The Pitch Episode 82: Prevent a Virtual Hot Mess
It’s my least favorite pitching platform and can be a disaster if you don’t spend time on the prep. Learn how to create an ideal studio space for your next virtual pitch.
Prevent a Virtual Hot Mess
Video conferencing is my least favorite pitching platform. Although convenient and sometimes necessary, I actually feel like it takes more work than just meeting with a person face-to-face. There’s a lot of prep required if you want to present well on a virtual conference call. Job Interviews, media interviews, sales pitching and conversing with your team or clients are all typical times when you may have to jump on a videoconference. Before you go live on a video conference, avoid being a virtual hot mess and dress for success (at least from the waist up), and if you normally wear makeup, do your hair or shave in the morning, do the same for your videoconference. Next check your lighting and background. If it looks like you are in the laundry room or a closet, then you need to find a better set up. Most importantly do a rehearsal with a friend to make sure you sound good, look good and your background and lighting is clean, clear and not distracting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve not hired someone after interviewing them via video conference simply because they didn’t present well or their environment was too disturbing or distracting. And watch your body language. You are on video so even the smallest reactions like an eye roll could rub someone the wrong way! Stay alert, focused and interested at all times. Multitasking during a videoconference is not recommended. “The Pitch” challenge today: Create a go-to spot in your home or office for your next video conference so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute if something comes up. Your own personal studio space should look professional, have good lighting and if possible, provide some sort of context of your location. I have huge windows in my home office so I always position my video conferencing with the CNN Time Warner building as my background, giving great context that I’m in New York City working as a publicist. Your background set-up could give context on where you live or what you do. I once worked with an ocean explorer who always had dive tanks set up as his background for media interviews. If you are a recent college grad interviewing for jobs, consider hanging your beautifully framed diploma in the background. Practice your video conference with someone you trust, and make any adjustments necessary based on their feedback from viewing you on screen. Then you’ll be all set without the sweat in case you get that last minute interview or invite to join someone for a virtual pitch.
What type of background gives you the best context of who you are on a video call?
What do you notice on your video call that is distracting from your message and what can you do to fix it?