September 11 has forever changed our history. When you combine that with our slumping economy it just makes sense to cut corners. After all, with all this technology do we really have to be face to face for meetings?

Video conferencing seems to be a great solution that more and more companies are pouncing on. I see them all holed up in their boardrooms furiously pounding the cost savings on the calculator. Executives see that they can reach all employees with messages that build good will and motivate people. Sales Directors see how their sales people can make more calls without the expense of flying out for meetings.

Life seems glorious.

So travel budgets are slashed and the money is moved in to the new technology of video conferencing. For you are a progressive company, one step ahead of your competition. You will save lots of money with this, right?

Many of you reading this article are probably shaking your heads. Your company may be one of the early pioneers in this area and you remember the awkward pauses and the speaking over each other. Or what about the stilted pictures that make you look like a puppet on strings.

Others of you have seen your company purchase the equipment; have tried it out several times and are still saying, ‘when we get this right it will…" Will your customer wait for you to get it right?

Video conferencing CAN be a very effective way to communicate IF you know how to use it properly. Put in the hands of amateurs it can actually LOSE you business.

Understanding how to present on the web is so important today that you can’t afford to just purchase the equipment and wing it. You can’t afford to believe your IT people will know how to set it up and make it effective for you. That is kind of like believing that because you buy a piano you are now a classical pianist.

The ability to use video conferencing and the web will be a differentiator in the future and you best know when to use it and when to not use it. This concept is so important that as I am writing this article we are talking with a company that sell video conferencing equipment how we can partner together to show their customers how to PRESENT with video conferencing.

Video conferencing is NOT like just being there. That is one thing that confuses people. They believe they can present the same way whether using video conferencing or live. The problem is that their actions come out jerky, awkward, and they create disbelief in the viewer. Not a good thing. Not a good thing at all.

I have worked with CEO’s, Senior Sales Managers and Management that get excited about using video conferencing. But they forget to remember how they are currently perceived, what message they want to deliver and why the audience will want to hear that message. They forget about 5 o’clock shadows, awkward body movements, and stilted speech.

Think about President Bush. During the election I listened to what people were saying about both candidates. You know what was interesting? There was NO talk about the issues.

Instead what people talked about was how they PERCEIVED each candidate would be as a leader. I heard people say that they didn’t trust Gore because he interrupted a lot, stuck to his own agenda by going back to questions he couldn’t answer in the time allotted, carried himself stiffly, and was aggressive with snickering and actually moving in to President Bush’s space.

With Bush you heard people talk about what a nice guy they thought he was BUT could he lead the nation? People talked about his awkward speech breaking every 4-5 words, his lack of eye contact, his slumped shoulders and his "aw shucks looks."

Today you hear people talk about him as a leader. Why? Mostly because of his dynamic speech he gave on September 20. He stood with his shoulders back, his head high, made great eye contact, and clearly emphasized key words. We walked away feeling relief and strength. We walked away believing this was a President that could carry us through this.

So what image do you convey? Do you know how it will come across with video conferencing? Do you know how to read our clients or prospects to know when you should use video conferencing?

In order to effectively use video conferencing you need to know how people see you, how they hear you, how to say your message and how to deliver your message. Each audience and each presentation will deliver a different goal.

Never make the mistake that the point of your presentation is to get information out. I can’t tell you how many times I hear that one. It leads you to speak from a ME perspective, to use I think/I feel statements, and to miss your audiences needs.

The point of all communication is to get your message HEARD. That is the angle you want to come from with all presentations. Video conferencing should help you get your message heard so people ACT on what you say. That is what we do with our clients over and over again. We show them how to maximize their presentation and get their message heard.

The next time you go to use video conferencing ask yourself, "what do I want my listener to do because of what I present and why will they want to do it? If you really want to maximize your video conferencing call us to find out how you can present so people WANT to listen.



As the leading Outcome Strategist, Anne Warfield shows people how to say the right thing at the right time every time.  The revolutionary Outcome Focus® Approach shows how to build a candid corporate culture of communication that allows you to lead, present and negotiate transformationally rather than transactionally. When applying Outcome Thinking® our client’s results include sales cycles reducing by 75%, turnover reducing by 30%, silos evaporating, and a 25% savings of time by executives.  Find out how you can maximize your corporate culture for greater productivity and results!  Contact us at 888-imp-9421, visit,  or