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Mastering Authentic Leadership on Camera with David Deane-Spread

April 16, 2023

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Original source: Ridge Films

In this episode, join host Chris Schwager (Video Marketer and Co-Founder of Ridge Films) as he sits down with David Deane-Spread (CEO & Founder of Metattude), renowned business coach and expert in video communication. Get ready to learn valuable insights and strategies for mastering authentic video communication, whether it’s for presentations, interviews, or other professional settings. David shares his journey of reinvention from covert operations to business coaching and discusses the importance of shifting from authority to authenticity in building genuine connections with teams. Gain practical tips on navigating the challenges of video setup, optimising scripts for video communication, and cultivating authenticity and connection on camera. Discover how technology can enhance convenience, cost savings, and value in virtual communication, and explore the power of unapologetic coaching through vulnerability and honesty. If you’re seeking to enhance your video communication skills, improve your virtual presence, and wondering about the value of a video coach, then this episode is a must-listen! Tune in now to gain valuable insights and strategies from David Deane-Spread’s expertise in mastering authentic video communication.

Video Transcription:

David Deane-Spread:

Particularly when we’re doing behavioral stuff, because the, the behaviors in this, in this bit that we see, you know, the body language as well as the tonality and the facial expressions. And so to be a, uh, an effective leader, you’ve gotta bring all of that. To, to the table.

[00:00:28] Chris Schwager: Welcome, welcome! Well, this is another very informal podcast with my good man, new client, David Deane-Spread in Perth. Now, for those overseas who don’t know where Perth is, it’s a hell of a long way. It’s actually three hours difference between where I am in Sydney and, uh, Perth. Uh, David, how far exactly in a, in an American sense is, is WA from, uh, from Sydney?

[00:00:56] David Deane-Spread: Uh, from Sydney. It’s about 4,000 kilometers.

[00:01:01] Chris Schwager: So, what’s that? Like LA to New York?

[00:01:03] David Deane-Spread: Mean miles, but it’s, it’s, um, I dunno what that is in miles, but it’s, uh, it’s longer.

[00:01:09] Chris Schwager: A hell of a lot longer. So every time I talk to David, I’ve gotta try and do maths, is to work out how far we are in time. Here’s what, here’s nine is my 12 and all this sort of stuff. But otherwise…

[00:01:21] David Deane-Spread: For your, for your American clients, the, uh, it’s a 12 to 13 hour time difference. That’s a lot. That’s, well.

[00:01:29] Chris Schwager: That’s right. Uh, but I do know there’s about 50% of the audience in the states there that love listening to the show. So thank you for listening. I’m checking your take as I do the podcast. This is how I roll now. This is how I roll, uh, multitasking, doing a podcast as well as a testimonial and a case study. Oh, I love it. And the Byron, uh, episode, if you haven’t had a listen to it, that that was the first time where I went, you know what? F* this. This whole podcast with the structured questions and all this stuff is so, it can be, it’s a hell of a job. It’s a hell of a job.

[00:02:11] David Deane-Spread: If it’s too structured. It, it, um, it’s, it’s boring and it comes across that way.

[00:02:16] Chris Schwager: Yes, that’s right. Um, yeah, it’s becoming a bit clinical for my liking and so you can, you can just hear by the f-bombs and the informalities, uh, that, you know, we’ve loosened this right up. Now you are a DIY video client, but I don’t want this to all be DIY video, but more, Hey, let’s learn about David and cattle and being 75 years of age.

[00:02:43] David Deane-Spread: Yeah, we covered all that. We covered all of that. Well, it’s not only gonna be about me, not only gonna be about you.

[00:02:52] Chris Schwager: Well, look, I tell what, why don’t we just kick off a little bit and just, um, give the audience a bit of a perspective. Don’t go back to childbirth. Keep it short, but, um.

[00:03:01] David Deane-Spread: You don’t, you don’t, you don’t, you don’t know want to know where mum got pregnant with me, which exactly happened to be in India, but nevermind.

[00:03:11] Chris Schwager: Right. Well just give, give people a bit of perspective. You know, I think, I’m so intrigued, I guess, at, uh, you coming on board at, I won’t say at the later stage of life. I’ll just say after, let’s, let’s put it, let’s reframe it and say after 25 years of running a referral based business, you are now in this new world of video and, um, and digitising yourself, which I think is amazing, and of course bolting on your seniority in the business community. Is that a diplomatic way of talking about your age?

[00:03:49] David Deane-Spread: You know, like I’m a, what’s uh, what do you call, um, a person in their, in their seventies? What do you, what do you call them? Septuagenarian. There you go. Is it a septuagenarian or something like that?

[00:04:02] Chris Schwager: I’ve never heard of it. I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds pretty bloody good.

