the like. So there are full blown presentations and webinars and all of those things that are being done right. And it does enter this on demand society that we live in, for better or for worse. And it's about making sure we can embrace it. But as I say, it's not a fully natural experience for for people to sort of like look at this camera, nobody's here, I'm not seeing anybody smile or tart or frown or whatever it might be. I'm having to sort of almost create that myself. Now the biggest hurdle that people need to overcome is that you need to create and have the right perspective or the right perception of remote communication. So instead of sort of focusing on the fact that how but nobody's here, nobody's there, we need to make sure we flip it around, don't sort of get stuck in it being sort of this, this sterile situation that we sort of fall into the trap of thinking. First of all, how many jury of you during lockdown did numerous other things on on zoom or whatever, you know, whether it house party and teams and whatever, whether it's quiz nights, catching up with family, cocktail nights, dinner parties, even we're being done by a lot of people started doing that, because it was the only way that we could see our friends and families when we were having to isolate. And it got more natural for all of us. And I say that not just from myself, but from watching other people on the other side, it very quickly got more natural. And the reason we did that and you'll know if you've watched any of the other stuff and read any of the stuff that we do here Open Dawes Training is that there's a big mantra about conversation rather than presentation. And this is even more the case. You know, you need to just relax into it. Like we fell into the habit of being able to do for all of those social video conferences. Do the same even with it being a business or public sector or you know, whatever it might be. radiocommunication you need to just have that conversation, you have to do this battle of wits in reality because you're having a two sided conversation. One sidedly sided, least probably not a word. But hopefully you're with me, you know what I mean by it, you know, I'm creating, I'm having that conversation, this lens right here, that's you. I'm looking into your eyes as it stands at the moment. And that's how I see it. And I'm just relaxing into having a conversation with you. If you've watched any business based, or education based webinars or conferences that you've been involved in, or even just just one to one meetings, and I guarantee that you've had some people where they have kind of suddenly gone rigid, and everything has been presented in this way, because I need to make sure I'm getting the best advice I can give you just relax, like you've done socially, just with less of the gin and wine and whatever else may be, although I have heard the tip that if you get a herbal tea tea bag, just cut off the string, stick that to the side of the mug, red wine in there, there'll be convinced you've got a red herbal tea wasn't me, right? You haven't heard that from me. But yeah, relax into it, you'll have more fluid storytelling. And and you need to make sure that you are being as friendly as infused as you would be with your friends and your family, in these commercial or professional or whatever it might be, to camera conversations. And you need to make sure that and this is where it can get tricky. It will be important where you position your web camera, the idea is is my web camera is right on top of my laptop here. And yes, I'm looking down, but you're making that journey between camera to screen as minimal as possible. Because we do a lot of things on eye contact, when you're face to face, you still need to be able to do that. Hopefully, you'll notice that I'm doing I've set myself up for a full here. But hopefully you'll notice that I'm doing a lot more of my conversation is making eye contact. Now that is I'm means I'm looking at that lens. And this is where I bring together my business, you know, two decades over two decades of business presentations and over a decade of media work is that I made the mistake, I remember the first time that I was doing a piece to camera, and the camera man stood there with the camera in front of me. And I kept looking at the camera. And that him almost that sort of human nature of going Yep, getting that acknowledgement yet you're doing fine, everything's got to keep going, you're doing well. And then it was terrible, I had to stop doing that. And it's about them in your mind, your audience are in that tiny little lens at the center of that camera, even when it's a webcam, you should still have a little lens bar. And that's where you need to focus, create that connection for your audience, it might feel a bit contrived, a bit fake for yourself, it will become habit, it genuinely will become the habit that that's where you're looking. And you in your mind, you sort of almost pretend that you can see your audience in there sounds ridiculous. But it's just the kind of journey that helps, it will make the difference for the people at other end. And that's the most important thing. It's not about us that are presenting it's about what the people at the other end of feeling and receiving. And it kind of plays up an important thing I was involved with an organization providing some group training via zoom for a handful of people in the organization where they were doing their regular meetings and what have