How to Be Charismatic on Video

Do you want to know how to be charismatic on video? Now that more and more of your calls and meeting are by video, many of you do. For over 20 years I’ve seen attorneys use videotaped depositions at trial. I’ve used them myself. And those experiences have taught me a lot about how to help my clients/experts be charismatic on video.

But first, a little about what happens if you aren’t charismatic. People fall asleep. I learned this when I was a young law student. I started serving as the second chair attorney at trials as soon as I graduated law school, and I learned a lot. But the biggest surprise was this–juror fall asleep. They do it often. Usually it happens after lunch and most often when the court officer rolls in a screen and we pop in a video. Videos can be boring.

But with a little bit of charisma, you can change that. The definition of charisma is a special magnetic charm, and the origin of the word is “special gift”. We all have our special gifts, and we can use them on video. When you are charismatic on video, you will better engage your clients, customers, team members and managers. And it’s simple–but not easy.

I have a 5 part FOCUS process that will help you. (More on that here). But if you want to know how to be charismatic on video, first you have to know your “jury”. That is the F of the FOCUS process. Figure out your jury.

And you do have your jury. Everyone does. Your jury is the people you want to persuade or influence. In each video call you do, your jury will be different. Sometimes it’s your managers and your team. Other times it is a potential client or a customer. The better you know your jury, the more charismatic you will be. The gift you are giving is the gift of your attention and your interest. And when you speak to what you jury wants and cares about, they become more interested in you.

And you have an advantage that I don’t have. My trials aren’t like what you see on the TV show Bull. I don’t get to dive deep into my jury’s likes, dislikes or needs. But you do! You usually know who you will be on a video call/conference with, and you can figure out a little bit about them. What are they worried about? What do they need? How can you serve?

Use that information to craft a message that speaks directly to your jury. Tell them how and why you want to serve them. Uses words that speak directly to their experience. When you do you’ll see their eyes light up. They’ll lean forward with interest. And they’ll be drawn to your charisma. You’ll have given them the gift of your attention and your interest, and that is the first secret behind how to be charismatic on video.

Heather Hansen

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5 Ways to Win Your Next Video Call or Conference.

Here are 5 ways to win your next video call or conference. Because you might be doing a lot more video than you’re used to, and I want to help.

If you’re like most of my consulting clients, your world has changed and suddenly you’re doing all of your communicating on video. Where you used to sell in person, now you’re scheduling meetings with your customers on Google hangouts. You used to meet with your manager, or those you manage, once a week in person. Now you’re meeting daily, on Zoom. While you’d planned to negotiate your next raise in a conference room, now you’re doing it in a Webex conference. And you’re afraid that you don’t know how.

It’s hard enough to advocate for your product, your team, your ideas and yourself in person. But doing it on video is even more intimidating. You want to appear confident, clear and charismatic. I can help.

For over 20 years I’ve been advocating for my clients in the courtroom. More importantly, I’ve been teaching them to advocate for themselves. I represent doctors when they’re sued, and ultimately the jury doesn’t decide the case based on what I have to say. They decide based on what my clients and my experts have to say. So I’ve given my clients the tools to advocate to win. And in recent years, as we’ve moved to videotaped depositions, I’ve used my television experience to give them the tools to win there as well.

Now you need to win on video. To win is to receive something positive because you have earned it. What is your something positive? It might be a sale, a raise, a new job or a new boundary. And how do you earn it? You earn it by advocating. And now, more and more, that means advocating on video. In order to do so, you have to FOCUS. Not only does that mean you have to focus on the call, with minimal distractions and maximum presence, but it also means that you have to use these 5 Keys to FOCUS the interaction. When you do, you will be far more likely to win.

Here are the 5 Keys to Winning Your Next Video Call or Conference

F: Figure out your “jury”

Everyone has their jury of customers, clients, team members or managers. If you’re lucky, you get to choose your jury. If you’re not lucky, your job is to convert them into people who see the world the way you see it. And that starts with figuring out who they are. In a videoconference or a video call, your jury is going to be the people on the call with you. Find out as much about them as you can. What is worrying them, and what do they need? Try to see the world through their perspective. Because that’s the only way you will change it. And before you get on the call, take a look at their LinkedIn profiles, Instagram accounts, and any old emails you have with them. The more you find out about your jury, the better the call/conference will go

O: Organize Your Evidence.

