Within minutes of finishing a webinar for financial advisors of a major firm, we received a call from one of their top executives. In the direct manner of an executive, he informed us how he had quietly monitored the webinar, was very impressed, and wanted us to teach his leadership team the art of giving better virtual presentations. In his words, “Our team needs a lot of work, both in their set-up and delivery.”
The focus of this article is delivery, which requires both an understanding of coherent communication and the ability to adapt it to our digital world.
Most people understand that we are all forms of energy. We hear and (basically) understand terms like positive energy, negative energy, and energy transference. Not many people know the science behind these energy forces.
In a wonderful book, The Science of the Heart by Dr. Rollin McCraty, he says that “magnetic fields produced by the heart are involved in energetic communication” and that the heart is by far the “most powerful electromagnetic energy in the human body.” Its “electrical field is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity generated by the brain.”
So what does all of this mean? What role does it play in an advisor’s communication? How does it relate to digital communication? The short answer is that energy plays a major role in all the above.
Some of you more-tenured financial advisors can probably remember being trained to stand while making cold calls and to do some calisthenics before your prospect meetings. These tactics were all about elevating your personal energy to facilitate a positive energy transference. Sadly, few people do these nowadays.
Not only are we taking our energy for granted in our normal communication, but we’re also missing it even more so in the digital space. Whether it’s a phone call, a podcast, a video conference, or a recorded video, it requires a higher level of energy to create a positive energy transference. There is always a natural loss of energy when remote.
This is why you’ve got to dial-it-up whenever you’re engaged in any form of digital communication, compensating for this natural loss of energy. The three steps below are how we’re coaching advisors into becoming masters at coherent digital communication (standing is optional, calisthenics aren’t required):
Step 1: Record a Short Video
It only needs to be between 3 – 5 minutes. Think of it as a dry run, a practice session for either a client call or a webinar you’re going to be conducting. Just be yourself as this is how you’ve been coming across to your audience.
Step 2: Get Honest Feedback
This feedback can come from a colleague, your spouse, a friend, or your coach. The key is a serious critique of your delivery. Encourage them to evaluate the following:
- How was your delivery?
- Did they feel connected with you on a personal level?
- Did you come across as both relaxed and confident?
- Did you make good eye contact?
- Was your body language natural?
- Did they feel that you were transferring positive energy?
Step 3: Practice. Practice. Practice.
Based on the feedback, your objective is to correct areas of weakness. The following are basic rules of thumb for improving video communication.
- Script your opening and closing remarks.
- Outline your talking points, but do not read your presentation. If you do, your audience connection will evaporate.
- Take your position, seated or standing, make certain you have good posture.
- Take 3 – 5 deep breaths through your chest. Envision your heart controlling these breaths; this engages the heart in energy transference.
- Open and close your mouth widely, stretching your jaw; this loosens your facial muscles.
- Take a sip of water; this lubricates your vocal cords.
- Talk out loud loudly. Count to 5, recite vowels, or recite opening remarks; this activates your vocal cords.
- Record your practice session. Complete your practice session as prepared, don’t worry about mistakes.
- Review your practice session. Ideally, with whoever gave you the original feedback. It won’t take long to be able to self-correct.
Use these steps prior to any digital communication. Make it your goal to significantly improve your digital communication, not just a little bit. When you do, you’ll find your clients and prospects more engaged and likely to act on your advice.