Be prepared – in the world of ZOOM video interviewers wait for no one.

10 Nov 2021

Always be prepared for video

When it comes to video – always be prepared

Here’s me and my 13-year-old daughter waiting for a YouTube interview early this morning. I’m sharing this to show my clients that I genuinely use the processes and tools I preach and teach them.

My three golden rules

  1. Impromptu communication opportunities are often the most valuable. So be ready and willing to grab every chance to increase your airtime and profile.
  2. Accept plans rarely go to plan. Today I’d planned to open the call, do some intros and check sound & lighting. The interviewer had other ideas and immediately kicked off the questions. Without prep this could have been very unnerving.
  3. Remember it’s not over till it’s over. As I closed the call I was invited to add a few wise parental words. Unbeknown to me my wife had passed the buck my way. A clunky close is the perfect opportunity to undo a hitherto great communication. So think about the end as well as the beginning.

The 5 steps we followed in 30 minutes

Here’s the 5 steps we went through today, not quite child’s play but not rocket science either…

  • Be FOCUSED. Know exactly what you selfishly want from your communication. Irrespective of the channel you must have some personal gain – otherwise why do it?
  • Consider your AUDIENCE. Be clear who your key audiences are, and what makes them tick. Remember you may have thousands of viewers, but only a few key people you really need to ‘reach’.
  • Define your MESSAGE. Have one simple storyline. This keeps things on track even if the interviewer goes off. And on that subject, always take a few moments to anticipate questions. Especially those devil’s advocate ones we really hope no one asks. Then jot down no more than 3 talking points for each.
  • Be ENGAGING.  Consider how you can shape your communication so it’s clear, compelling and human. Stories and anecdotes are good here.
  • EXPRESS it. Consider the persona you want to project: smart, funny, creative, considerate… and where you can introduce some colour or context to make this possible.

So, there you have it – a few top tips that we can all apply.

And a reminder to always be prepared!

CommsQuest has developed a series of team and one-to-one workshops to suit the hybrid world we now live in. These sessions give communicators time to pause, reflect and plan ahead, as well as fine tune some essential capabilities. if you’d like to know more please drop us a line