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The Clientside Podcast

Making an Impact with your Communication with Dominic Colenso

The Clientside Podcast

37 min Dominic Colenso

In this highly relevant episode, Andrew Armitage talks to former Hollywood actor Dominic Colenso about communicating over video - whether you're joining a Zoom meeting, delivering training or giving a sales presentation online.

We talk about Dominic's career in acting and how his understanding of storytelling allowed him to make the transition to helping business owners with their communication. Dominic also shares insights on his IMPACT methodology that is the central theme of his best-selling book, and why mindset is one of the greatest barriers to using video to raise your profile.

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Andrew:
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Clientside podcast. I'm your host Andrew Armitage and this is the podcast that provides actionable steps for you to apply to your business, support your brand, your digital marketing and ultimately your growth. I hope you're doing ok? It's good to have you with us and we appreciate you tuning in.

Andrew:
Now, as we enter our 5th week of lockdown, I'm sure many of you will be using things like Zoom, Facetime, video calls and WhatsApp, either just to catch up with friends and family socially, or perhaps as a way that allows you to continue running your business. Of course, these apps aren't new, but for many people, seeing yourself on video can be a bit of an uncomfortable experience, especially if you're now finding yourself having meetings with clients, giving presentations or perhaps using video on your social media to build and maintain your profile. Now, from my own experience, we've been using tools like Zoom for some time and I generally feel pretty comfortable with it. However, when it comes to creating video content like simple pieces to camera, I can quite literally fall to pieces and spend hours doing take after take and still feel like I've only achieved something mediocre, but eventually publishing it just out of sheer frustration!

Andrew:
So if this sounds like you, then this is going be a great show for you today with my guest, Dominic Colenso. Dominic is a specialist in communication and leadership and has been delivering training and one to one coaching in the private and public sectors for the last 10 years. He has a book; he's the author of Impact; How to Be More Confident, Increase Your Influence and Know What to Say Under Pressure. And believe me, I'm feeling a little bit under pressure as we go into this. But Dominic started out as a professional actor and has appeared in all sorts of things BBC period dramas, big budget action movies, but he's probably best known for playing the role of Virgil Tracy in the Hollywood adaptation of Thunderbirds with Bill Paxton and Sir Ben Ben Kingsley. So it's not often we get to speak to a Hollywood actor. How are you doing Dominic?

Dominic:
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Andrew:
You're welcome. Really appreciate your time. So you started out in acting, which I thought was quite interesting because I had a quick flick through your book and you say that you didn't see yourself as a natural performer. So how did you get into acting?

Dominic:
So I've always sort of enjoy the idea of being on stage, but that's not necessarily a comfortable experience. So there was something about it that I found exciting. You know, maybe maybe a little bit of an adrenaline hit getting up there and performing. But I used to suffer very badly with with nerves, you know, flushing and going bright red. You could fry eggs on my ears, that stuff, so, it's certainly been a journey to to leave some of that baggage to get more comfortable, whether it's on stage or in front of the camera.

Andrew:
So you almost pushed yourself into that situation, to...was that a way of addressing those nerves, do you think, or was there some other motivation?

Dominic:
I think it was just that kind of fun factor really. I was really lucky. My my parents were very supportive. I mean, acting is not the sort of career that I would suggest you go into if you want, you know, guaranteed income and a stable lifestyle. But my my mum and dad were really supportive, and when I said at 16, I think I might try and give this a go, they sort of said, well what have you got to lose if it doesn't work out, you can always do something else. You know, I was very lucky to have a very successful career as an actor and think in the main went to plan, so, it all came out in the wash.

Andrew:
Great. So when you were involved with the Thunderbirds movie, it was it was filmed here in the UK or was it filmed over in the US?

Dominic:
Yeah, we we filmed it at Pinewood Studios; it's where the Bond films are shot so they're in a massive aircraft hanger type spaces. Tracy Island was was built inside one of these hangars. There were two swimming pools and then everything else was sort of green screen around it so that they would CGI'd everything back on. So it was the location shoots were out in the Seychelles, but we were we were in an aircraft hangar in Buckinghamshire!

