William Aruda in his Personal Branding Trends Special Report for 2011 highlighted 11 key themes that he believes will affect personal branding this year. One of these is the Pret-a–Regarder trend.

What is the Pret-a-Regarder trend?

With the rise of the use of video in how we do business; from publishing our thoughts to communicating with colleagues and clients; being ready for film is something that we need to consider before we sit at our desks.

Working from home might mean wearing a tracksuit for some, but if video is going to form a key part of how you communicate, then you need to make sure you look the part on camera. And I’m afraid for me, that doesn’t mean looking like you’ve just got out of bed.

There’s a lot to be said for putting yourself into a good state of mind by wearing the right clothes. If you dress yourself in “work” clothes, you’re more likely to be in a “work” mindset.

But, you’re not the only one you need to worry about. What about what’s behind you when your camera’s on.

It’s behind youuuu!

There are a few people who publish videos regularly that I watch, and sometimes I can’t believe what I can see in the background. Whether it’s a mucky dressing gown hanging on the back of a door or a messy shelf of unfiled papers and books, the impression that these things create cannot be ignored.

Some people choose to shoot videos with corporate looking banners in the background. In my previous life as brand marketer, we would have called this “on brand”, but I think that for people, it’s a little impersonal. A bit like those who film with a blank nothingness behind them. It’s a bit bland. But, when we’ve been in the corporate world for so long we get used to wiping away all parts of our personality “to blend in”. Well now it’s time to bring it back!

We can’t ignore the fact that we’re a nosey bunch. It’s not just me is it? And if we could just find out a little bit more about someone then we just can’t help ourselves.

It’s like when people come round to your house, they are immediately drawn to the book shelf. They’re curious, but also they think that by seeing which books you read, they’ll get a better idea of who you are. And, if you’ve read the same book, you have something else to talk about. It creates an opportunity to connect even more.

By opening up and communicating who you are, you’re providing others with another way of feeling connected to you. If they feel connected to you, you begin to build trust.

So, the next time you make a video, think about how you’re presenting yourself. And I don’t just mean your face and clothes. What could you use as a background that supports who you are, but also reveals who you are?

If you’ve got any more tips that you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments below.

Want to learn more? Read 10 Key Considerations When Recording a Blog Post