[00:04:06] David Deane-Spread: No, I’m gonna have to get used to that. I, you know.

[00:04:08] Chris Schwager: Well, David, give us a bit of an intro. Who are ya? Where did you come from? Why are you here?

[00:04:14] David Deane-Spread: Yeah, mate. Cool. I, uh, look, I, I grew up, um, here in, in WA but uh, I was made in India, dropped in London, and landed in Perth by the time I was four. And then just grew up here and then, um, joined the Army. Um, I won a Duntroon scholarship and joined the Army. Um, Got headhunted out of the army into the, uh, federal narcotics bureau cuz I was in the military police. And then I was also, uh, involved in another discrete agency and I won’t talk too much about that. I won’t talk about that at all. Ooh. And then, uh, so I’ve operated as far, um, east as Panama, far North as Kathmandu is far west, as Northern Ireland. And as far south as um, Adelaide. But, um, but I, look, I came out, I left all of that in 1990. Um, but I’d already been, um, involved in commercial world beforehand cuz my last bit. But the other agency. Where I specialised in covert operations and, and that kind of work and leading and developing them. And the best cover is no cover. And so my, I had a genuine business interests, but, you know, in the, in the eighties, um, but left, um, all the government work in 1990, like full, full on that, that was the end of it. Cost me two marriages, you know? And you can’t have relationships or keep relationships when you, when you’re never there. Mm. Um, and, and everyone and every too much uncertainty.

[00:05:53] Chris Schwager: So is that when you started Metattude?

[00:05:56] David Deane-Spread: Uh, no. I, I, at the same, it’s quite interesting. At the same time, um, I went bankrupt for $6 million.

[00:06:05] Chris Schwager: You had, you’ve had an interesting journey. Oh, Jesus.

[00:06:09] David Deane-Spread: Running a business, um, that I actually had the business in, in, but it was in London and I moved it to Ireland to suit my other purposes. And, um, of course, um, not being fully focused on the business. But doing other things as well. The business got into trouble. I ended up going bankrupt for 6 million dollars and lost a marriage and contact with my kids for 17 years. Remarried, um, oh, sorry. I’d had a marriage before that, um, whilst I was in the Army and the Narcotics bureau, but I was undercover in the narcotics bureau.

[00:06:48] That marriage failed. Um, and then, um, When I sort of came out of Ireland on a trip in 1990, I, I, I looked at my life and thought, this is, this is terrible. I, I’m, I’m, you know, getting along in the tooth and I’ve gotta change something. I’ve gotta get out of it.

[00:07:07] Chris Schwager: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:07:08] David Deane-Spread: And I did, I did. And, um, at the same time, I, I was going bankrupt. So I then spent three years during which time I, I mastered the didgeridoo. The making and the playing of it. So circular breathing and all of that. And made my living out of, uh, teaching didgeridoo.

[00:07:27] Chris Schwager: Wow.

[00:07:28] David Deane-Spread: For about, um, about two years. And I did a, an overseas trip with a whole bunch of didgeridoos and financed a whole trip selling didgeridoos and playing and busking in the streets of Amsterdam and Irish pubs and, and all of that was fantastic. In 1995, I came back and, um, I, I’d, I’d had, um, been taking flying lessons during that period of time and my, my flying instructor was actually a, um, an electrician by trade and he went back to his trade and he asked me would, would I help him grow his business?

[00:08:08] And that was in 1997. In 1999, now three years, 97, 98, 99. Um, he, um, had won his industry award three years in a row whilst he was been coached by me and we’d grown the business, uh, 300%. Um, and, um, he became, he remained a client right through until he sold the business in 2017. Um, he was my first client and my li and, and all my clients are long serving clients and he sold the business, uh, which was a startup electrical business in Perth. When he sold it in 2017, he sold it for over 10 million bucks and he had over five, um, hundred staff scattered around Australia.

[00:08:53] Chris Schwager: Mm.

[00:08:54] David Deane-Spread: And so we, we’ve been on that journey together and that’s kind of been the, uh, the way I’ve, I’ve operated. Um, I coach CEOs and their direct reports and really help them to be the best they can be for the business, and we always get growth in the business.

[00:09:11] And, um, they can then, um, do exit plans or listings or sales, whatever they want, or just keep going. And so that’s what I’ve been doing for that, you know, all that time. And it’s been entirely re by re referral, which is another way of saying my marketing never worked.

[00:09:31] Well, but you know, they, my referrals worked, you know?

[00:09:36] Chris Schwager: Yeah. Well, ref referrals are marketing so .

[00:09:39] David Deane-Spread: Yes, I guess so. But, but you know, the, the traditional type of, you know, marketing, um, that didn’t do

[00:09:45] Chris Schwager: Yeah. It’s not video marketing. Yeah. Like, let’s.