you via video conference. But a chunk of them would leave their camera off. Now some of you may recognize this either yourselves or some people that they'd leave the camera off that have the audio on mute that on and off when necessary, but the cameras would be off, just the other person would be on. Don't do that. Think about how you would feel if you couldn't see those people and see them kind of smile and chuckle and nod and whatever else. It is important to have the camera on Think of it as being in a meeting and you've now got those faces around the table or in your audience. So if you are in the audience, I do encourage you have that webcam around wherever possible unless you really really can't, for whatever reason, have the camera on. If you're the one presenting, create that connection with those people by looking at the lens and that's where it will become more of a conversation. If you are doing it and you suddenly get distracted the phone goes talking of witnesses put that on Do not disturb you get distracted. Something technical goes a little bit wrong. Just accept that a mishap has happened make it don't make it necessarily the elephant in the room by fully ignoring it but a mantra I believe in is strive for progress, not perfection. The perfection doesn't exist. Stop beating yourself up about it, it happens, it's supposed to be a natural flow. Otherwise, every presentation would look and feel exactly the same. And so the nuances and including little mistakes and hiccups, that's what makes it natural. It's not a problem. So roll with it. If you make a mistake, maybe laugh at it, laugh at yourself, potentially. And just just keep going. It will enable you to sort of be a lot more relaxed about it and just flow. And don't forget people relate better to real people, rather than perfect robots that do everything Absolutely. On script. This is not a scripted drama, where we've got lines to rehearse that have to be said in the right way at the right time with the right reaction. Absolutely not. It's gonna flow naturally. That includes hiccups, and I'll call them hiccups. Because I think that's nicer. Or you are doing let's put this into perspective, I talked about perception of remote communication, or you are doing is sharing knowledge. It doesn't matter whether you're providing a training course, whether you're in a meeting and sharing what you've done so far, sharing about your product or your service, you're presenting about it, you're sharing knowledge to the people at the other end of the camera, it's not Britain's Got Talent, you are not being judged about Have you done it perfectly all I think you should have done this, it was a little bit of key or is none of that you are sharing knowledge to just relax and enjoy that you are sharing knowledge that could actually open doors, hence the name of the company to things for yourself or your organization. Or at the very least take great pride that you are empowering the people on the other end of the camera. We all need those people empowering us, well, suddenly, you're one of those people that are empowering others. And that is huge. You know, you need to be applauded for the fact that you are doing that. And hopefully, with our training, we're helping more people be prepared to do it. And the big thing is, don't ask too much of yourself. You are doing nothing more than being yourself. And there's an irony actually with that is that how many times have you tell you what the biggest one is, if you hear somebody you know, on camera, and you go, that's not the person I know. They've suddenly gone all rigid and gone. Mr. presenter, Mrs. presenter, whatever. And you think it just just be yourself. That's what we as the audience wants to see is your personality come through, that's what makes this different to the next one, we'll watch in the next one we'll watch. we've all talked about video conference, you know, apathy, and death by video conferencing and things like that, where suddenly you make it different by being you. My advice is you plus 10%, I just exaggerate it a little bit, because that shows your your your level of enthusiasm and just sort of Pep it up Ziya up, did I really use that word, I've never used that word. And I think I swear I'll never use it again. But give it a bit more Verve and see where it takes you. That's what you need to do in terms of preparation for this as well. And it is important that you you prepare as much as possible. But my best advice for you is to prepare for the content that you're going to deliver in the flow, not your delivery of it. Let that take a life of its own. And literally just have a piece of paper going, Oh, I want to cover this, this, this and this, we're gonna do a video in the future on scripts and content where I turn around and say forget scripts don't have scripts. But you you have the list of the things that you're going to cover and let it flow, you've got an idea of the order you would like to cover it in. But you know what if it happens the other way, nobody knew you intended it to go a different direction. You've let it flow, you've let your personality come out. So just get the the content and the intended flow as your preparation, not the delivery. If you need to set share slides on your presentation via this you can do the share screen, my advice is try to do it where you've still got yourself so that you're still adding personality to it. And don't overload those because we're now on people's screens and you don't