Just like a trial attorney, you have evidence. Data about your results, statistics about outcomes, stories of happy managers, testimonials from clients, and pictures of the product are all pieces of evidence that you will be using to win on the videoconference. Start by compiling a list of all of the evidence you want to use. Then start organizing it. You can use my proprietary Win/Lose/Weird process to determine which evidence is going to be most helpful to you. Then you can move to my 7x7w system to determine how your jury will best receive the evidence. Go into the conference or call knowing the evidence you want to use and how you want to use it.

C: Create Your Exhibits

Find tangible ways to share the evidence you plan to present in the conference with your jury. It may make sense to create an infographic or a chart with statistics and data you plan to discuss. You might even want to create a video/audio of a happy client sharing a testimonial. Or it may simply be a spreadsheet of all of the information you plan to share.

You want to keep your jury in mind and consider what exhibit will best help them understand what you need and give it to you. You also want to make the exhibits self explanatory, so that your jury could understand them without much explanation. Then share the exhibit with your jury–before the conference. Ideally you’ll email your materials to everyone who will attend the conference (your jury) 24 hours or less before the conference with a note letting them know these are some of the things you plan to reference. This is especially important if your conference is with a busy CEO or entrepreneur. They want to go into the conference prepared, and your preparation in this step brings you closer to a win.

U: Use Your Ears.

When I work with clients on advocating by video, they often want to focus on their body language. Or they’re worried about their tone. But I urge my clients to be less focused on how they present and more focused on how they receive. This is especially true on video.

People want to be heard, and they love anyone who seems to listen to them. So be that person. Put down the phone and look at the screen/camera. Nod and engage with the speaker. Don’t look away, and please do NOT walk away. Show whomever is speaking during a conference call that you are listening.

First of all, this is how you will get to know your jury. When you listen, you just might hear the very thing that will bring you a win. Moreover, this will make your jury feel far more connected to you. They will want to return the favor and listen to you more closely. Listening is an advocate’s super power, and it may be your greatest tool on video calls and conferences.

S: Strengthen Your Presence

This is where you use your body language, your tone of voice and facial expressions. And I have a LOT to say about this. But some basic points are to try standing up rather than sitting. It makes it more likely that your jury will see your hands, which we know is important when advocating. It also opens up your posture and your lungs, so your tone of voice is better. And get close enough to the camera that your jury can see your face, but not so close that they can’t see your hands. Finally, be aware of your lighting. A good rule of thumb is the light should be behind the camera, not behind you.

FOCUS-the 5 Ways to Win Your Next Video Call or Conference

These are my 5 ways to win your next video call or conference. I know they work because I’ve helped hundreds of clients advocate to win on video with these tools. No matter what your win may be, and no matter who your jury, when you use FOCUS you will win. Let me know how they work for you!

Heather Hansen

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Self Isolation and Self Advocacy

Let’s talk about self isolation and self advocacy. I live alone. That means that even before the “new normal” of self isolation, quarantine, and social distancing, sometimes I felt isolated. And now, everything is heightened. But that’s not only true for those of us who live alone. When everyone around you could be dangerous, we all feel more isolated, anxious and afraid. This is the perfect time to start advocating for ourselves.

Self advocacy is when you ask for what you need. And my consultancy is focused on giving clients the tools to advocate for their ideas, their clients, their customers and their teammates. But the most important part of advocating is advocating for what you need. That is the heart of all I do.

It’s not easy. It can be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. It takes so much guts, and vulnerability, and a wide open heart to say:

“I’m anxious, and I need reassurance.”

Or “I’m scared, and I need a good laugh.”

“I’m isolated, and I need to FaceTime so I can look in the eyes of someone who loves me.”

But this is why we do the work. This is why I teach my clients to advocate, so that ultimately they can advocate for themselves and their needs. If there is a silver lining to the potential of forced self isolation, it’s that it will also force self advocacy.

Please, see this as an opportunity to start asking for what you need. And do it over and over again. We may be forced by current circumstances to keep our bodies inside our homes. (And I hope that isn’t true for you). But your heart won’t be contained. Put your gutsy, vulnerable, wide open heart out there and ask for what you need, over and over, until you get it.