[00:09:50] David Deane-Spread: So along the way, I, I got really involved in, in speaking, um, trained to be a keynote speaker and did that, did very well with that. Um, became the chapter president of the National Speakers Association, which is now called the Professional Speakers Association. Mm-hmm. Um, and, um, and just continued my work. I mean, I don’t do keynote speaking as a, as a main thing. I like to see a real difference, and I don’t think keynote speaking can make a difference to a business. I think it opens some eyes. Mm-hmm. And shed some, some light and may gives people ideas. But to do the work that I want, that is getting real change in the business. We actually have to change people’s thinking and behavior and, and really getting down to the nitty gritty, the neural pathways in the brain have to change. Hmm.

[00:10:42] Pretty different. If you want different behavior, you’ve gotta change the way your, your brain operates, and that’s

[00:10:47] Chris Schwager: what neural pathways, what neural pathways have changed in your brain, David, since we’ve been working together?

[00:10:54] David Deane-Spread: Very good question and a very appropriate question. So, I, I’m, you know, I’m used to speaking in front of live people where you, you’re actually interacting with them. You’re responding to the changes you can see in them and their moods. But when you’re dealing, um, with the camera, you’re essentially speaking to one person. And so there’s a whole different dynamic and, and I wasn’t, I was, um, recognised that I was actually being slow, painful, and potentially boring, um, just by using the camera without any, any development, being a keynote speaker on camera, you’ve gotta change. You can’t, it can’t be the same thing.

[00:11:36] So I, I try, oh, I, I found you on LinkedIn. I think it was, I saw one of your ads on LinkedIn. And then had a go at that and um, and that was late last year. Mate, it’s been very, it is been really useful and very, very, uh, beneficial for the business. Um, it certainly means that I can now with confidence, um, serve my clients way better than I could have, uh, with, without having to be live and in, you know, with them. It, it saved me money in the sense and my client’s money and the sense of travel and accommodation. Don’t need to do. I know that with confidence, I can get the message across to the client now. Um. And there are some things that I’d like to get better at, and you’ve pointed those out to me and I’ve already made, uh, I feel a big change in how I talk on camera. Um.

[00:12:34] Chris Schwager: So where you are, where you are looking, so where you are looking slightly, I don’t know what you are looking at, but, if you are looking at yourself, it doesn’t bother me if you’re looking at me or yourself, but if you’re able to drag the Riverside screen over more, towards over the lens, then uh, I know that I’ll get all your eye contacts straight down the lens because these types of little grabs are gonna be great for our testimonial video. But it’s slightly off camera. Slightly off off.

[00:13:06] David Deane-Spread: Now what about now?

[00:13:07] Chris Schwager: Yeah. Thank you. Excellent. Thank you. And sorry to interrupt.

[00:13:10] David Deane-Spread: And, and look, there, there is a bit of a problem. I have a, I have a habit of looking at myself.

[00:13:15] Chris Schwager: I don’t have that problem at all.

[00:13:17] David Deane-Spread: It’s the narcissism that I or not.

[00:13:22] Chris Schwager: Uh, I, I like there, there was a big thing that came out, like at the start of Covid and like, was this like, oh, this person had been like looking at themselves the whole time through the Zoom meeting. And Susan went, oh, look how funny this is. They’re just, they’re only looking at themselves and I didn’t find, I didn’t see the joke. I was like, maybe this is just me, but I actually do, uh, like to see that I’m, well, I’m sharp, I’m in frame. Yeah. You know, everything’s kind of working around me as it should. Um, and to, you know, catch expressions and things like that as well on the fly.

[00:14:00] David Deane-Spread: Well, you look, it’s really interesting cause I, I look, I look at myself, um, to correct, to make sure that I’m coming across the way I intend to. Yeah. Um, and then you end up being stuck there. But, but now I’m actually paying, paying attention to looking at you and, and I think you see that difference.

[00:14:19] Chris Schwager: Well, I’ve got you directly over the, over the lens at the moment, me off to the side. So if you see my eyes glancing like they are now, you’ll see. Notice

[00:14:28] David Deane-Spread: it doesn’t and it’s fine. That’s fine.

[00:14:31] Chris Schwager: But, but this is all about. This is all about me getting, you know, nice little grabs from you as we progress. Yeah, no,

[00:14:36] David Deane-Spread: that’s fine mate. I mean, I, I’m happy with that. One of the things that, it is a grab for you.

[00:14:42] One of the things I noticed on LinkedIn, um, today was that you said dump the mirror. Yeah. And that is so true. So when I, when I’m training my clients to be better presenters as leaders, not in terms of camera work, but to their people live, I don’t tell them to stand in front of the mirror and practice because what you are doing when you do that, you’re making minor corrections as you’re going and you’re actually not learning anything.