Andrew:
It doesn't sound quite as glamorous does it!

Dominic:
Not really, no!

Andrew:
And what's it like working with a green screen? Because that must be awkward, too? You know, it's one thing being on stage and sort of having some familiarity with your surroundings, but going green screen and pointing to things that actually you can't see necessarily and having that context, that must be complicated and a bit tricky to get round as well.

Dominic:
Yeah. I mean, on a big budget movie like that, you're very well supported. So you have a whole team that are kind of dealing with all of those issues and and for the most part, for us, it was kind of background, so just like so many people are getting used to being in the Seychelles or the Bahamas when they're on a Zoom call, it was very much the same, the same rules apply. You didn't really know you that you were doing it.

Andrew:
Great. It sounds like it must've been a fantastic experience. And that's obviously set you up for what you went on to next, because you went on then to set up Inflow, which is your communication skills training consultancy, and taken the skills that you've obviously learnt on stage and screen into doing keynote speeches and helping to work with individuals and businesses to help them perform better under pressure. Has the emphasis been specifically around video or more generally communicating under those high pressure situations like delivering pitches and sales presentations?

Dominic:
I mean, obviously, now that there's a lot of demand for the kind of video element, because we're finding ourselves I don't know about you, but a spending 10 hours a day looking at a tiny little camera.

Andrew:
Yeah, absolutely!

Dominic:
But originally it was a very organic progression. So I was a theatre director as well as as an actor. I started to work at some of the big drama schools in London and while I was there, someone asked me whether I come and help their business with their storytelling. And initially, I've got to say, I wasn't sure that the kind of tool kit would be relevant. You kind of think that's a round, you know, it's a square peg round hole scenario! But actually, it was fascinating to get into the room and start sharing these things I was taking for granted as an actor and see how quickly they unlocked performance for individuals in the training room. And now in the context of video, that those performance elements are like even more important because that there are there are very small margins between what looks really good and what actually looks a bit dreadful when when you're performing on camera.

Andrew:
Yeah, it's I suppose the old adage the camera never lies, does it, especially with video when things can be watched over and over again.

Dominic:
Yeah.

Andrew:
I for one of like say I think I've got over watching myself, certainly hearing myself now you know, we've been doing this a lot, but it can be uncomfortable, can't it, to see yourself on video for the first time.

Dominic:
Oh it's horrible! I mean, there are still episodes of things like Midsomer Murders I did that come on the TV at Christmas and I kind of hide behind the sofa and my family, make huge fun out of me! There's nothing comfortable about seeing yourself on screen. But I think, as you say, it's really important that you kind of understand that that is essentially a truism for everyone and you need to kind of get over it, because if you can if you can make the most out of this medium, then it's not about you, it's about your audience.

Andrew:
Yeah, I completely agree. You know video has obviously grown so much now, you can't really avoid it. I mean, I see in your book, I think you open it even by just saying communication is everywhere. You just cannot avoid it. And obviously, video has just become, I mean it's been growing for a number of years, but particularly over the last few weeks now, it's just everywhere, isn't it?

Dominic:
Yeah, we've been we've been catapulted into this kind of video age, essentially, where it's the only option and what's fascinating is that there was a there was a real tendency for people to avoid it, I think pre-coronavirus, and now there's there's kind of no excuse. So people are going, oh alright, I'll turn my camera on for the conversation. And I think for the most part, discovering that it's probably not as bad as you thought it was and that actually if you if you've got a few basic principles behind what you're doing, then you can be much more effective than if you can't see the other person. So I think there are huge benefits to this.

Andrew:
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think there's a big part of it, which is mindset isn't it; just getting yourself over that hurdle, but then it's a case of thinking, right, well, how can I now refine the way I sound, perhaps the way I stand, what I do and I've seen from your presentations, you deliver them very confidently, you know, they're very clearly presented and so on. So, where's the best place for people to start as it is in terms of how they stand and what they might look like? Or is it actually in what they say?

