What Is YOUR On Camera Presence?
Ever watch someone on TV or the internet with the sound off and even though you don’t know what they are saying their presence is so captivating, you stop and watch?
I have, it’s actually pretty interesting to watch video without the sound. You’re more focused on a person’s gestures and how they move and their posture.
Those elements combined with your voice and delivery are foundational to your presence.
Presence is the most important of the 3 P’s (purpose, plan and presence) and it builds on knowing your purpose and having a plan.
Presence is the absence of a filter between you and your audience. It’s You authentically showing up as You.
Your on camera presence is your alignment visually, verbally and emotionally.
If you are worried and distracted, it will show up in your eyes and facial muscles. On the other hand, if you are absolutely thrilled to be on video or have you photos taken so you can move your business ahead and help people - that will show too.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Have you ever felt uncomfortable around someone or uneasy while you were watching a presentation and couldn’t figure out why?
You couldn’t really put your finger on it but there was something that you didn't quite trust or something felt a little bit off?
Outwardly there was not reason for you to feel that way, they were saying all the right things - but there was just something about them …
So what’s going on here?
Our 3 Brains
We all have what I like to call the three brains - our head, heart and gut. We make rational decisions with our head, our heart brain is guided by our values and our gut brain is our intuition.
It’s like sonar, it’s constantly pinging our surroundings and sending back messages - it lets us know when something we are seeing or sensing isn’t quite right.
I like to call our third brain our BS meter - it tells us when something is out of alignment. It’s actually a function of our reptilian brain - which is constantly scanning our environment for danger.
Pay attention to your BS meter
We all know that we are our brand and how we show up needs to be in alignment with our brand or we lose credibility. AND people instantly sense when we are out of alignment.
Here’s a quick exercise I want you to try with a friend or colleague to demonstrate how our third brain works.
First sit up in a chair with very good posture and a smile on your face. Now say something very negative about yourself or your business. See how your body wants to adjust to what you are saying? How does the other person receive what you are saying?
It goes the other way too, slouch and say something positive about yourself or business and your body wants to adjust instinctively. Other people cue in on this right away too.
This happens in a matter of nano seconds and we’re not even aware of it, but it’s going on all of the time.
That why it’s so important that you are consciously aware of your presence.
Key Elements of Your Presence
Let’s explore the elements of presence a bit further.
Presence is intentional - it’s our body language, the words we use, and the actions we take consistently.
Presence is verbal, visual and action oriented. It’s the message you deliver, the movements you use and the emotion you radiate.Your presence is based on your values and your actions reflect your values. What that translates into for your brand, is the value you deliver consistently to your audience.
Take a minute and think about how your your values show up in your daily presence. Are you confident, authentic, and credible?
It is essential to be clear about this. It will show up in all areas of your on camera presence from the way you speak to what you wear and how you are perceived.
This does not mean be someone you are not. This means being intentional about aligning your purpose with your presence.
As my friend and marketing thought leader Mike Kim says, you brand is the alignment of- the visuals, the verbal messages and the value you deliver.
This is what viewers perceive as your on camera presence.
Remember in a few posts back we talked about getting clear about your purpose for being on camera?
Knowing your why will make it sooo much easier to make sure your visual, verbal messages are in alignment with your delivery.
Here are a couple of people that do this extremely well:
Michael Hyatt is very accessible, and very credible. His videos are extremely professional, however, they exude warmth and you feel like you are in the room with him. His delivery is friendly and the colors and styles he wears and his backgrounds are warm and support his message. It would be jarring for his viewers to see him in a 3 piece suit in a glass office behind a desk using corporate jargon.
Another one of my favorites is Jasmine Star. She is credible, fun, professional and open.
Her photos and videos focus on lifestyle, and she is warm and friendly.
Her wardrobe, body language and background are always in alignment with her brand.
She uses colors and textures extremely well and exudes authority and credibility. Her presence is friendly and while she is often vulnerable, her consistent brand and value she delivers positions her as an authority on visual branding.
How to define your brand presence?
Here’s an easy exercise you can do to get started in defining your own brand presence. I created a a planner for you to download here so you can work through this after you read this post.