[00:15:15] And, and so you can’t do that when you’re doing it live. So what I say, sit in front of you, your, your pc. Camera on with a picture of somebody or your group and talk to that group as though they’re live and then go back and have a look at it and criticise yourself. And so when I’m doing live training, whether it be, um, leadership training or even did it with the sas, when I was actually involved in helping them improve their weapons handling, um, I got everyone to film themselves in action on their own, on their own mobile phone and then have a look at that, um, playback and come to me and tell me what you think you should do differently. And you, they, they are, we are so much more critical of ourselves when we see ourselves being played back. And so dumping the mirror is, is highly ve really important because you, you’ll, you’ll get an exponential improvement in your presentation by just filming yourself and having a look at it, uh, after the event.

[00:16:23] Chris Schwager: Yeah. There, there’s something to say about, uh, allowing time between going, you know, go, going through and, and just focusing on one thing at a time. I think is, is probably, uh, perhaps a way to reiterate what you’ve just said, but I, I really don’t see how the human body can.

[00:16:44] Uh, regulate itself, uh, efficiently enough by delivering a performance and correcting on the fly, and consciously having that sink in and repeating the process. I, I’ve just never seen any evidence that that’s worked efficiently. Um, well, you can’t, it, it, you need to, you need to be able to do what you said. Do the recording, allow that, maybe even allow that, um, consciousness around what the person felt when they were doing that performance, in front of the mirror or in front, sorry, in front of the camera. Then looking back and understanding what they see. On the playback, on the evidence. It’s what I call the evidential, you know, version of their perspective, you know, which is completely skewed, I gotta say. It’s a subjective view from a person trying to correct themselves. I don’t think it’s very effective or efficient at all. And that’s why people get into this cycle in the car, you know, trying to record their one minute little social video that they have been told to record, and then they get in so pissed off and frustrated by it because they can’t regulate anything. It’s impossible. Unless they, unless they just, um, unless they give themselves some time and some, uh, well-educated feedback. And that’s part of the, uh, problem is they’re, they’re not educated to, uh, give themselves their own, their own assessment, their own positive and negative assessment, you know, really, as far as I’m concerned, does take someone outside of the organization or somebody with a different lens, a different eye. Yeah. Um, who also has seen it, you know, millions of times too, you know, like.

[00:18:40] David Deane-Spread: And that’s one of the reasons why. I’ve engaged you because you’ve got that skill, that experience, and a different eye and, and it’s way different to, um, I mean, there are principles that are common, but there are techniques and, and, and, and moments that matter. I mean, the, the, uh, for example, commons and full stops. Mm-hmm. And then the gap between, um, the, the full stop and the beginning of the next sentence. Yeah. Um, that, that’s

[00:19:09] Chris Schwager: which is what I, which is what we were just talking about now. Yeah.

[00:19:11] David Deane-Spread: Yeah. That, that was really, um, useful.

[00:19:15] Chris Schwager: Yeah, that’s right. So just.

[00:19:16] David Deane-Spread: But also just get into the habit.

[00:19:19] Chris Schwager: Yeah. Right. And, and nobody’s gonna, you know, it’s pretty hard to go, oh, well, that’s what I should do next. Like, unless I said, well, you, you could, you could add more, uh, Sort of con a convincing performance here, if you removed, intermittently removed some of those pauses between the full stop and the next sentence, because then it sounds more overlap and sounds, you’re starting to fall into a conversational rhythm. But had I not picked you up on it, you probably would’ve just kept doing what you’re doing.

[00:19:46] David Deane-Spread: Um, yeah, sure. I would’ve, yeah.

[00:19:48] Chris Schwager: How do you go with your clients? Because I would imagine there’s shift in behavior that you go through with your clients? Is it, is it, is there any similarities in what I’ve coached you with, say, performance as there is coaching a CEO on, you know, behavior?

[00:20:06] David Deane-Spread: There is a lot of similarities. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re, what we’re looking for is the ability for the CO, for the CEO to really connect with his people or her people, and, um, And, and not hide behind the authority and the, uh, you know, the um mm-hmm. The image of being a ceo, you’re gotta be a human.

[00:20:27] Yeah. And it really, it, I mean, and look, at the end of the day, it, it really, seriously, it’s simply get your bloody ego out of the way. You’re just a human being like everyone else, you know? That’s right. You know, you stink if you haven’t had a bath for three days. You know, and, um, like everyone else, you know, and so just think about that, you know, you’re a human and you make, and you also make mistakes. Yes. You know, and so, so get real, um, and get close to your people to the point of being able to understand them, not, not to the point of over familiarity. I mean, at the end of the day, you can be friendly, but you are not their friend. You, you have a professional relationship that is caring, um, and effective. But you know, there’s a, there’s, there are individuals and you have to respect them.

