Where's Your Zoom Aura?

'The reproduction of art cannot replicate its aura'

I adore this concept. Since discovering it earlier in the century, I've cited it plenty.

It emanates from Walter Benjamin, circa 1935. But that's not what (or who) is important here.

The title of the essay containing the above wisdom is though well worth considering.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

'even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: Its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be; its aura'

Abridged from an art term glossary housed by Britain's awesome Tate Modern 'museum', Under the heading;

Aura is a quality integral to an artwork that cannot be communicated through mechanical reproduction techniques.

This aura refers to the authenticity of its production, the fact that it shared that moment with the artist, they lived and breathed and evolved in tandem.

The loss of aura is inevitable upon replication due to an 'unrepeatable appearance of a distance, no matter close it may be'.

The latest such 'mechanical' means of those days were film. Both moving and still.

Yet it is surely a natural step to see our video call development in similar light.

I was reminded of this reading about the memoirs of a music journalist of yore. Bemoaning how the 70s excess of debauchery embedded alongside rockstars on tour is now replaced by zoom interviews. The fan way worse off as a result.

His gripe being that over video, you never quite grasp the real essence of the interviewee. Further clouded by the legion of attending PR, music minders and management censors ensuring only their permitted lines parroted.

A generation of performers reduced to passive, aloof, disinterested autocue automatons.

Which suggests that the mechanical reproduction of our meeting presence falls short because it cannot convey our true aura.

Yet this is now something we can fix.

And I'd venture, that to those who do, greater riches flow.

There's a long-held yet quietly expressed belief in the more creative sectors, that the deal winner tends to be those who provide the most entertaining buying experience. When your prospect enjoys your meetings more than those with others, you win.

This is a sadly much overlooked aspect across solution selling.

Address that and blend in the ability to project your aura, and you're really onto something of stellar selling.

The journalist evokes the need to take in a vivid sense of personality, imbue with colour and drama, and not reduce the exchange to the feeling of sedentary profession.

He also sparked in me the recognition of when someone you video with experiences that frisson of wondering what you're going to do next. And realising after you've done something, how noteworthy, pleasantly jolting and admirable it was.

It only takes a handful of techniques to get you going. Momentum builds and soon, there's no stopping you, or your sales growth.

When I first encounter someone's video selling, they're doing it pretty much how everyone else does it. Which is to say, the anathema to me of the telephone-call-with-2D-portrait-on-display.

If that's how you reflect on your experience too, then time to change. Move up a level. Start to radiate your unique aura.

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