FILWP Presenting Tip #002: Pictures are (mostly) forever; get some.


With our present-day technology, FILWP Presenting Tip #002 is super easy to get right, and is something you’ll kick yourself for later if you don’t.   Imagine that you’ve just given your best presentation ever and you’re feeling soooo good about yourself!  

Perhaps you were on stage with someone you admire, or perhaps even just surviving the talk was big enough for you to be on cloud 9.


There are some things that can be only captured in a ‘live’ environment, in the moment, that you simply cannot get from posed shots, regardless of how photogenic you are or how much you love the lens. That something is called ‘flow’. (that’s why so many ‘stock’ pictures are so uninspiring; because the actors are pretending to be in moment and in the flow, instead of actually being so.)


Regardless of how small or big your presentation is, make sure that you get pics of you in the flow. Those times when your passion just shines through, you’re intensely frowning to make a serious point or spontaneously smiling at a comment from someone in the audience are simply the gold dust.   Those are the moments that you have to capture in the moment… or lose it forever.


Get uncle Bob with his Nokia 3210, Aunt Susie with her Samsung S7 or a professional photographer – whatever suits your pocket. Just make sure that you get someone to snap you while you’re doing your thing up there.  Ask a colleague, the event organiser, a participant, peer, fellow-presenter, the cleaner or the chairman – but ask someone!


In one of the #FILWP DVD cover design, I have a belly.  (You’ll still find that picture right here!) It’s not the most flattering stomach shot of me, no.  And … it’s still one of my favourite pictures because in that moment I was so intensely involved in the moment and the message I was delivering and so connected to my audience that I did not even notice the photographer. That’s what I’m talking about.  I could NEVER have created that intensity and authenticity posing in a studio – ever.


The sooner you get comfortable with your appearance, the better for you as a presenter and if you’re not there yet, there is hope for you, I promise. I used to cringe of pictures of myself.  Then, the more my picture started showing up around the web, the more used to and comfortable I got with it.  It also helped me to realise that people usually did not notice the ‘flaws’ that I was obsessing about – or if they did, it did not matter half as much to them as it did to me.   People seem genuinely more interested in my message than my waist size or the blue circles under my eyes and if they’re not, well really, they’re not the type of people that I’ll get along with anyway. The other good news is, of course, that if you don’t like the pics then you simply delete them.  Although, of course you know what I’m going to say next … I STRONGLY suggest that you get them OUT there as soon as possible even if they’re not perfect.


Get pictures of you presenting to the audience that includes both you and the audience.  It gives credibility, and for me, these are beautiful memories of my events around the world and the amazing people I met. Also see if the photographer can get shots from behind you, facing the audience; these can be very powerful images.


If you’re arranging your own photographer, make the time and take the initiative to meet with them beforehand; ideally, at the venue.  It is also really OK to ask the event organiser to put you in touch with the event-photographer before the time. If this is not possible, then be at the event as early as you can to meet with them. Aspect to discuss with the photographer beforehand:

  • Anything specific in the background that you would like to be included or excluded
  • Specific parts of your presentation that you’d like captured
  • Your most preferred profile angle (I used to be hung up on ‘side shots’ because of my long chin; no it really does not matter to me how or where my pictures are taken.)
  • Your favourite part of the presentation, i.e. where you are most likely to be passionate, animated and truly at your most magnificent, playful or intense
  • Any particular activities you’re planning with the audience so these can be captured
  • Tell them if you wear glasses so that they can prepare and compensate for any glare.
  • If you’re comfortable being snapped without them, agree a time when you might take them off during your presentation for that to happen.
  • When you might be taking off your shirt!


I suggest that you only post pictures that are of a good technical quality. A grainy, low-res pic that is so grey or dark that your face is hardly visible, never mind recognisable, won’t be doing you any favours.  And – as Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Done is better than good” so get started with what you have right now rather than waiting for the ‘perfect’ shot. Pictures of you taken in the moment can be invaluable to you to share on social media, your website, promotional material, business cards etc. Seeing you in your power and your flow with the real, un-self-conscious you shining through will inspire people like nothing else.