[00:21:22] Chris Schwager: Mm-hmm. Tell me

[00:21:24] David Deane-Spread: it’s a big deal. That there’s a big deal.

[00:21:26] Chris Schwager: Tell me. Yeah. Um, and so with, with what you are doing, you, you only take on a number of clients. You have a cap of like six or something, is that right?

[00:21:35] David Deane-Spread: Six. Yeah. I don’t have any, yeah.

[00:21:38] Chris Schwager: And, and so is, do you working quite intensively with them? On a weekly basis, like do you spend hours with them or is it just?

[00:21:46] David Deane-Spread: I have a Vortex program, um, a specific program. It’s tailored to the culture and, and the people they do are diagnostics. So we work out where they’re at. Um, we do a, we do a profile and the individual, I work with the CEO and up to five direct reports, and I say five, cuz if you’ve got more than five, then as a CEO you’ve got, you’re taking on too much. You know, you need you no more than five if you’ve, if you’ve got 10 and I’ve had, I’ve had worse. Mm-hmm. I mean, the business is total chaos. Mm-hmm. And they’re trying each catch.

[00:22:21] Chris Schwager: Is your ideal situation to have like these six.

[00:22:25] David Deane-Spread: Yeah, basically for all. So I, I only have six, six, so I’m working with 36 people at, at any one time.

[00:22:33] Chris Schwager: Right? Got it.

[00:22:33] David Deane-Spread: So we have a, we have a, we use technology to do the weekly cadence, and that’s a, uh, a, a program that they, um, they just spend 10 minutes really a week giving me feedback. That’s data that I’m collecting on, on attitudes, behaviors, conversations, meetings, alignment, delegation, their ability to coach, their coaching of their people, um, things about their, their, um, profile that we work on and their stress levels and their 90 day plan. So that’s the whole thing, and that we spend 10 minutes a week, everyone reports in on that. Um, and we have a monthly one-on-one with everyone, and we have a monthly team meeting, with the CEO and the five direct reports, and we have a quarterly half day.

[00:23:29] Um, I do extra things too. For instance, the attitudinal competence component, which is where we’re trying to get everyone in the business to understand that they need to be self and situationally aware. They need to be adaptable, and they need to be resilient to cope with all the changes going on. And so that’s a one day workshop that I deliver to the whole company.

[00:23:51] And that’s all included in the situation. And so, yeah. And, and if we need more, we, you know, whatever the business needs, we’ll deliver it to them.

[00:24:00] Chris Schwager: Yeah. Great. And the, and that’s where you can

[00:24:02] David Deane-Spread: Sorry?

[00:24:02] Chris Schwager: Add, that’s where you can charge more because you are, you know, it’s not just one, one hour a week.

[00:24:08] David Deane-Spread: Oh, there’s a, there is a, a fee and it’s a high fee. I mean, they’ve gotta be able to afford me. Um, but they get within six months, there’s a 20% improvement across the business. And so that’s, you know.

[00:24:21] Chris Schwager: Is that like a guarantee?

[00:24:22] David Deane-Spread: Sorry?

[00:24:23] Chris Schwager: Is that like a guarantee?

[00:24:26] David Deane-Spread: They’re, yeah, absolutely. I mean, they, we always get more, so Yeah. Great. I always, you know, tell them 20%, but it’s actually, they’ll get more, way more, I mean, and, and a lot of that, I mean, a lot of that is saving, a lot of the savings are than retention of staff. Good staff. Which is a big cost of the business that they find difficult to actually measure accurately. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. But the journey that we’re taking them on is to become the publicly recognised preferred employer in their space, in their, you know, geography, geography, size of business, nature of the business, uh, and the, the roles, what, what they offer and what they deliver to their, to their market.

[00:25:12] And once they’ve become the, the publicly recognized preferred employer, they’re now in a perfect position to, to become the publicly recognized preferred provider in their space. And when you’ve got those two, um, preferred employer, preferred, uh, provider, your business is at its best. It’s at its best, and now you can move in any direction you want, whether that’s going to be a listing or an m and a or, or a, or a sale, or just keep going.

[00:25:48] Chris Schwager: And so where are you at in your business? So, I mean, let’s, let’s shift, shift it up a little bit cuz I, I’d love to get some more grabs from you around your journey, I guess. And, you know, your seniority, you, you know, your shit. You’re probably at the top of your game. I mean, arguably as well. Um, with regards to

[00:26:08] David Deane-Spread: I’m not, you are doing, I’m not, I mean, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m,

[00:26:12] Chris Schwager: you’re on the, you’re on the, you’re on the hockey stick up, are you?