Dominic:
So, I mean, in the in the book, I talk through a methodology, IMPACT which stands for intention, mindset, presence, audience, content and technique and I think there is a there's a kind of clear order to that. So the number 1 reason number one thing you got to ask yourself is like, why am I doing this in the first place? What is what is my objective? What's my intention here? Why am I trying to get across? Is this...Is this a video moment? Is this a phone call moment? Is this an email moment? Kind of get clear on that. And then if you decide that it is a video conversation or a face to face conversation, let's let's please imagine that we will get out of the lockdown scenario at some point.

Andrew:
We've got to hope so haven't we!

Dominic:
Yeah, fingers crossed, absolutely! Then if it is a kind of physical presentation that you're going to be giving either a sales conversation, a meeting or a kind of client call, then thinking about your physical presence is really, really important. So one thing I am noticing as I work with with clients is that a bit of Zoom fatigue is kind of kicking in. You know, we're spending a lot of time maybe not setting and those wonderful purpose built desks that we had in the office with the ergonomic chair and all of that sort of stuff, we're perching on the stairs or running away from the kids, sitting on the bed in the spare bedroom, and that kind of has an impact on your posture and your physicality.

Dominic:
So really important to just to take up space. You know, see how many times a day you can have a little bit of a stretch, walk around and you can make sure that you're kind of physically engaged because that then plays into the voice so that the body, if you like, is the sound chamber for the voice. If the body is all constricted, then the voice ends up being constricted. Whereas if you can make the body nice and loose free, the voice becomes freer, and so these things start to stack up. And I think it's probably something that most people don't pay any attention to, but actors do. If you if you were to go behind, backstage or behind the scenes on a on a movie set just before a take, you'll see actors getting warmed up. You see them getting prepared, whether that's physically, mentally, vocally, they really take that kind of aspect of performance seriously. And I think when people in business take that idea on board and stop before they start, give themselves that moment of preparation, then it can really transform a performance without the need to bend the huge amount of money and time on video production and equipment.

Andrew:
Yeah I mean, we see it so often don't we, that preparation is so vital in anything you do really across businesses. If you've got a big event or you're planning a new project, then you've got to have that element of preparation to to set you up, to go through it in the right way, otherwise, this is, as we've heard, how failure to plan is planning to fail.

Dominic:
Yeah.

Andrew:
So. So just around the preparation, I mean, particularly I tell you, I'm thinking a little bit about myself here, but when it comes to doing these pieces to camera, we might have an idea of what we want to say. And if I was to probably stand in a room and say it with no camera, I could probably reel it off straight away, and all of a sudden, just because there's a camera in front of me, I freeze! Everything that I thought I was going to say comes out back to front, or I forget the words and that's really where you end up, in my experience, where I've ended up doing take after take after take. You know, what are your tips around preparing around what you're going to say so you don't just sort of freeze in front of the camera.

Dominic:
Yeah, I think one thing that is important to say is that even the professionals do hundreds and hundreds of takes, so this this idea that that is all perfect, like in a live scenario, you know, as we're chatting now, it's completely acceptable to have fluffs and um's and er's and you don't care about it, you don't worry. Then something happens when we sort of formalise the asset of video, if you like, and we decide that we're we're going to create this perfect piece and all of a sudden we become incredible connoisseur's and don't allow ourselves to have the slightest stutter or a hint of any anxiety or whatever it might be. So I think we have to acknowledge that multiple takes is just part of the course. But in terms of preparation, what often leads us to be kind of mentally tied up is being physically bound and tied up. So rarely thinking about physical relaxation allows you to kind of find some flexibility and then not over constraining yourself. So actors get paid quite well to remember lines and they also get paid quite well over a number of weeks to learn those lines. So there is there is no very little expectation of an actor that you're going to have less than five or five or six hours an overnight to start to get maybe 1 or 2 minutes of dialogue into your head. That quite often will happen on the TV set that the evening before as you going as you're going home, the second AD come out with new bits of script. So they've had a bit of a rewrite, we're going to film this tomorrow and you have time to learn it.