Heather Hansen

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How Women Can Be More Confident and Advocate for Themselves

As we approach Women’s Day, I want to share how women can be more confident and advocate for themselves. You know that I wish I could do it for you. But I can’t. You have to do it for yourself. And it’s simple really. And you can learn it from people like Andre Agassi, LeBron James, Pele, Charles de Gaule and Salvador Dali. Start talking to yourself in the third person.

“Come on Andre, get it together.”

“LeBron James has to do what’s best for LeBron James.”

They do it all the time. And studies show it works. It’s called illeism, and it is when you talk to yourself, or about yourself, in the third person. I’ve told you about this before–because it’s that important. If you want to be the best possible advocate for yourself and your ideas, you have to hire yourself to be your own best advocate.

And that means it makes sense to externalize yourself. “Heather is ready to speak to her boss.” “Alright, Heather. You’ve done the work and collected the evidence. You’re built your credibility. Now it is time to go in there and advocate.”

Studies show this works. It makes people feel more confident, both before and after the event they’re facing. It actually lights up different areas of the brain when you talk to yourself this way, and leads to less negative self talk. Illeism is a great way to hire yourself to be your own best advocate. And as we get ready to celebrate Women’s Day, this is one way women can be more confident and advocate for themselves.

One thing that may help is a talisman. It seems that if you have something to remind yourself that you’ve hired yourself, it may be easier to step into that persona. For me, at trials, it used to be a ponytail. When I put in my ponytail I was Heather Hansen, the trial attorney. She could object and overcome objections with ease. And he was confident, well spoken and always ready.

When you need your own talisman, I’m here to help. If you’ve listened to The Elegant Warrior podcast, or read my book, The Elegant Warrior, all you have to do is write a review for iTunes or Amazon. Send me a screen shot to heather@advocatetowincom, with your mailing address, and I will send you an Advocate bracelet.

It will help you step into your role as an advocate. You will hire yourself. And you will win.

Heather Hansen

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Be a Better Negotiator

Let’s Negotiate

You can be a better negotiator. You negotiate every day–for more money, more time, more compassion, or more help. It might be that you’re asking for a raise. Maybe you’re looking to work from home, or leave early on Wednesdays. Perhaps you want your partner to do more of the housework. The root of the word negotiate is “not leisure”. If you’re not resting, you’re not negotiating. Let’s get better at it.

When we communicate we share perspectives, but when we advocate we change them. And when we negotiate, we want the other party to see things through our perspective. But first we have to see theirs. I learned that lesson, and two ways to be a better negotiator, from a failed negotiation. You can use these lessons to be a better negotiator too.

I represent doctors when they are sued. In this case, the patient had a nerve injury and sued the doctor. She said he had been negligent and we disagreed. We tried the case, but the jury couldn’t agree so we had to declare a mistrial. After the trial, the jury wanted to talk to us.

We discovered that the eight of the jury members agreed with me, and my client. And four agreed with the patient. In my cases ten of the twelve jurors have to agree. We were getting ready to retry the case, but also recognized that there was risk on either side. That’s a perfect setup for a settlement.

We made an offer, and the patient’s attorney liked it. I could see it in his body language and his facial expression, and I heard it in his tone. He said he’d recommend it to his client. But she said no. The judge called her in and urged her to take the offer. Without hesitation, she said no.

It was especially strange because she had wanted to settle the case before the first trial. We knew she wasn’t refusing on principle. And the money we had offered was fair. But then I realized that we’d been approaching the settlement all wrong. We weren’t seeing things through the patient’s perspective.

This patient was from another country, and she didn’t speak English. She lived alone, and didn’t work. In fact, she rarely left her house. But during the first trial, she interacted with people every day. She had a translator who spoke with her in her native language all day long. And the trial was interesting and engaging. Every day during both trials, every time I looked at her, she was grinning. She loved the process.

If we had seen things from her perspective, we would have known that. And by seeing things through her perspective, we could have used some creativity to get her what she wanted. Maybe we could have found somewhere for her to go every day to interact with others. Perhaps we could have allotted some of the settlement monies to finding someone to come to her home for a few hours a week. But we didn’t have perspective, and we didn’t use creativity, so we failed.

