Leadership on Video: What We Can Learn from Queen Elizabeth's video

Last week I shared a video about why sharing your wisdom on video is crucial right now. 
And now what a gift that we have this strong example of Queen Elizabeth doing exactly that. If you haven't seen it, I've linked to it at the bottom of the post.

Now, I am not a celebrity royal watcher. I could care less about the clothes and the drama.

I lived in London for a bit in college. Recently I watched the entire Netflix series The Crown, yet still didn’t really understand the point of a monarchy in this day.  Now I do.  Or at least I see what a leader that is above political and religious fray can do for a country. 

So, what can we learn from Queen Elizabeth’s video for our own videos?

How can you connect with your audience in a way that inspires and makes them feel better?

Her video is a marvel of leadership messaging.

If you are in midlife, you’ve survived some challenges. What helped you back then? Is there something in that you could share now? The Queen references her past, I’ll get back to that in a bit.
Another example is this:  My friend in Mexico survived the 1985 Earthquake in Mexico City. I asked him the other day, what helped you then? He mentioned how the families in his barrio self-organized to help each other. He had stories of how his Tias took turns cooking for multiple families, and people pitched in what they could for the meals. 
What helped you after the crash of 2008? Or 9/11? Is any of that helping you now? Share those stories.

Empathize and inspire.
This is very important. People are upset. No one wants to be fussed at when they are scared and hurt. And they also don't need to have their fears activated even further.
The Queen acknowledges the difficulty people are feeling, and gently encourages them to not give into despair or negativity. 
She calls on the legendary resilience of the British people.  “Remember who you are”, she’s saying.  
Here is another part that is a classic example of why video is so powerful:
The short clip at 2:18, with the photo from 1940 of her first radio broadcast, as a young girl, from Windsor Castle is brilliant. 
That photo instantly reminds us that she, and the world, have weathered many crises.
For younger people watching that, she is a living bridge to a time that seems very distant from today’s reality, yet there she is, a survivor in a lovely green dress and pearls. 
How comforting is that? All communicated in a few seconds. 

Dignity and Authority:
The Queen’s presence is a major factor of the power of this video. She’s calm, speaks slowly and clearly. There is no schmaltzy emotional music. In fact, the editing is very simple. 
Contrast that with most messaging to the very distracted public in today’s world. 
To get attention, marketers and media channels push on our emotional buttons until they bleed. It is highly manipulative and a great reason to limit screen time.
Her Majesty’s calm delivery stands out like a beacon through the noise. I would love to see this understated yet powerful technique become a trend.  
In fact, this style is an opportunity for women in midlife and beyond. If we choose to claim it, we can convey our power on video. That’s a topic for its own post, but the Queen points the way. 
You don't have to be as reserved as she is, if that's not who you are. The point is, she knows who she is and isn't trying to be someone else.
She is compassionate, authoritative and empowering. 
She has taken the time to compose herself and her message, without overdoing it or trying to look years younger.
She has shared in the past that public speaking was never her favorite activity. She is 93, and I doubt she loves being on camera, but I also would guess that she spent zero time worrying about it for this video.
It is 100% apparent that her concern for the audience is at the heart of her message. 

London’s situation is personal for me. My daughter Jessie has lived there for 4 years, and was to graduate from University of Arts, London,  early this summer. The ceremony has been cancelled, like thousands of others across the globe. 
In the weeks before the lockdown, she debated coming back to the US, but she chose to stay.
Jessie would like to live in London after graduation. She has worked very hard to create a toehold there, and would have had to walk away from it to wait out the virus in the US. 
While of course, I miss her, our daily Zooms are helping both of us. I feel that London is one of the safest big cities to be in right now. 
The Old Town has seen it all in its 2000 year history, England has a strong rule of law, coming together in times of crisis is in the DNA of the British people. 
And everything about the Queen’s video reaffirmed my faith in that. 

None of us has the street cred of Queen Elizabeth, but we all do have the option to slow down, share our wisdom, and appeal to the best part of ourselves, our audience and followers.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

All my best to you - 


Link to
Queen Elizabeth's Video
and my video:
Sharing Your Midlife / Midcareer Wisdom is More Important Than Ever


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!