Silly in Philly… Doing My Thing At JVAlert Live

This weekend I was at Ken McArthur‘s JVAlert Live Seminar in Philadelphia… it was actually my first JVAlert, and much more intimate than I expected.

I was supposed to spend the weekend interviewing as many speakers and experts as possible on video for a project Ken and I are working on, but there was a mixup in communication and I only could get three of them.

Lesson 1: Always confirm that things are in place as much as you can before taking action on them, to avoid miscommunications and breakdowns in the process.

Lesson 2: Keeping Lesson 1 in mind, don’t neglect to take action simply because you’re spending too much time trying to get it all right; nothing will ever go exactly according to plan, so jump in and be ready to adapt, overcome and improvise along the way.

And by the way, if you’re ever planning to do on-camera interviews (and you should consider that if you’re trying to do interviews for online info-products or traffic generators), here are a few tips to keep it professional looking.

These are assuming you want to be on-camera with the guest, rather than off-camera like a documentary:

1. On-Camera Positioning: Make sure you’re both facing towards the camera, but not looking at it; so you don’t want to be in profile to the viewers, you want them to see 3/4 of your face at least, but at the same time the conversation is with your guest, not the audience.

2. Interview Notes: Try not to work with notes, unless you’re doing a lot of editing and can cut out the parts with you looking at them; it’s best to listen and respond to the answers with another question.

But if you do have a list of topics you’d like to cover, consider making a list of one-word bullet points that you can place off to the side and glance at occasionally from where you’re sitting.

3. Mic Technique: If it’s a short interview, you can use a hand-held mic; don’t forget to point it towards the guest’s mouth when they’re speaking, and to yourself when you’re speaking. Practice with a hairbrush if you have to.

But if it’s a longer interview, you’ll need to use lavs or a boom mic; you’ll never be able to hold up the hand-held mic for that long.

Barry and Jody, my partners at Masters of the Secret, also came to this one. Jody spends most of his time behind the computer, so it’s great to get him out mingling with people.

And Barry and I just love meeting others face to face that we’ve worked with over the internet, so it was a perfect opportunity to expand our circle of influence, meet some new contacts, and for me, some new interviewees.

It was actually the first time that Barry or I had met Jody, so it was really interesting to get to know him one-on-one. In fact, the first day, Jody and I arrived in Philadelphia at the same time, and picked up a rental car for the three of us (rather than paying for taxis back and forth all weekend, because the hotel was clear on the other side of the city from the airport).

Then we went back to the airport at midnight to pick up Barry, and enjoyed our first personal bonding conversation. Then the three of us hit a local bar to get to know each other better, rather than meeting up with the crowd.

I enjoyed meeting Michel Fortin and his wife Sylvie for the first time in person, as well as Tom Beal, Jim Donovan, Mike Merz, Brian Edmonson, Rick Raddatz, Dave Lakhani, Michael Angier and his wife Dawn, Kevin Nations and Sterling Valentine.

Heather Vale and Simon LeungIt was just a reunion with those I’ve already met in the past few weeks, like Ken McArthur, Simon Leung, Micheal Savoie, Ben Mack, Ron Capps, and Ross Goldberg.

And, of course, Barry.

Here’s a picture of me and Simon Leung on the last day of the event. We’re doing the Chinese hand sign for 6… if you’re not Asian, or don’t have Asian friends, or never worked with Asian people, you probably wouldn’t know that.

(When I used to bartend, the Asian customers would order “6 Budweiser” or “6 bottled waters” — never any other drink — with that hand sign. It saved a lot of yelling over loud music, I just had to learn to decipher “Budweiser” from “bottled water”… they sound alike when it’s loud, and people are talking fast and with a heavy accent, so generally they’d just hold up an empty with one hand and make the “6” hand sign with the other.)

Then there were people I’ve never met or communicated with before, or even heard of, like Erik Stafford, Steve Iser, Sam Crowley and more… people who I plan to interview in upcoming weeks.

Bottom line, it’s always good to get out and meet people in your industry, face to face. You make a much better impression in person.

And it’s good to keep an open mind, and find out how you can help others… and how they might also fit into what you do.

Often you’ll find the ones that you’re drawn to, and that are drawn to you, will be your biggest assets and associates in the future.

Keep Unwrapping the Mysteries of Life,

Heather Vale