[00:26:15] David Deane-Spread: No, I’m on the hockey stick up, but I, I’m, yeah, I, I will, I’ll, I’ll never be satisfied with where I’m at in terms of the skillsets and my ability to deliver the best outcomes for my clients. It’s, it’s a, it’s a constant learning situation.

[00:26:35] Chris Schwager: Video can be expensive, so do you hack at it on your iPhone? Or do you go through the arduous process in some cases of cost and resourcing and liaising with a professional video marketing? And if you are sick of setting up your own video equipment and all the tech hassles that come with producing your own videos, Then there is a more streamlined way to present yourself professionally on your website rather than a crappy quality webcam. And you can do it from the convenience of your desk. It’s called the DIY Video Program. The DIY Video Program allows you to create course contents, send personalized sales video and emails, record regular videos, social updates, and look and sound amazing in every video interaction with a single push of a button. You get professional gear and all the video coaching and editing you need to supercharge how you sell market and teach. Learn more and go to ridgefilms.com.au/diy.

[00:27:34] David Deane-Spread: And, and I’m fascinated by it. Um, and I really do want to get even better. I mean, I don’t consider that I’m done and, and I think that that’s probably. Um, one of the things that’s keeping me, you know, motivated where I’m at, like, I’m, I know I’m sharp, I know I’m fit. Yep. You know, I, I’ve got all, most of my clients are at least 15 years younger than I am. Yep. And, um, and really they, they can’t, sometimes they can’t keep up with me.

[00:28:10] Chris Schwager: Mm. Mm-hmm.

[00:28:12] David Deane-Spread: And I’m talking about long days of, of, of working together and, um, yes, very and, and thinking, thinking and, and strategizing and, and the planning operations. And actually doing the operations. Yeah. It’s tiring. Yeah.

[00:28:28] Chris Schwager: And let me, let me reframe, let me reframe slightly the, the, the question that I had, but as, as a peak performer, how’s that sound? As a peak performer, how do, how do you, how do you one day wake up and say, right. Gotta do video, uh, let’s change it up again. Let’s, let’s, let’s change gears and get into something. What, what, I guess, what was your original intent behind, I guess, finding arts? What was, what was re resonating you initially in that LinkedIn ad?

[00:29:01] David Deane-Spread: Well, uh, to, to, to go down the, the, your path?

[00:29:05] Chris Schwager: Yeah. I mean, you’ve, you’ve, you know, you’ve been referring, you’ve done the referral thing for so many years. Maybe you, your feeling is, uh, quite lack loss. I don’t agree. I think you’ve probably done a bloody good job actually, based on referral marketing and going out there and having dinners with people and whatnot. However, at some point you’ve said, right-oh gotta digitize, gotta be virtual. You got to get better than a crappy green screen in the background. What, what’s, what’s your first step in making that change?

[00:29:34] David Deane-Spread: Um, to really be clear about what I, what I, what I need to understand, what I need to learn, uh, and then finding, you know, the right resources, but it’s really come, it’s a mindset. Everything begins with your mindset. And so my mindset was that I, that I. I, I guess the beginning was I, I realized that even though I, I, it’s, it’s a nice thing and I’m, and I’m, I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to operate since 2002 with a hundred percent referrals. And, and that, that’s, uh, you know, that means I’m getting results, number one.

[00:30:14] However, I, I didn’t have, I don’t feel still now that I. Really got sufficient control over my market. Uh, if I, and, and I need to really understand more about marketing in today because it’s, it, things have changed so much. Not only the technology, but people’s minds around being sold to being marketed too.

[00:30:40] And so I really need to learn that. And also I, I want to, uh, start putting some courses online where I’m. Where I pre-record them and they’re there, uh, on demand for the client.

[00:30:53] Chris Schwager: Um, so what was, so what was your situation? You were going out and doing lots of your training face-to-face and then say in 2020, did that all kind of change pretty dramatically for you?

[00:31:06] David Deane-Spread: No, I, no, I, I’d, um, I’d already started using Zoom, um, with clients that they had in the Eastern States and. And so by around, um, I think it was around 2017, I really started getting into using Zoom more effectively. And, um, and, but most of my work was still live, you know, um, running workshops, uh, and one-on-one coaching and group coaching teams really. Um, and I, I’ve stayed in the corporate sector. I haven’t sort of gone out to individuals. So.

[00:31:45] Chris Schwager: So what was the reason for that change? What was the reason for that set? 2017 pivot.

[00:31:50] David Deane-Spread: Uh, recognizing that I can use technology better and actually save on travel, travel time and accommodation better for

[00:31:58] Chris Schwager: what’s wrong with travel? Was it a cost? Was it cost decision? What? What’s wrong with travel was the cost decision?