When you’re negotiating, you need perspective and creativity. These two things will help you to be a better negotiator, no matter what you are trying to get. Let’s take negotiating for a raise. See the job through your boss’ perspective, and you’ll see she’s concerned about team morale. Next, use your creativity to find a way to best explain how you contribute to team morale, and how that should be compensated more fairly. When you see things the way your boss sees them, you can think like she thinks, feel as she feels and then act with creativity. That’s how you get a win.

We won that case, so my doctor was happy. But the patient was grinning as well. Maybe she got what she wanted–whether we saw it or not.

Heather Hansen

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You Can Choose Your Jury or You Can Convert Them

You can choose your jury, or you can convert them. You have a jury. They are your team members, your customers, your clients and your students. Ideally, you get to choose your jurors. When you choose your ideal customer, your ideal teammates or your ideal students, things are easier. They see things your way. You share a common perspective.

But sometimes you don’t get to choose. And sometime, even if you do choose, your jury doesn’t share your perspective. That’s when you have to advocate even harder. Because you can choose your jury, or you can convert them.

As a trial lawyer, I get to choose my juries. However, none of them share my clients’ perspectives. Every single juror in every one of my cases is a patient. They see things through a patient’s eyes and share a patient’s perspective. But in my twenty years of defending doctors in medical malpractice cases, not one of my jurors has been a doctor. That means I have to start advocating and convert these jurors. I have to help them see things through my perspective.

I do this with questions. On direct examination I ask questions that build my case, and on cross I use questions to challenge the other side. I use evidence of all kinds, in all kinds of ways. And I use my 7x7w system to share the evidence in a way that resonates. Then I also help my jury see my perspective by teaching my clients how to use their body language, tone of voice and energy. And I do it with my 5 Cs of an Advocate-Connection, Compassion, Curiosity, Creativity and Credibility. You can do it too.

Choose your ideal jury when you can. It does make advocating easier. But when you can’t choose them, convert them. Help them see things your way. You can choose your jury, or you can convert them. Either way, you win.

Heather Hansen

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A Great Lawyer Knows the Jury

I often tell clients “a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the jury”. When I was a young lawyer, one of my clients gave me a paperweight. It said “A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge.” And I was shocked. That was not justice! Winning and losing should be about what you knew and now who you knew. This paperweight had to be wrong.

And it was, in part. The truth is the best way to win a case is to know the law, the facts, but most of all to know the jury. When you know your jury, you know their perspective. And when you know the jury’s perspective, you know how to change it. What you see impacts what you think, feel, do and get. So if you can change what someone sees, you can change what you get. An advocate publicly supports something, and to get that support you might have to change what the jury sees. A great advocate knows her jury.

This applies outside the courtroom as well. Now I work with clients to give them the tools to advocate for themselves and their big ideas. We work to identify their “jury” of clients, customers, team members or students and then to see things through that jury’s perspective. My clients soon realize that my paperweight applies to them as well.

A good salesperson knows his product, but a great one knows his customers. A good financial service professional knows her numbers, but a great one knows her clients and their dreams. While a good real estate professional knows houses, a great one knows what makes her client’s house a home. And a good teacher knows his lesson plan, but a great one knows his students.

Want to go from good to great? Go from knowing about the things you work with to knowing about the people you serve.

Heather Hansen

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Did Dorothy Want to Punch Glenda?

Heather Hansen

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Forget Empathy. Focus on Perspective.

Forget empathy. Focus on perspective.

I have a client who works at a school. Years ago the administration decided to have the kids do something for the homeless people in their community during the holiday season. So the kids knit scarves. When the administration took the scarves to the homeless shelter, the person who ran the shelter shook her head in dismay.

“What beautiful scarves! And I know the kids put tons of work into these. But most homeless people don’t wear scarves.

When you live on the street, safety comes first. You’d rather be alive then warm. And scarves can be dangerous. Someone can strangle you with a scarf.

