A gentle warning to those of you who Web cam messages from your home office: Newsflash! we can see you - and the messy office behind you.
Remember the old phrase " a picture speaks a thousand words?" Your office is a visual backdrop in your video post. And it just may be sending a contradictory message to the people you are trying to reach. Look behind you. When you start posting video from your Web cam, you are creating a commercial about yourself, a commercial highlighting your skills, knowledge, business, even your personality. Before you "take the stage" consider the scenery in the background. What does it say about you? A cluttered office can indicate disorganization and sloppiness. Mismatched furniture, plastic storage units and shelving from the garage don't really scream "successful professional." Too many children's photos, drawings and toys interspersed with business files and office equipment may send the message that a client's project will be in stiff competition with little kids for your attention. Maybe your "home office" is a corner of the dining room or you're just one of those people who need a lava lamp and year round Christmas lights to be inspired. You don't have to give away your children or hire an interior designer to fix the problem. Consider the following quick fixes:
- Reposition your desk (permanently or just for Web cam recording) so your background is a blank wall, a well-staged bookcase, or a window with a nice view.
- Stage some space behind your desk that is always "camera ready."
- Hang a sheet, solid color blanket or curtain behind you, like a photographer's backdrop, over a door, temporary line or rolling rack.
- If you are using a lap top, you may want to just video from another room entirely. If your office isn't helpful to the "shot," change locations.
Your backdrop should enhance you and your message, or be a neutral canvas that won't distract your audience. Whether your Web cam message is training, promotional, professional or networking, remember to set the stage before you say action.