[00:32:03] David Deane-Spread: It was a convenience thing. It was a cost saving for my client cuz my client pays for the travel. And the accommodation, and they don’t have to do that. And, um, but also we can, you know, it, it, we can do the same kind of work. I used to believe you can’t do behavioral work, um, online.

[00:32:25] There has to be face-to-face. That’s not true. Uh, okay. Was a change. That was a change.

[00:32:34] Chris Schwager: Okay, so that’s for three years. For three years, you, you, you did this and what a great leap on everybody else. I guess you’ve already, you know, worked in a digital world. You, you’re eliminating the, the cost of, and time of, of travel and all of the other stuff that comes along with that. Yeah. Uh, where did you then shift gears, let’s say four or five years. So, so you’ve, you’ve come to us end of 2022. So where in five years did you then, Oh, I gotta up up the standard because it’s a, it’s a significant investment, arguably for, for many people going with the full DIY desktop studio and all that. Yeah. What was, what sh what rattled the cage?

[00:33:16] David Deane-Spread: Um, knowing that I had to be better knowing that I, looking at stuff, my own stuff and saying that, eh, you know what? That’s, I, I, I’m gonna be better than that. I want to be better than that. I, it, it wasn’t good enough. It, it, it was okay, you know, but I, I, I offer a premium service, and so the quality of what I do has to be premium, and, and I didn’t have the ability to on my own, take it up the next notch because I was coming from a different space. Uh, a a, a place of ignorance really, in terms of video. I mean, yeah, talking on video and using Zoom, um, with people live and we’re, they’re already customers. They’re, we already know each other. We’re already do stuff together. Um, so to transfer across from, uh, zoom was wasn’t a, wasn’t a big deal, but dealing with new people and, and then wanting to get my message out, uh, particularly, and then of course when the pandemic came, cause that, that, um, underlined the need to be more remote and, you know, and, and so the need to use and the opportunity to use video just grew exponentially. And then I, and I really know, knew I needed to get better.

[00:34:42] Chris Schwager: So there was a significant, uh, loss in something in your manner. I can tell you a couple of things, but tell, tell me what technically were the things that you were un dissatisfied with.

[00:34:56] David Deane-Spread: Um, certainly the setup. I mean, I was using a, uh, webcam, a good one, the top of the range webcam. Um, it still, still wasn’t, still wasn’t good enough. Uh, it still didn’t react very well and the focus was, you know, universal. So it was just locked in there. Well, you could do something with it, but it was crappy. And, and I had the bloody green screen thing.

[00:35:26] I started out, I actually got a screen printed, uh, on a big plastic vinyl thing, and it was at the back of me. And I live, uh, and I, I was running and I’d made it on a frame that I’d made out of plastic bloody piping, and I’m there one day talking to a client with my logo on the back and everything and the weight of the vital, um, made the whole thing collapse. So I’m on video talking to my client. Fortunately, I already knew the guy and the whole thing fell.

[00:36:04] I mean, well, we laughed. We laughed. We, we laughed our heads off, but, but I realized that, oh no, hang on. That this.

[00:36:12] Chris Schwager: That was one of the first things I noticed when, when I, when we met, uh, this scrunched up green screen off to the, to the left, and I was like, I’m pretty certain this is not working, uh, for you. And, uh, I was, mind you, very surprised at the lack of resistance that, um, that you gave me when I said, yeah, scrap that and we’ll just go to the bookshelf. How’s that sound? And you’re like, okay then, because probably you’ve had this life of

[00:36:40] David Deane-Spread: Yeah. Well, I, I’m, I’m, uh, very open to improvement and change, you know, and, and if it didn’t work, I’d just go back, you know, everything can change. Give it a go. I mean, I, I know I’m not the expert in that and, um, and so I will take the advice.

[00:36:57] Chris Schwager: So, so now you’ve, you’ve, you’ve realized there needed to be some level of investment for you to give this a decent overhaul. The um, What you don’t know is painful enough for you to get some serious advice on how to make a dramatic improvement. So when I guess it all started to click into gear and then, you know, that solution was kind of on its way, what, what have been some of the things that you’ve noticed, uh, changes to the business, changes to your understanding about video that you can, uh, talk about?