know what screens they've got. So just make it that it's these bullet points to help with the flow to let them know the flow as well as remind you. But you might more to the point have a slideshow that you've got your notes in front of you just to take you through. I've got like a presentation just to make sure that I can remember the different bits that I go through, but I don't need to share it. It's just there to guide me. So it's up to you. That means that you might have a slideshow but you don't need to share it. That's something that happens more and more. I don't need to be in a room with a big screen in the presentation up there, you could have it on another monitor to guide you rather than need to share it. I'm delivering that the the information in my way now, for better or for worse. The big thing, remember, it's a presentation or a speech or a talk or a meeting or training delivery, not a scripted drama, and less script equals more of you are great. Thank you for the comments coming in. I'm going to put this up now. And I agree with you David Christie says the biggest game changer for me was seeing the lens as a friend I hadn't spoke to in ages, it ended up being much less formal, where appropriate. And I agree with that were appropriately and more personal. That's absolutely brilliant. David Christie, thank you up in Scotland. A good a good colleague of mine, I say on the commentary world, you're getting back into that again, aren't you mate, I'm delighted to see that. But yes, seeing the lens as as a friend that you haven't seen in ages, absolutely, you've got to relax into it. Make it fun, make it enjoyable. As you'll see there, by the way, anybody's got comments, questions, anything like that, put it in the comments, it comes up here and I can put it up on screen. And we can go into more detail on it. In terms of Sorry, I've already covered that in terms of when you are then discussing. This is an interesting one really is that I've got the sort of you need to be very aware of your physical communication, as well as your verbal, you know, the verbal, we tend to cover things when we go into more detail about this in our training courses, is that you possibly need to be a bit slower. And more clear, you know, really enunciate because you don't know what sound quality people have got at the other end. So make sure that you are being a bit steadier, and a bit more pronounced with everything that you are saying, to make sure that they can understand, you know, when you're in front of them, they can kind of get the gist, you might have it just fallen a bit short. So just make sure but physical communication, you know, visual communication is just as important. You've now got the we've got this, can I do this, we've got this, no, I can't, I got no coordination, we've got this little box, from there to there to there to there, something like that, you get the idea. And you need to still try to make sure that you you know you own that stage that you are engaging with people physically as well. The first one, and again, many people will know this is an absolute big one for me smile. I know that the natural reaction when you're nervous when you're trying to remember what you've got to say when you're hoping that this is all still working Is this thing on you know all of that, that we go suddenly stone faced, throw it away, smile. Interestingly, if you don't happen to have camera run for whatever reason, or if there's a technical glitch, that means that some people aren't seeing your camera, still smile, because you can hear the smile as much as you can see it, you know, if I'm suddenly doing this very serious, even in terms of what you can see, but listen to the voice. Whereas once it's smiling, not only can you see the smile there, but you can hear it in the person's voice, it will actually make you feel more relaxed and give you an injection of enthusiasm. So always make sure you are smiling, sit or stand tall. Now this time I happened to be sad. Because more often than not, I put my desk up and I stand when I'm doing these lives. But I've gone more natural to what many of you do many of us do when we're doing video conferences. And that tends to be sitting down. But make sure you are sat still tall, don't sort of suddenly slouch into your chair or whatever. I mean, it looks like I'm not particularly interested. I've even got the oxygen levels, I'm suddenly, you know scrunched down, and I need to make sure that I'm sat as tall as possible, so that I'm getting the oxygen through my body. Remember, oxygen is also you know, the air going across our vocal cords is what enables us to speak. So I need that going there. I need as much air in my lungs so that I can keep the sentences going, instead of suddenly rushing to the end because I'm going to run out of breath. It will also give you a lot more energy. So look more like you're interested look more in control, feel more in control, feel more air, and you will go for it. The body language as well. Now, obviously I can't suddenly go wandering over here wandering over there. I can't do all of that. But I still will use my hands. And it is important for me that I use. And I make the points. If you're wondering surely that's not that important. Because I would even say do that even if you're not on camera. And you'd before you think that that's weird. Think about something. How many times have you been on the phone to somebody or you've watched someone else on the phone? I have no idea