Getting to Love Yourself on Video

Did you ever apply for a job and they requested you submit a video interview of yourself?  And did you pass on that job, thinking, “I just don’t have what it takes to be on video?” If so, join the club.  Unfortunately, cell phone videos up close are not flattering.

At work, we have an online meeting platform called Microsoft Teams.  And you might have that, too.  Teams has video backgrounds, like virtual offices, where it’ll put your physical being in the video with a fake background, not your kitchen.  I never used it.  In fact, I was so horrified by the thought of myself in a video that I encouraged the entire staff to use still photos instead.

And I’ve wanted to make a study advice course to sell online, and I have almost everything I need.  But I also needed either a voice-over or a video of myself.  I wanted to use a talking head AI service where I type in a text, and an AI-generated human image speaks the words.  But the AI talking head would cost me over $100 each month.  And the video time was minimal.  So, I was in a rut, and my course development goal reached a standstill.

But here is where the value of education comes in, whether you are at AU or some other training provider.  My employer enrolled me in an accredited sales course.  In that course, I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and submit assignments where I was on video.  So my capstone assignment was video, too—a big chunk of my grade.  (Who knows, eventually you might need to submit assignments on video at AU.  So, it’s great to get comfortable in front of a camera.)

So, what did I do?  I started attending each work meeting live in video with a flattering virtual background.  I started smiling broadly while on camera and generating high energy.  I used animated hand gestures.  I began wearing my best suit coat, shirt, and some makeup.  I didn’t look so bad, I thought.  And I put on the dreaded glasses that I never wear.  And I still looked okay.  I looked friendly.  Indeed, a big smile goes a long way.

But I didn’t stop there.  I began putting myself live on Teams on my second monitor throughout the day.  The goal was to always smile and have a cheerful countenance every time I looked at myself on the monitor.  As a result of smiling constantly, my mood brightened.  I was training myself to be nonstop pleasant and happy while getting comfortable on camera.

As a result, this weekend, I will begin recording my course.  And once I get more senior sales and marketing designations, creating courses will be part of maintaining my designations (through professional development hours (PDHs)).

So, you, too, may want the advantages of a video presence.  If so, I highly recommend Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet.  I believe Zoom’s free version allows for recordings and backgrounds.  In addition, a little skillset with a video editor like Premiere Pro is beneficial.

But a big friendly smile and high enthusiasm can turn you and me into video pros overnight.  So, why not try free Zoom and see yourself radiate a fabulous video presence?  All it takes to truly shine on video is a bit of technology and your radiant smile.  Who doesn’t love a friendly face?  And I’m sure you’ve got the most stunning, friendly face.  We all have one!