Dominic:
But you're talking, you know, 1 minute of dialogue and you're gonna get together with the other actors and rehearse, and I think business people think that they should be able to magically memorise a full script in 3 minutes. And, of course, it's it's never going to happen, so think about structure. Think about creating a scaffolding for yourself and then having freedom to play around with that. So just like the great kind of improvisational acting troupes, they're the kind of whose line is it anyway or all of that, you know, it seems effortless. But actually behind that, there's very clear kind of rules. They know where they're going. There's a beginning. There's a middle, there's an end, and they probably rehearse some of the opening parts and some of the closing parts. And it's the bits in the middle that have more freedom and flow. So that's why I really suggest is that you if you work on the opening, because for most of us, if we can get past the first 20, 30 seconds, then we kind of relax, go, okay. This is, this is fine. Know where you're going, so have a clear end point and then probably give yourself two or three milestones in the middle, 2 things that you want to hit. But what's really important to remember is that your audience don't know what's coming!

Dominic:
They're not sure what's going to come out of your mouth, so like, you can't get it wrong, really? No one's going to write in after watching your video and go, you know what? I think you missed 2.3.4! It's like that's not gonna happen. So, you know, you've got to kind of understand those milestones, understand what the beginning is, what the end is, and then give yourself a bit of freedom, otherwise you'll tie yourself up in knots.

Andrew:
Yeah, that's really good advice, I think, and definitely something I shall take on board. And you know, when it comes to your video presentations and doing more online and Zoom, we've got to change our behaviour a little bit to how we might do it in a in a physical in a room situation haven't we?

Dominic:
Yeah.

Andrew:
I think 1 of the key things is perhaps, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I would suggest breaking into smaller chunks and keeping things generally a bit shorter and easier to digest? I know myself from sitting on, there's been a lot of Zoom calls going around, some of them webinars and some of them are a bit more interactive, but it can be very easy to switch off and just well, just look at my phone, I'll just check my email while they won't know that I'm looking and things like that, so you've got to keep their attention haven't you?

Dominic:
You do. And that that they're they're kind of two parts. That one is making sure that you are energising the virtual room. So as the as the presenter, as the person that's kind of leading, whether that's a team meeting, whether that's in the sales conversation or whether that's a webinar, you've got to be putting the energy out there. You can't be expecting to get stuff back, so you very much on kind of transmit in that sense. But the other thing is the payoff to that is if you're gonna be high energy, you're probably not gonna be able to be high energy for such a long amount of time. So we need to rethink the way that we're doing meetings and the way that we're doing conversations in this virtual space. If you were doing 30 minutes before, then do 15 minutes now, but make those 15 minutes really impactful. You know, let's let's take hour long meetings and make them 45 minutes. I believe that meetings are only an hour long because Microsoft Outlook told us they are!

Andrew:
[Laughter]

Dominic:
There's very little....

Andrew:
It's an unwritten rule...

Dominic:
Yeah. I mean, we very rarely sort of sit down and calculate specifically how much time we need - we go is it is it an hour or is it half an hour? Well, what what can you do in 15 minutes? And if you're going to go over that hour, then you've got to put some breaks in there, so whether that's kind of onboarding or client workshops or anything like that. Tell people that you're gonna have a break; you know, we're scheduled for an hour and a half, though lets, you know, we'll stop at around 40 minutes.

Andrew:
Set some expectations.

Dominic:
Set that expectation, so people aren't sitting there thinking, oh, god, when is this going to be over? At least give them give them the opportunity to sort of relax upfront and go, okay, I've only got a list for 40 minutes that I can have a break.

Andrew:
Good advice because I know I've been guilty of that myself.

