What Message Is Your Background Sending?

Written by Posted On Monday, 19 December 2016 12:29

We can get so screen obsessed that we become oblivious to our surroundings. When sending a holiday video message - personal greetings or a heart-felt thanks to clients - invest time on the background to ensure you deliver a clear message of caring and thoughtfulness.

Background settings are often the inspiration for phone selfies, but when shooting special video messages—including Skype sessions and You Tube hotties - backgrounds are often ignored.

This lack of attention does not make the background neutral.

Overlooking what's behind you can end up sending a message to viewers that you may not have intended. Like those holiday shots with Old Faithful or the Empire State Building growing out of the top of your head.

Location is as important in video production as it is in real estate. Just because your computer screen is set up where it is, does not guarantee it's in the best place for shooting your video. If you can't relocate to show off the best views of your home or office, at least choose a few of these quick and easy suggestions to ramp UP the quality of video results:

Clean UP: I've watched too many videos, webinars, interviews, and video-conference sessions with distracting "stuff" in the background. Coffee cups, half-dead plants, odd collections of books, random clutter, stainless steel appliances littered with finger prints, inappropriate mirror reflections... What message is your mess sending?

Dress UP: What you wear should be complimented by what's behind you. For instance, many dress in the same dark color as their high-backed chair, so that the furniture seems oddly part of their body. Others blend into the background and appear as a floating head.

Light UP: Stage stars know the enhancing power of proper lighting. Overhead office lights may not be flattering, particularly if they are fluorescent which can add an unattractive green tint to your image. Add or subtract lights and view the result until the effect is enhanced. Changing LED bulbs to a different color spectrum can also improve visual value.

Make UP: Now that the background shines, make sure you don't. Apply light foundation and powder to cover irregular skin coloring and shiny foreheads and noses.

Drape UP: If the background just sucks, cover it with a backdrop. Drape sheets or fabric to create interesting, shadowed folds and texture. A backdrop can also contribute color or neutrality and transform your video into a professional production.

Hook UP: Flawless technology is essential. Check cable connections and outputs, so there are no technical distractions during the live send or in the final video. If you have to wear earphones, spend a sec arranging them so odd tufts of hair or trailing wires don't distract viewers.

Send the message you intend. Run a few tests to see whether it looks like you have thrown together a last-minute video or that you sincerely and thoughtfully produced your caring message. Do you and your message standout against that stunning setting?

All the Joy of the Season to you and your family!

Make 2017 Your Year!

P.S. Safe Holiday Tip: Screen distraction is a life-threatening issue when walking, biking, and driving, so take care during the uber-distracting holiday season. Make your first thought "safety" by staying alert and remaining aware of what's going on behind you and around you at all times.

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PJ Wade —       Decisions & Communities

Futurist and Achievement Strategist PJ WADE is “The Catalyst”—intent on Challenging The Best to Become Even Better. A dynamic problem solver and author of 8 books and more than 2800 published articles, PJ concentrates on the knowledge, insight, communication prowess, and special decision-making skills essential for professionals and their clients who are determined to thrive in the 21st-Century vortex of change.

PJ Wade's latest business bookWhat's Your Point? Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick!—further proves PJ's forward-thinking expertise and her on-point ability to explain technical, even non-verbal, communication details in practical, actionable terms. Print publication: Fall 2022.

PJ: “What's Your Point?the pivotal 21st-Century business question—must be answered before you open your mouth, hit a key, tap anything or swipe. Too often 'Your Point' is not clear to you and communication remains an expensive illusion.”

As The Catalyst, PJ concentrates on enhancing communication ROI for experienced advisors, executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, and other savvy professionals, who may not have received as much formal training in communication as they have in their own field.

Onward & Upward—The directions that really matter! Reach PJ at pjwade@TheCatalyst.com and visit her What's Your Point? Blog. Keep up-to-date with PJ's popular column  Decisions & Communities


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