Leading With Impact: On Camera

The Camera never Lies……

It’s a new world for most of us. Introvert or Extrovert, most of our experience of collaborating with one another is based on face to face experience. We develop skills and awareness for interpersonal interactions that depend on the immediate feedback that is available in person.

These skills that we’ve taken for granted are now being challenged – we are rapidly putting in the hours and developing our ability to communicate using technologies that previously were our plan B. We’ve adapted quickly to learn these new platforms and make on-line video meetings our primary team meeting approach.

Now we’re getting the hang of the technology, how can we make this experience more impactful, more human, more fun!

In this session we explored ways to become intentional about the impact we want to have whilst working together, apart. Dipping into the world of the professional actor, our co-facilitators Karen and Dominic from Not A Drama, demonstrated through performance, the critical things to consider when aiming for a strong and positive impact on camera.

Whether it be for your team, colleagues and peers; or that important presentation to the Board. How you show up, and the quality of your performance and impact will shape the outcomes you want to achieve.

We started with intent. What is my motivation for this meeting or presentation? How do I want to show up;

What is my message? Who is my audience, and what would I like them to know, feel and do?
How can I prepare to ensure that my presence and communication is authentic and impactful?

Centred and clear, we turned our attention to our staging.

Is the lighting right, what does my room and surroundings say about my message, how can I ensure that you can see my face and my eyes – the most significant tools I have with this close up camera?

Is the sound captured clearly, is there any interference that might impact my performance?

Now we are ready, how do we communicate to ensure our enthusiasm and energy is delivered through the camera? We practiced our vocal energy, adapted our visual presence and considered our verbal choices – choosing the language and message that is right for our audience.

As with any actor’s studio workshop everyone had a chance to practice, in real time, what we were learning from the world of drama and film. Pretty sure that we won’t get a call from any Hollywood agents (cool your heels Ari Gold), but by the end of our session we all found ways to improve the impact we will have online.

Drawing on principles of psychology, and theatre and film performance our practice session was a great example of how actor-led practice and role-play can provide personal insight into our on-line approach. We discovered how this can support us to be considered about the impact we have interpersonally and socially – critical capabilities in our role as leaders for our teams and colleagues.

David Lawson is an Organisation Development Psychologist from Pacific – a bespoke leadership and culture development agency that partners with clients to deliver human-centred change.

Karen Roden is the founder of Not a Drama – a leading corporate acting services that uses roleplay and simulation training techniques to empower managers to become effective, goal-oriented and intentional leaders who can engage effectively and strategically with their stakeholders.