why I feel a need to do this, to let you know that. But you get the idea that you're on the phone. And you're still, you're being very, you know, very dramatic, or you've watched someone else being very dramatic. No, they can't see you doing that on the other side. But it helps you get dramatic, it helps you feel like you're making that point you're emphasizing that point, do exactly the same. When you are on camera, you probably need to be a bit more mindful of hands go in here, there and everywhere, when you're here. But I would say still make sure that you are physically communicating with people as well add that enthusiasm, make yourself feel important. Also, no matter what you feel, if you're kind of going on much prefer face to face, me to 100% it's so much nicer when I'm with people. But it happens, whether it's it's this whole, you know what we've been going through with a pandemic, whether it's just going forward that we do a lot more of these are just quickly jump on a video conference, because it means I can do it right now rather than shedule it for next week or whatever. still speak as you would want to hear it. You know, with the conviction, enthusiasm and passion, that you would want to hear it with the conviction, enthusiasm and passion that you actually have for what you're sharing with people. You might be having to sort of convince yourself to do it, because there's nobody in this room with me will create it still have dig deep and have that enthusiasm and passion and conviction for it. Because you need to carry people along. If you think about those emotions, they're contagious, you will carry people along with you, when you are, you know, being you know, infused and passionate about it, you will carry them through, you possibly even have to slightly exaggerate it a little bit, because we're just on a camera. So I need to make sure that this is getting across. And so do that always do it. If you think what you're sharing or relevant to this, the way that it's being shared is boring, it will come over as boring, it will come over like you don't care, it will come over like you're not interested, you're not passionate about it, you don't believe in the information that you're sharing. So make sure that there's nothing boring about the way that you're sharing it, about what you're sharing, go for it, the level of enthusiasm, etc, that you want. And remember is important about how you share it I have another saying dead cow, or beef steak, apologies to vegetarians and vegans and everything else. But dead cow beef steak, both exactly the same thing. But one sounds a darn sight nicer than the other. So think about what you're saying and how you're saying it, because it will have a dramatic emphasis. Impact sorry, on what it is you're sharing how you're sharing it. And while you're sharing it in reality. So remember, key things slow down and take pauses and breathe, like we talked about with the full blown do exactly the same when you're to camera. sit tall, or stand tall, smile and look at your audience interact with them, even though you physically can't say everything you have to share with conviction, enthusiasm and passion because you'll carry people along with you. And just relax into it being a conversation rather than a presentation. As David Christie said, it's a long lost friend, that lens is your friend is what you need to do. And just have the kind of the idea of I need to cover this, this, this and this, and how you then share that is going to change every time and it's going to be a natural conversational flow, it will therefore feel a lot more natural to you. That really is the key things presented and training remotely will open or keep doors open, both old and new. So don't don't shy away from it. Get yourself prepared to do that. provide training, provide me to hold meetings, via video conference, give presentations, do these live shows to share, you know what it is that you your organization, your products, your services, whatever it might be? Get out there and share it because you are the experts that we need to hear from and make sure you don't over sensitize or over formalize everything that you're doing. And even though David said, much less formal, where appropriate, I would say making it conversational is always appropriate. You know, we're not in a court of law where where everything has to be, you know, in a very precise manner. It's like no, as long as you're not unprofessional, but there's not unprofessional to make your presentation feel conversational. So absolutely key points there. That has been opened doors. Opened Dawes Live. Thank you very much. for joining me, thank you for those that put the lights might yeah AnneMarie, JP, Tom Hawkins. And of course David Christie, thank you very much for joining me next week, I think that I'm going with the dealing with technical glitches and how you sort of like overcome them, don't let them have too big an impact. And keep going now not just remotely that's face to face as well. It's very, very important because otherwise it can dramatically impact you. But thank you very much for joining me for myself, Chris Dawes. We'll see you next week. Hopefully it should be back at the time. That was always in shedule. Thank you. Goodbye. Thank you for listening to Opened Dawes Live. I hope you enjoyed it and it was useful. Remember, go to Open Dawes training.co.uk forward slash Connect, to find out more about how you can interact with us and how we can help you