Andrew:
So you talk a lot about mindset and and having the right mindset. You know I think going forwards, we're all going to have to shift our mindset a little bit, too. It sounds like social distancing is going to be something that is going to be going on for a little while. Despite all the business challenges, business still has to go on and obviously we've got the human challenge that sits in there as well. So, how do we how do we form this mindset that we've really got to work on are our communication and make every communication count? Because, you know, the world has changed. And, you know, I think that point you make about Microsoft Office is really good because that's something that we just book a meeting in, and very often we we don't necessarily think about what the agenda is. What are we actually gonna talk about? You know, we talk about the title; we think the title is the agenda. And so, so there's a bit of a mindshift change there isn't that that we're all gonna have to try and embrace. But, but I think for the better over the longer term.

Dominic:
Yeah, I think so. And and again it goes back to that first step of nailing that intention down, so, you know, the three things that I talk to clients about is what do you want your audience to know? What do you want your audience to feel and what do you want your audience to do? So in any given amount of time, there is a certain amount of information that you want to get across. And again, you've got to be careful about overwhelming people because we don't have the capacity to take in, you know, 57 different benefits of your product and service. I'll probably remember 3, so give me those 3 and make sure that I remember them. What do you want your audience to feel is a really interesting kind of part of the equation, because most people don't ever consider that; it's a kind of by product. But actually, strategically, if you can start to think, am I...is this call about reassuring the customer or is this, is this call about exciting the customer or is this call about challenging the customer? Then all of a sudden you you bring a different tone, a different energy, but also you'll start to use different language, your you'll structure the meeting in a different way and it might be that over the course of 45 minutes, you're actually going to have three different emotional intentions.

Dominic:
You're going to take people on a journey. You're going to, you're gonna start with that challenge and say this isn't really working. Then you might decide to educate them and talk about your product and service and how you can help, and then you might want to leave them feeling excited and optimistic and wanting to buy in. So if you can chart that kind of emotional journey, you'd know what you want them to know, and then you've got a really clear idea of what you want them to do, that is going to be a very effective meeting because you can you can chart that course and make sure you move towards that outcome. And what you want them to do might be just have, you know, a follow up meeting in two weeks time, or it might be that you want them to sign on the dotted line, you know, go to the web portal and put their credit card details. But unless you have clearly articulated that for yourself in advance, then it's.

Andrew:
It's easy to drift...

Dominic:
The opportunity for that kind of drift and meandering is huge.

Andrew:
Yeah. Yeah. You mentioned the word earlier, storytelling and you kind of alluded to it just there. That's actually a perfect progression from acting into business because so much of what we do in business, particularly communication is storytelling. And you know, I love the idea. I mean, it's something obviously we read stories from such a young age, there's generally a loose formula that you can follow and you can probably apply that to a lot of different scenarios.

Dominic:
Yeah, yeah.

Andrew:
It falls into a logical sort of sequence, if you will, in the brain.

Dominic:
Yeah, because because we have been patterned to understand story, it's how we're taught right from wrong, you know, it's probably one of our earliest childhood memories, it's either reading a book or watching a film or you know, having that story experience. If you as a presenter can tap into that, then the story is doing half your job for you, and from a from a very, very basic formula perspective, you need to think about a beginning, a middle and an end. It's as simple as that, really. I talk to people a lot about the idea of past, present, future being a great way of just tapping into our natural desire to listen to stories. So it, what what were you doing or what was the what was the problem? What are you doing now? And what impact is that going to have as we go forward? And that can be a case study that can be, you know, a sales tool or that can be an introduction. I mean, you know, my my introduction is literally, so I used to be an actor, now I work with businesses and this is what's coming next. You know, that's really simple.

Andrew:
Perfect story, isn't it?

Andrew:
So so your model, you talk about IMPACT. We just gonna run through that again. So it starts with intention in terms of having the right intention about what you want to get out of the particular meeting or event or presentation. And that might just be a as you said, it could be all sorts of different purposes. It might be sales purpose, it might be some sort of customer support related session.

