These days, video is the way to go. If you are in business, provide a service, sell a product and have a website, video is on the top of your must-have list because it allows your prospects to get up close and personal with you. They can hear your voice, see your smiling face, get a feel for your personality, your mannerisms and just generally get to know, like and trust you.
Getting ready for that video taping is nerve racking for most as this is not simply one of those cute cat videos, this is all about you and what you have to offer, even potentially what problem you are about to solve for the viewer. If they are going to hire you, buy from you or even engage with your free consult call, they are more likely to take partake of your offering if they have seen you in action. Take a peek at one of mine.
First and foremost, kudos to you who are bravely stepping in front of the camera. A single camera lens can be just as nerve racking as an audience of 250 people.
There are two key components to a successful video.
- The message – I leave that to you.
- The delivery – that’s where I come in.
Behind your delivery is you, your appearance, your image and your brand. So let’s begin there because I want you to focus on your message as opposed to second-guessing your appearance.
One of the best ways to get you to think about the details is for you to pretend that you are the online viewer of your stream and go into the viewing knowing that what can go wrong, will go wrong. So let’s talk about what details we can manage so certain things won’t go wrong.
The lighting and lenses. As much as we all prefer soft lighting and forgiving lenses; that is not usually something we can manage. Think florescent bulbs and magnifying mirrors instead. Have you ever walked by your big screen TV and seen one of your favorite actors in HD and remarked, my how did she get so wrinkled? There is not much we can do about wrinkles in a week, although the infomercials seem to be able to give you a facelift in 30-minutes. The best defense? Start moisturizing in advance, including eye cream and neck cream. Increase your water intake by at least 16 ounces a day so your skin is well hydrated. Then dump out your makeup bag. If your makeup is old and moldy, that’s the way your face will look. Search out some new product! Visit a salon or makeup counter for a makeover a week in advance so you have time to perfect the new pencils, powders and glosses!
Your next appointment? Consider visiting the hairdresser, and maybe even finding a new one before your taping. Make sure your color is right, your cut is current and that you can do it yourself, even on a rainy day! Note the Dry Bars in your area; you can always schedule a blow out for the taping day just to be safe.
Moving on down – the next thing is the bling! You know my mantra, direct from my friend Stacy London – color, texture & shine! Let’s frame your face with some shine either with the earrings, the necklace or both. It should not be an afterthought; it should be selected with purpose. Select the color of the metals, the stones and the length of the chain. Do you want it shorter so it sits just below your clavicle bone or longer so it sits on the upper chest? Make sure it doesn’t hang so long that it splits your breasts. If you are wearing a jacket lavaliere make sure the necklace doesn’t come in contact with that. If you are holding a mic make sure your bracelet isn’t noisy, as that will no doubt get picked up.
For this set-up let’s presume you are wearing a jacket, blouse and pant combo.
The jacket must fit, flatter and be impeccably well tailored. There should be a bit of a shoulder pad, and preferably a low one-button stance. This is not the time to wear a double-breasted jacket, as you look a bit unapproachable. You want your clothing to feel fluid so you are free to move about the stage, perhaps pointing to a PowerPoint or just being expressive with your hands. You do not want to have to pull a buttoned up jacket down once you have raised your arm. I recently watched one of Hollywood’s iconic females interviewed and she had a leather jacket that she must have pulled on every five seconds because it kept riding up each time she moved. An unplanned wardrobe malfunction, slight I admit, but distracting to the viewer. And make sure the sleeves are the right length, right at the wrist bone, no longer, no shorter.
The pants, whether they are black, navy, charcoal or another neutral, need to fit precisely. Be sure there is no side pocket gaping, sew them closed or buy pants without side pockets if you are a curvy girl. Make sure they are lint free and well pressed, preferably with center creases to create those all important vertical lines. Be sure the length is spot on with the hem being a tad shorter in the front and longer in the back.
Now to the blouse, the connector for your jacket and pant. If you are connecting two solids, then a bit of a pattern to bring in a third color would work, however be careful of the pattern. Try to make it minimal and not trendy. Bows and arrows might be in right now, but not so much after the Hunger Games are long forgotten. And a floral pattern may look good on your tablecloth, but not so much on video. If you want to stay with a solid, then be sure your necklace brings the colors of the jacket, pants and blouse together, making it a true connector piece.
If you are tucking your blouse, be sure you wear a belt if the pants have loops and be sure the metal of the buckle matches the metal of the necklace and matches any metal adornment of the shoes. Silver to silver, gold to gold.
The shoes are where the tire meets the road. First, they cannot be noisy as you walk across the stage, no Clydesdales allowed. Second, you have to be secure; we don’t need stair mishaps or wobbly weaving as you walk across the stage. Lastly they need to be well-polished and there needs to be a plan for how the shoe ‘connects’ to the pant. Meaning? Well you don’t plan to wear red socks do you? Then what is the plan? Will there be bare skin or hosiery, will it be nude or black? Make a plan by getting dressed, sitting down, crossing your legs and ‘seeing’ what you see. Be prepared. I once spoke to 200 corporate men and one of the first things I asked them (after telling all gents with pocket protectors to leave the room) was to cross their legs and look down and if they saw hairy calves they had to go home, throw away all their ankle socks and invest in over-the-calf socks! There was a collective roar throughout the room as many hairy calves were exposed.
As you pull this look together, be sure how you present yourself is a representation of your brand. Be sure your branding is consistent across all of your platforms. If you are consistently conservative, then now is not the time to rock your red leather pants.
Remember this video will probably live on your website, so consider the flavor and the color palette of that as you choose the colors for your clothing. They don’t have to match exactly but they should not be polar opposites either.
Your video will live to infinity and beyond. Brand it in a way that you personally will still like five years from now.
Still unsure? Let’s grab 30-minutes on the phone to go over your personal plan. Don’t delay; you may need to factor in a purchase or a trip to the tailor to pull your polished look together. We’ll chat about your stage presence, your wardrobe challenges, your image and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!
Need your own style guide? www.ConfidenceIsAlwaysInStyle.com
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Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist, professional speaker and author. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.
And of course, let’s keep the conversation going below. Comments are golden!