I am stilling trying to get warm after sitting outside last night watching Virginia Tech play North Carolina. Even with hand and foot warmers, I was shaking cold. If you happened to watch the game on ESPN, you likely learned just how cold it was.

I can remember when very few college football games were televised. I always felt in those days that the players reacted differently because they knew they were on camera. I think the same is true of lawyers who are on camera for trials.

As you likely know I have Apple computers. A few years ago I shot video from the camera on my iMac and I thought I looked like a deer (with short hair)  in headlights. I still feel uncomfortable looking at the video.

After learning the cost to shoot video in a studio, I purchased an HD camera and shot video again. I discovered the lighting wasn’t good enough so I purchased two umbrella lights. Then, I wasn’t satisfied with the microphone so I purchased a professional microphone.

Call me a perfectionist, but I am still not 100% satisfied. Here is a link to one of the videos:

Why does this matter to you? I believe everyone agrees that video will play an increasingly important role in legal marketing and client development. I urge you to start practicing in front of a camera with no audience.

I know actors speak to a camera, but acting is different. I always use President Reagan and President Clinton as an examples of speakers comfortable speaking to directly to a camera. Both Presidents had a magic way of making their television audience feel like they were speaking directly to each person.

If you believe Bill Clinton and Ronald Regan were naturally gifted, read:What Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and You Have in Common Hint: It’s Not Natural Ability and then find a video clip of Bill Clinton’s nomination speech at the 1988 Democratic Convention. It was not his finest moment. He was so bad that when he appeared on the Johnny Carson show a week later, Johnny introduced him mimicking his speech at the convention. I still laugh when I listen to Johnny Carson at his best: Introducing Clinton

Like President Reagan and President Clinton, it takes a lot of work to be a gifted communicator. Time to get a camera and start practicing. You will need this skill sooner rather than later.