Andrew:
Then you go one to M for mindset. And that's about having sort of the mental focus, I suppose, in terms of delivering what you've got to the message that you've got to get across.

Dominic:
Yeah, kind of quietening those voices in your head. You know, we all we all hear them, we're kind of in the middle of a conversation thinking, oh, god, this is going really badly, get me out of here! How do you how do you reconcile that? How do you make sure that you're not self-sabotaging it?

Andrew:
Yeah. I mean, I think I think the good thing around that is that as we've seen more people go in video and the chap who I think he was in South Korea on the BBC when his kids walked in. I think I think there has been a much greater acceptance that we're all human. We're gonna make these sorts of little trips. And, you know, you said earlier, your ears, you could have cooked eggs on your ears, I think you said! Just that sort of nervousness and what have you, we all sort of suddenly feel that rush of heat came over us when when when these little trips happen, but actually they're not all bad, are they? We're all human. We all make these sorts of mistakes, don't we?

Dominic:
You hit the nail on the head, especially right now, we are all in the same boat. My my daughter is playing in the garden just outside of those doors. There there is the possibility that she may come in and knock and that's okay. I think we we've kind of got to get used to that. So many people are in a situation where their partner is you know, on the other side of the table or wherever it might be, that I think audiences are much more forgiving than we probably give them credit for.

Andrew:
Yeah, yeah. Agreed. So then we go into presence and I'm guessing it looks like you're stood up for this

Dominic:
I am.

Andrew:
Absolutely, practicing what you preach. And I'm I'm not. But that's definitely a good tip and maybe I need to get a little presentation stand to put a laptop on. I guess that's, or at least a higher desk.

Dominic:
It just, yeah, it really kind of makes a difference to your energy. Or certainly I find it does. You know, some people will report that that actually it kind of makes them a little bit nervous and I think that just comes through practice. But actually you can be a lot more kind of dynamic. You can you can be a lot more physically free if you're standing up than if you're sitting at a desk. So I always stand up for sales calls, I always stand up for things like podcast interviews or training. It's just kind of embedded in me now, I don't think I'd ever dream of sitting down.

Andrew:
Yeah. I can't imagine ever sitting at the front of a room to give a presentation, so I suppose I'm the same sort of thing.

Dominic:
Same applies. Yeah.

Andrew:
Yeah. Okay. And then you've got the really big one, audience because A for audience obviously you don't to bore your audience, you got to keep them engaged and you will do that with C which is your content.

Dominic:
Yeah.

Andrew:
And we've touched on that a little bit by keeping things perhaps briefer and breaking them down into some smaller chunks. And then finally, technique, which, you know, I guess technique is it's just something that comes out of practice and it's just as you did, you've just got to put yourself into those awkward situations. I suppose the good news is that we can do that ourselves and we can find a quiet space and put a camera up somewhere and just practice speaking into it, I suppose you don't even need to put a camera up, but just mentally, it might get you into that zone. But it is practice that ultimately make a difference.

Dominic:
You know, you'll look you'll always look back at your first video and go, oh, god, that was dreadful. You know and and there's stuff at the beginning of my YouTube channel, which I'm like, oh, gosh, I wouldn't have done that now, I'd do it in a completely different way. But that's just that's just an evolution...

Andrew:
And a part of your story as well, isn't?

Dominic:
Exactly. And and no, you know, no one's really going back that that and kind of criticising you. I always find it I always find it fascinating when you when you put content out, then you have to expect people to be hypercritical. And now it now just amuses me because I will get the odd comment, some very kind of strange comments on videos that I'll put out on on YouTube and that sort of thing, and then I go and look for that person and see what they've created, and they haven't created anything! And it's like, well, you know, until you're on the pitch, then I'm I'm not prepared to engage with you in that conversation. So, you know, I think there is that that kind of building your technique it is is absolutely like learning to ride a bike. You know, the first time you get, aren't you wobble all over the place. You get you graze a few knees and then give it give it a few years and you're riding around like looked at his hands.

Dominic:
Exactly.