The homeless people didn’t want scarves, they wanted socks.That didn’t occur to my friend. It never occurred to me either. But maybe it would have if we had worked to see things from those homeless people’s perspective. If we saw the street the way they saw it, and saw the scarves the way they saw them, we might have seen that socks were a better answer. If the homeless people were our jury, we had lost. We needed more perspective-not more empathy.

There is a lot of talk about empathy today, and when my clients bring it up I want to take a page from The Princess Bride and say “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” There is a huge difference between perspective and empathy. And perspective is what you need.

Perspective is to see what the other sees. The origin of the word is “to look at, through”. Perspective is looking at things through another’s eyes. Empathy, on the other hand, is to feel what the other feels. The root of the word empathy is “in feeling” or even “in suffering”. Empathy is to feel what another feels, and to feel their suffering.

But feelings can be paralyzing. If my friend had felt things the way the homeless people did, she would have felt anger, frustration, dismay and fear. None of these feelings were going to solve the problem. None of these feelings would help her serve her “jury” of homeless people. Only perspective could do that. It’s time to forget empathy and focus on perspective.

Perspective allows you to act, and perspective always comes first. When I work with my consulting clients I give them a card with my formula on it. “SEE-think-feel-act-GET.” It all starts with seeing, which impacts thinking. Thinking impacts feeling and feeling impacts action. Then you get your results. So truly, what you see is what you get.

When you start with feeling, you miss the mark. You might think homeless people feel angry, afraid, or frustrated. None of that is going to help you know that what they want is socks.

I learned the importance of perspective over empathy in the courtroom. I defend doctors in medical malpractice cases, so I rarely have empathy on my side. The jurors are all patients, and in 20 years I’ve never had a doctor on one of my juries. So I start at a disadvantage. The jury sees things through the patient’s eyes, and might even feel what the patient is feeling.

In order to win, I have to see what the jury sees. Then, when necessary, I have to change it. If the jury sees an injured patient, I have to help them see a doctor who is doing her best. When the jury sees a brain damaged baby, I work to make the jury see the doctor’s perspective and all she did to prevent that damage, which cannot ever be completely prevented.

I don’t need to feel what the jury feels. They often feel the patient’s pain, his regret, her frustration. That’s ok. I can still win. If I can change what the jury sees, I can change what they think. Then I can change how they feel, how they act, and the verdict I get. What you see is always what you get.

So forget about empathy. It’s nice, in the right hands and at the right time. But perspective is what wins. Change perspectives, and you’ll change lives.

Heather Hansen

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Trial Day 16 – Collect Yeses

You can’t get anywhere without yeses. There’s no way forward unless you give yourself permission to move forward. It’s like life is one big game of Mother May I.

“Take 5 giant steps forward.”

“Mother, May I?”

“Yes you may.”

And there you go. If life is a game, the Mother could be anyone. Most of the time, it’s you. You decide where to go, and how big your steps will be. You have to give yourself permission, or else no one else will. We’re too old to be asking for permission slips, and we aren’t cars so we don’t need validation either.

But there are times you do need to collect yeses from others. It may be your boss, allowing you to attend a big meeting. It may be your client, giving you the deal you’ve been yearning for, or your partner, allowing you the space you need to make a major decision. Movement depends on yeses, and you have to collect them. That means you have to start looking for them.

Yeses are everywhere. I got my first yes on my first night waitressing, then another yes when I was first allowed to try a case, then when I first appeared on TV, then when I first wrote a book, then when I first anchored a show, and then when I first gave a keynote. Everyone of those yeses took me to the next one, and I can see so many yeses laid out ahead of me like a shining yellow brick road.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO COLLECT YESES. The secret to collecting yeses is to ask the question. You’ll never get a yes if you don’t ask. Start asking for yeses, and remember that the first person to give you permission is always yourself. Remember, too, that sometimes you’ll get no’s. They can be just as valuable, because they teach you what’s not for you, and how not to ask. The no’s shouldn’t stop you, but they should give you pause. Learn from the no’s and then keep on collecting yeses. Your mantra for today is “Yes you may.”

Where do you want to find your yeses? Where are you most afraid of no? Share with us the yeses you will collect today, and what it is you will do with them. And say yes to sharing this. Remember, if you comment you get a little something, but the one person who shares the challenge the most gets a bigger something. Who wouldn’t say yes to that?

Heather Hansen

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