For many months now, we have felt on the skids,
We can't meet our friends and we can't hug the kids,
But friends, be emboldened! All may not be lost,
For the crocus of hope, she has poked through the frost.
— Pam Ayres (@PamAyres) February 23, 2021
2020. Good riddance.
But let’s take something from our coronacoaster ride.
Selling is changing changed.
Now us B2B ‘complex’ sellers have pretty much mostly experienced a whole calendar year of WFH, let’s have a peek at the optics of personal video projection.
I’ve blogged a fair bit on this element of video meeting prep.
There are a couple of decent twitter feeds which curate the zingers, zapped and zzz.
Even ‘zoom your room’ help, for a fee.
Perhaps the simplest way to improve your own set-up, is to assess why you might like or not someone else’s.
In the aftermath of the GAFA grilling last year, I wonder for instance how many regressed afresh for a minimalist vibe?
Was there a more analysed video meeting set-up than of these tech goliaths? Dialling in for an American law-makers inquiry.
At the other extreme, you don’t need the expensive movie scene and actor framing expertise on display at the recent mostly virtual Golden Globes.
And who could guess the humble shelving of books would become such a breakout star?
‘What you say is not as important as the bookcase behind you.’
Anyway, here’s a small selection of talking heads across the past twelve months.
From youtube streams, MSM rolling news and social media uploads.
Each with a mini-lesson which will help anyone wanting a tweak for video calls that sell.
Keith Ferrazzi has some great ideas when it comes to workplace comms. This still is from a Fast Company clip. Strangely sparse. At least you know what his books are.
One of the most discussed zoom backgrounds to date. Fashion journalist colossus Anna Wintour just doesn’t cut it here. The setting for her ‘Vogue Global Conversations’. Forget the shades, if you can, and think of what drawn curtains behind says about you. Then glimpse at that partly filled bookcase.
Late-night rolling news paper reviewer Isabel Oakeshott got in early on the ‘blur background’ function. Which is a shame as her bookcase looks most interesting. Close to midnight, so can understand the darkness and blurring to help but this look only applicable in such night-time slot.
Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley rang round the world when helping to rectify a Singaporean competition injustice. Here he stands. Loads of vinyl behind and even a gold disc. Always nice to see alternatives to the flat wall backdrop. And well lit.
Tiny Habits author BJ Fogg shows a pair of props. Cuddly frog and monkey toys. Love the chalkboard with flower edging. And his name written on.
Author Mark Dawson helps aspirant writers with his youtube series. What a great set-up. His name on a mug. Several of his books. Old-school typewriter. Current Facebook tally. Sitting off-centre. And how about that pro mic. Even letting us see behind the curtain with reflection from mac screen.
Right-wing opinion leader Scott Adams, here live streaming on periscope. A whiteboard he turns round and just his latest best-sellers behind.
Another 80s pop star, Howard Jones (mystifyingly here calling himself, ‘HoJo’) in his loft. All so white. What are all those artefacts supposed to say?
Help for the excluded (3million UK freelancers/contractors left out the furlough scheme) very much essential. Here Gemma Claire speaks up for these voiceless in another corner setting with plenty of plant game. And not afraid to use hand gestures.
On perhaps the UK’s biggest entertainment chat show, comedienne Tina Fey reveals her ringlight (reflecting left-edge), curated bookcase and consummate personal position.
Another late-night paper reviewer. Penny Smith could have slightly angled her camera for a near perfect minimalist view. At the end, she put on that hat too.
Another youtuber, political commentator of The Right, Darren Grimes. This is an evolution of his rig. The previous was simply a brick wall with oversized, high-back black chair. This is certainly an improvement. He goes for quite a bit of back lighting. Places his logo prominently. And can you spot that quote of Margaret Thatcher? ‘Don’t just hope for a better life. Vote for one’.
Finally, one of the myriad settings for ad man turned Nudger-in-chief, the irrepressible Rory Sutherland. It might be a simple bookcase shot but is at an angle. With one book deliberately promoted. His broadcast was more square than my portrait edit here.