Andrew:
Which was that I can't remember? I remember that being in the film. Look ma, no hands!

Dominic:
But it's just that kind of natural process of developing your confidence. But you have to you have to know how to start and you have to make sure that you're you know, you learn to walk before you run. So which bits are the most important right now? Don't try and do everything. Control the controlable is a real kind of mantra that I encourage people to to buy into, because if you can just switch one or two things, start to build up your familiarity with that and get comfortable there and then keep moving, you'll see this continual progression. If you just look at what you're doing and go, it's all rubbish, I haven't got the lights, I didn't have the tripod, I said erm too many times, I'm not gonna do it again, then it's sort of self-defeating. So have have one objective focus on that, pick it off.

Andrew:
Small wins.

Dominic:
Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew:
Yeah, and of course, feedback as well. You know, the more you do it, the more you're likely to get feedback not only just from your own learning, but you've got to then, if you spend the time to actually create something, you've got to put it out there to get the value back from it.

Dominic:
Yeah.

Andrew:
So that in itself will attract feedback, won't it?

Dominic:
Absolutely.

Andrew:
Just you know, it doesn't have to, these pieces I suppose they don't have to be Oscar winning pieces do they?

Dominic:
No.

Andrew:
All it needs is to start a conversation or to move a conversation onto the next step. And you can argue that's in part that's job done for that particular piece.

Dominic:
It's it's all about being the best version of you. So, you know, you don't you don't have to try and be...don't pretend to be someone else. Don't go and look at my content and try and copy me. Be, be you, but work out which bits of you need to turn up and which bits of you you might need to turn down, depending on the circumstance and the objective that you have. So it's absolutely acceptable to do it, to create a video, in shorts, flip flops and T-shirts, if that's you in your brand. Why would you go and put a suit on and, you know, put a green screen up? That's just weird! You know, be authentic.

Andrew:
I suppose just finally you talk about green screen and kit, kit doesn't really need to be a factor these days, does it?

Dominic:
Yeah.

Andrew:
We've got some pretty good film studios in our pockets haven't we, with our phones. You're also putting the content out there isn't it.

Dominic:
Quite often if you if you see kind of local BBC news channels, they've got one of these, an iPhone in a grip dolly and there they're just kind of walking around with a with a maybe, maybe a £100 microphone, but that's about as good as it gets. And the new technology that we have, if you've got the latest Samsung or the latest Apple device, the audio quality is amazing. The cameras are absolutely brilliant. Make sure you've got a light. But it doesn't have to be anything special - that the light that I'm using right now is actually an IKEA angle poise lamp. I mean, it doesn't have to be thousands of pounds.

Andrew:
No, no. So don't let the equipment be a restriction. I think that's definitely a strong message thats coming out and practice. Focus on those smaller chunks and practice over and over again, but thinking about the story that you want to tell, the beginning, the middle, the end, perhaps the past, the present and the future, which is another good approach there. And keep producing content. Keep producing output.

Dominic:
Yeah. And you know, keep it, initially I would say keep it short because there's when when you try to do 15 minutes you will inevitably make mistakes and so the kind of shorter and more succinct the content that you create is the better. And if you're doing it live, just like you would stumble, and if you were sitting in the room with someone, there's absolutely no reason to kind of worry about that. Stay grounded, stay breathing and focus on your audience again. I've said this already, but it is not about you. It's about them.

Andrew:
Yeah, before we just wrap up one tip, which I'll just run past you actually, which I'd heard, someone once said to me that when you are talking, if you think you say erm too much, actually go and deliberately introduce erms into your sentences. So I remember driving home from from work one night and I was literally going, there erm is a yellow erm car in erm front of me and I just became hypersensitive to saying um! Whether it made a difference or not, I don't know, but that was that was just something that someone once said to me.

Dominic:
I love that!

Andrew:
Raise your awareness of of saying things that you might not want to include in a video or a podcast or what have you.

