The Public Speakers Image: First Impressions are Important and Remembered
First impressions can be everything. Your images are most likely spread all over the internet … BUT are they the right ones? You are being Googled. You do it. I do it. Meeting Planners do it. Everyone does it. People see your images all the time. Our eyes will immediately go to images almost every single time when we land on a webpage. First impressions are critical, it can tell your story almost immediately and can set the tone for a new relationship.
Whether we want to admit it or not we still judge a book by its cover, is it right? No, but we still do it. You don’t need to be knock out gorgeous to catch the eye of a viewer or “Googler” surfing, you do however need to be unique and creative. I know the term “Think Outside the Box” gets over-used today but that’s exactly what I am telling you to do.
Planners are moving fast and have a hundred tasks on their plate and need to decide quickly sometimes and more times than not the images that are showcased on our website/blog/social media will give first impressions and can be the deciding factor if they will move forward towards your content. Your outward appearance has a big impact on the perceptions that the hiring party can have about you.
You are a professional speaker and it’s your job to grab people’s attention so they will be drawn to your image to learn more about you. I know what you’re thinking, its “taboo” to show anything other than a snapshot, a traditional head and shoulder snapshot … I say Bologna! Traditional “old school” profile images are out dated, stale and BORING.
My recommendation is to be fun, be yourself, and be a little crazy and not afraid to step out of your comfort zone as this is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Fun, eye catching and yet respectful images will always get a glance and can be a pull factor for you. If you insist on using only head shots at least smile and show your pearly whites and wear bright colors that will allow you to stand out. Don’t hide in the “background” it will make it more difficult to be found.
Use bright colors that reflect your brand or yourself and personality. Use cool background images or even a white background with a fun shot. Use props that tell your story or personality. These images should be showcased on your website, as profile pictures through the social media world and even on your marketing material.
Do remember the old saying “a picture tells a thousand words” and today meeting planners not only want professional they want a speaker who is fun, relaxed, full of energy and looks like they can connect with their audience. They do not want a speaker that looks like they may put the audience to sleep or send them to Words with Friends to kill time.
Remember a good image is going to make you memorable and approachable and this is exactly what you want.