Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to Quickly Improve Client Meetings

When I was a teacher, the best feedback I received was often the feedback I gave myself after watching a video of me teaching in my own classroom.  There are so many things that happen in the moment, but when we're focused on what we need to do, it becomes easy to overlook all of those little things that may be making a bigger difference than we think!

Now, I have to admit that watching a video of ourselves is a bit painful at first.  The camera adds 20 lbs, we get to see all of our little physical oddities and habits that are usually easy to ignore, and for some people, hearing their own voice on a recording is like scratching fingernails on a chalkboard.  It's not easy to watch, but you really should do this as often as you can and no less than once a year.  I suggest setting up a camera in a part of the room where you can see both your own body language and the body language of the client.  Notice their reactions, their hesitations, how they look through your images, what they seem to gravitate toward and what they push away from.  Listen to how quickly you talk, how much you listen, how you come across - does it match what you thought you were doing?

There's soooo much insight to be gained from watching just that ONE video because you'll see things you've NEVER seen before even though they were right in front of you!!  As long as you don't share your video with anyone else, there's no need to disclose that you're recording, it's just a personal evaluation for yourself.  If you have a red recording light on your camera, just cover it up with some tape.  I would be really interested to hear back and see what you learned from this one simple step!!  I GUARANTEE it will help you improve your meetings with clients!!

Anne Ruthmann is a lifestyle & wedding photographer from Boston, MA. She spent 10 years practicing marketing & management in corporate and non-profit businesses before pursuing her passion for photography as an independent small business. She loves helping others find creative and low-cost solutions to business problems. Follow her on Twitter to see her daily adventures and thoughts.


  1. I've never even thought to do this, Anne. What a great idea! I will definitely give it a shot during one of my next meetings in the studio.

  2. Yikes! That's a scary thought, but a great idea! I know I need to do this soon. Thanks for the idea. :)

  3. Great tip! I hate hearing recordings of myself, and watching myself is even worse, but it is worth it to help improve these things!

    Years ago I did a podcast to help me overcome all the "uhms" and "uhhs" that I tend to do - it was a HUGE help hearing them so I could learn to break those habits!

  4. Thanks for the information! This is a big help for me who is just starting out in this industry.

  5. I'm definitely going to do this! The idea crossed my mind to have someone record me as a I shoot, but I didn't think to do it for client meetings. I was an education major, and we recorded ourselves through soo many lessons in college. I was voted "most reflective" by my teachers at the end of the year because they felt I learned a great deal from those videos.


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