Dominic:
Okay, that's cool. I will try that. It's not something I've come across, but I think I think if you are clear on your intention, if you take time. Don't rush yourself. Be deliberate in your output, then, is much less likely that you'll have any of those filler words, and I think sometimes we just want to get it over and done with quickly and that's where we have come unstuck.

Andrew:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, Dominic, that's been a really interesting conversation. Really enjoyed that. Certainly learned a few things myself, but I shall go away and try. And it's just getting over that hurdle, I think it is that mindset, just getting over that hurdle, start getting 2 or 3 videos done and not be too critical of of of the output. Really?

Dominic:
Absolutely.

Andrew:
Great. So your book is called Impact; How to Be More Confident, Increase your influence and Know what Say Under Pressure. And that is available on Amazon?

Dominic:
So on Amazon, the Kindle and paperback, it's also on Audible as well. So if if you've enjoyed my dulcet tones and you want to have them in your ears, by all means go and download the audio for those.

Andrew:
So you obviously recorded that yourself. How was that experience?

Dominic:
It was, it was good. I think the publisher thought it was going to be really quick because I'm a professional actor and I'd be used to that sort of studio environment, I've done lots of additional dialogue, recording and stuff for film and TV in the past. But actually because I am quite critical of my performance and because I was very mindful that I'm talking about how to perform, it better be performed well. It took a full two days to record the whole book because I would be constantly said to the producer, I'm just going to do that again if that's alright!

Andrew:
Yeah, great. So so yeah. Amazon, and Audible for the book and your skills training consultancy is called Inflow.

Dominic:
Yep.

Andrew:
And so where can people find details of Inflow and where can they follow up with you online?

Dominic:
Yeah. If you head over to the website inflow.global, then that gives you all the information about our training offering. I do a lot of speaking and keynoting for events and conferences, so if that's something you're interested in, then dominiccalenso.com is where you'll find more information about that. I'm on LinkedIn. I'm on Twitter. It'd be great to connect with people there. I do a lot of free video content and stuff that I put out there, so if you want tips and tricks, that's a good place to find this.

Andrew:
Wonderful. Sounds great. Loads of good advice over the last half hour or so. And it sounds like you've got a stack of resources online as well. So thank you again for your time, Dominic, really appreciate you taking the time to join us here. Go and look up the book and check out Dominic online.

Dominic:
Brilliant.

Andrew:
Thank you very much for having me.

Andrew:
So thanks to my guest, Dominic Colenso, for sharing his experience and advice on presenting, whether you're presenting on camera or in person the IMPACT model that he talks about in his book makes a lot of sense, and coming off the back of his experiences on stage and screen, in fact, Hollywood no less, I thoroughly recommend checking out Dominic online. Look up his book on Amazon. And of course, don't forget the Thunderbirds movie, which I think came out in around 2003/2004. Dominic played the role of Virgil Tracy in that movie. So that's definitely worth a watch.

Andrew:
That's just about it for this episode of the Clientside podcast. I'm feeling a bit starstruck, if I'm honest, but I really enjoyed chatting with Dominic, and of course, a lot of what we spoke about is particularly relevant at this time. We're all under more time pressure working in different circumstances, so clarity in your communication, whatever the situation is really important to make sure that you're clear, you can get your point across and achieve the outcome from that presentation that you need to achieve.

Andrew:
If you've enjoyed this episode, then we would be massively grateful if you could leave us a review on either Apple podcasts or Google podcasts. We're really keen to reach more listeners and share the conversations that we've been having and indeed the conversations that we've got planned over the next few weeks and months. So do feel free to get in contact with us. Just drop me an email, send it through to andrew@adigital.co.uk and it'd be great to hear from you.

Andrew:
So finally, given that we've had a bit of a TV theme to this episode, I'm going to do my best Jerry Springer sign off and say take care of yourselves...and each other and I'll see you on the next show. Cheers.

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There's nothing comfortable about seeing yourself on screen. You need to get over it, because if you're to make the most out of video, you'll realise it's not about you, it's about your audience.

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