Are you one of them?
(a global Leader who unknowingly may be risking their reputation?)
Reputation Coach Jon Hammond spoke to the Briars Group, about how virtual meetings can be enhanced, and business reputations boosted by taking some simple measures.
I was talking to a group of influential leaders on a zoom call yesterday and sadly realised that the eyes of the world have become square! They were all bemoaning the lack of face to face and moving online for most of their business conversations.
The discussion inevitably went on to the funny (or in some cases horror) stories of the sights and sounds witnessed on virtual calls.
Like the famous singer performing to her laptop audience, just as a scantily clad gentlemen (I’m sure the papers would describe as a close friend) walked out of her bedroom and through another door. Thank goodness his towel, or more accurately flannel, preserved our blushes – she was oblivious!
In showbiz that’s probably what happens all the time. But imagine if that was a business leader or a colleague of yours on a call with investors or the city?
If a video of it leaked out, there would no doubt be a splash across the media. Swiftly followed by an immediate launch of internal investigations, ethical questions raised by the board, and a very hard to erase question mark over that leader’s future career. Especially if the (close) friend was not the person they were married to!
And that is just for starters, before the main effect on the bottom-line kicks in. To think, a simple ‘post’ it note on the bathroom door saying ‘on a call, don’t come out!’ could have saved the day. I am not condoning the example above, but merely suggesting we can all do simple things to preserve and enhance our reputation.
‘Reputations are a little like quality suit buttons –
easy to lose but very hard to replace’ – Jon Hammond
If you are going ‘online and on camera’ from home take simple precautions:
Avoid potential viewer distractions:
- Physically – make sure anybody (including children and animals, in fact especially children and animals) are occupied elsewhere.
- Technically – do not rely on wi-fi unless you have a death wish or are next to a mast! Watching people play musical statues (i.e. Freezing) half-way through an important point is not cool and certainly a reputation risk!
- Invest in a decent camera and microphone, rather than relying on the inbuilt and mostly inferior ones in your laptop. If your appearance is important, especially as a leader, take simple steps to look your very best.
- Visually – some people might like to look inside your home at your collection of eighteenth-century bondage equipment behind you – but perhaps NOT! Either arrange yourself in front of a non-distracting background (simple plain with nothing that stands out) or you could invest in a pop up backdrop that, together with a couple of LED lights, can give you a great and impressive ‘studio’ effect.
By way of a personal example, much of my work is hosting or speaking at conferences around the world. The onset of Covid 19 promptly decimated the travel and events world, so going virtual was the only solution.
By making a small investment I created the office ‘studio’ below.
This is what it looks like behind the camera and lights
But this is the professional effect it creates
Warren Buffett the famous financier is quoted as saying:
‘It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently’
In this new world, you make an impression online within milliseconds.
By taking simple, easy steps, make this new ‘normal’ an opportunity to quickly impress with how you look and sound.
Jon Hammond DL is an executive leadership coach with an impressive track record as a reputation saver and reputation builder. He has spent many years in TV and Radio relating to people through a lens and engaging with unseen audiences, and now shares many tips tricks and techniques to use in the virtual and real world to re-enforce leadership reputation
He helps businesses around the world with communication strategies, creating remote studios, effective message delivery and teaching leaders to have presence and to reach their full potential.