I’m looking forward to sharing an email response I received with you. I received them from someone I’ve known for a long time now (outside of the eCommerce arena) and have the up-most respect for. The ironic summary of all his comments, is that shamefully I know them to be all correct & they are all in relation to the article posted a few days ago here.
I’m publishing this because I feel exceptionally important to learn from ones mistakes, failure and failing is OK, but what is not OK is not learning from the experience and helping others along the way. As such I’m publishing the contents of the two emails (with their consent I hasten to add) and using this article to help myself document the feedback fully and maybe helping you too in the process.
While the chap who sent me this email is an EMEA sales director for a Billion pound semi-conductors business, long time friend & an avid gamer, I’d like to note that I do take feedback seriously of any kind from anyone, as you’ve seen numerous times here before.
Email number one
Here is the first email I received:
I’ve been watching the developments on this with interest as e-selling and developing business in that area is something that is totally alien to me and its not something that I envisage myself becoming involved in……….however, you never know what the future holds and I know I’ll learn something.
I have been watching your videos and if I might offer some feedback on them I hope that you won’t be offended but these are my personal comments:
In general I really like the actual location. The white walls and door and your daughters paintings seem to give the ‘right’ atmosphere for what (I believe) that you are trying to do. The combination of your ‘professional’ outlook in a ‘home’ office seems to link the aspirations of your audience quite well……….again this is only my view of things.
I can see that you blur out the logo on your coffee cup on your desk but for me this is something that you might be able to exploit. Given that you are a well known lover of coffee and Fridays have you thought about either having your own coffee cup with a ‘Last Drop of Ink’ logo on it and in shot (good advertising for you and people might even want to buy one!) although I find it interesting that whilst you pixelate the cup we can see a (half) picture of your daughter on the screen. Even stopping to have a quick drink out of the cup might help to bolster your image!
The other point is that you seem to lean back quite a lot when you are talking and I think that this might be due to getting yourself in the camera correctly but you do also bounce on the chair. Its a small thing but maybe sitting more upright might give a better presentation. As you’re leaning back your eyes do tend to half close at times as you are ‘looking down’ in effect and this does tend to detract from your more enthusiastic ‘wide eyes’ when you get to a key point in your talk. Your personal enthusiasm for this project shines through in your writing and your videos so it would be a shame (again in my opinion) to detract from this in any way.
Finally, the audio is a little bit ‘echo-y’ which is OK but again if this can be improved it would make the whole thing look a bit more professional. The audio is fine for ‘Youtube’ standards but I think that you are looking higher than this and your voice should reflect this again.
I hope that you don’t mind this input and I wouldn’t make it if I didn’t think that what you are doing is worthwhile. In a funny way I’m quite an excited ‘voyeur’ on this expedition into the unknown so I wish you every success in the future. Please don’t kick my ass into the stratosphere the next time we meet on the servers in retaliation!
Email number two
Quickly I realised that he’s made some brilliantly obvious points and acknowledge them with a quick email back, saying words to that effect. Which leads me onto the second email:
Making a presentation look easy actually takes a lot of hard work and practice but you also need the right ‘raw material’ to be able to have half a chance – which in my opinion you have. I certainly think that these things can be fixed and you’ll tweak things as you go along to make it better. If you think about what you know now and how you actually do your work compared to 5 years ago you know that you are much better these days and probably shudder at some of the things that happened in the past – I know that I do! Basically you’re just at that start point again and you will make the incremental improvements that can improve the overall message.
Summarising the feedback
“Video” usage is still very new to myself and its going to become more of an active role in the next few months. I don’t even pretend to be good at it and have relied on blind enthusiasm to get myself this far, hence why I’ve been so taken back by the comments as I feel there is a lot to be learnt and also to be shared with you.
Here are the main points from the feedback:
- Location & atmosphere of a home office
- Use of subliminal marketing
- Focus the camera more on myself
- Stop bouncing around & sit up
- Focus on the camera more
- Audio is poor
- He’s enjoying the experience as much as I am
- Its not easy to make a presentation look great, but blind enthusiasm is 50% of it
- Its all about learning from the experiences to making them better
As I mentioned at beginning, this article is really about myself and in documenting it learning from what points were made, however I sincerely hope you may be able to gleam something from this as well, hence why I’m publishing this publicly.
Location & atmosphere of a home office
I work from home and have done for pretty much the past 10 years. Its not easy and with the advent of two sets of feet joining myself & my partner, it can be difficult at times. I’m sure most of you can relate to this.
If you had not noticed (come on could you miss them?), my office walls are splattered with paintings that the girls bring home from playgroup. I use these to keep myself sane and are my inspiration for keeping my head down and always trying to be the best that I can ever be.
Use of subliminal marketing
I thought this was a brilliant idea and I look forward to not only sharing with you my favourite home coffee, inviting you to buy me a cup at my favourite cafe (Gusto’s) but also getting one of the businesses I am having the upmost delight working with to produce me a coffee mug for the office.
Although the latter cannot happen before the massive resdesign of the site (yes, I’m redesigning the site and upping the game considerably, but more about this in another article).
Focus the camera more on myself
I’ve wondered about moving locations for the video creation, but instead, I’m going to take some inspiration from Darren Rowse from Problogger.net and while I do not personally fancy subjecting you to my entire head that close. I do feel a change of camera location is an excellent idea and here is a screen shot from the new location.
I’m looking forward to getting the girls to create me some more artwork to share with you. Although the last time, one of them painted themselves green!
Stop bouncing around & sit up
It was pretty bad in the earlier video I made (see here), I’ve solve this by just screwing up the tighten’er on the chair and have taken note not to bounce around so much. This will be difficult though, as you can tell, I’m a very animated person.
Focus on the camera more
I know when my eyes go down, its because I’m reading the screen for notes. So instead of using the screen, I’m goignnto use printed copies and use them, thus when I do look down, you’ll see me looking down at the notes and thus (hopefully) lessening the eye movement, which does look odd.
Audio is poor
While this will add a few minutes to each video creation, I feel it will add immense value to the overall professionalism of the video and I’m looking forward to sharing the results with you.
He’s enjoying the experience as much as I am
I really do love what I do and I’m glad he is, as you are enjoying the experience.
Its not easy to make a presentation look great, but blind enthusiasm is 50% of it
Blind enthusiasm will only get me so far. This is really where I am going to up-my-game and in the next few weeks, I’d like you to be the jury on this.
Its all about learning from the experiences to making them better
And hence this article, I do not pretend to know everything and just as in “life” its one long learning experience. As I mentioned at the beginning, I hope you’re able to draw something from this article as I have drawn loads.
What do you think?
So two questions for you:
- Were the points valid?
- Has me sharing the above helped you?