[00:37:35] David Deane-Spread: Um, I’m using the, it, it’s really helped me with writing be, believe it or not. And to cut the verbiage to really make it the writing, um, which is basically the script, uh, to really prune it back, make sure there’s nothing there that needs to be, that, you know, shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t need to be. And, and it is, it’s tough. It’s, it’s tough. I mean, there’s a famous saying, I think, and so, you know, ascribed to various people, Mark Twain was one of them. I’m sorry, this letter’s too ro long. I didn’t have time to make it shorter. And so that’s a big deal. And, and getting that right has been very useful. Um, I’m now writing my blogs in such a manner that hopefully they can easily be videoed rather than text. So that’s, I’m working, I’ve got a digital marketing assistant who’s helping me down the, the tech side of that. But your work and your, um, um, coaching and constructive, um, feedback about ditching this and ditching that. When we did the script for the work we just completed on the difficult conversation, just, uh, improving that script, getting it ready was very valuable.

[00:39:00] Chris Schwager: And can I get you to just shift? Can I get, just get you to shift yourself into position there. It’s a little, you’re, I feel like you’re a bit low in the frame at the moment.

[00:39:07] David Deane-Spread: Oh, how’s that?

[00:39:08] Chris Schwager: Just, yeah, it’s, that’s, well just get yourself comfortable, of course. But yeah. Can you just come a little bit further away from the Yeah. And just give yourself a bit more, and just as long as you’re comfortable, but yeah. You look like you’re slouching. A little bit. Slouching. Okay.

[00:39:23] David Deane-Spread: I had moved. I had moved.

[00:39:25] Chris Schwager: Oh, have you? Yeah. Have you, have you lowered your seat at all?

[00:39:29] David Deane-Spread: I, I’m sitting on a cushion, but I have laid my feet. Yeah. Do you want me to, um, raise

[00:39:33] Chris Schwager: Yeah, just a little bit less, less head room. I want you to be comfortable. All right. It just looks like you’re kind of like sitting forward just to please me, but, uh,

[00:39:43] David Deane-Spread: How’s that?

[00:39:44] Chris Schwager: That’s better. And yeah, that’s much better. Yeah, that’s good. Okay. That’s good. Good. Yeah. Good, good. And so, by the way, I’ve, I’m resorting to an unedited podcast. So for all those listening going, oh, well this fucking guy just get himself organized, like, do we really need to listen to. David, David reframing the shot. I mean, well, this happens from time to time and with DIY clients, they need a little bit of a nudge. So yes, I’ve gotta include it in, so you know, what might happen to you if you become a client.

[00:40:15] David Deane-Spread: Um, yeah. Very happy for you to do that, mate.

[00:40:18] Chris Schwager: Anyways, the, the, the, the script. The script, yes, a hundred percent. I, I’m so with you, and most of the time I’m critiquing these videos, doing audits on videos. People are like, what’s wrong with this video? You know, nine times outta 10, it’s it. First, first stop is the script. Like, what are we trying to do here? Like, did you get clear on it? People, um, that are trying to write scripts for themselves, I don’t think they fully get enough time. Appreciate the fact that they, they could spend hours trying to get words on a page and, uh, that’s the process. You know, it’s our, our. Guide is that it’s a 30 for a 30-second script, it’ll take you about an hour of time to script that. And for you just completing your recent, uh, training content was like, no, seven, seven minutes? Um, and so there was a significant amount of sessions there that we had to go through to make sure that we got that sounding sweet. But you know, like the recordings that we’ve done today, they’re great. That’s a great script. You know, that sounded right. Bang on. Right. Really good, really clear comparative to what you had presented to me. This was just a far superior, sharper, clearer. And then, you know, I had all these opportunities to also, uh, sell the downloads and the, the other content that you were tr trying to cross promote, which I think is amazing as well.

[00:41:41] David Deane-Spread: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:41:42] Chris Schwager: It’s well done to you. Well done to you.

[00:41:44] David Deane-Spread: Oh, thank you. So thank you. Oh yeah.

[00:41:49] Chris Schwager: Well, thank you. Yeah. Well, I mean, look, you, you, you taking the leap, and I think it is a leap, um, to, to do this, I think is, is pay is paying off, it’s paying dividends already. Obviously you, you look and sound better in all your, all your comms and your stuff.

[00:42:04] And, uh, just take me through that. I mean, what, what has been some of the, some of the feedback, you know, obviously you went from shit webcam to this overnight. Did you get any response or feedback from people?

[00:42:14] David Deane-Spread: Yeah, I’ve, I’ve got a bunch of clients that are saying, wow, you’ve, uh, really up to your game, haven’t you? And, uh, so the clients are noticing it, um, and appreciating it cuz they’re the beneficiaries at the end of the day, aren’t they, really? And it, it, it’s for them. Uh, it’s not for me. I mean, I can, I mean, I, I still mean, I guess, I mean, I still prefer live and face to face. I mean, because we’re humans. However, this is the next best thing. And, and we need to get good at it because there is a loss of, um, of that connection through the technology. And so all the things that you are, you, you’ve taught me and are teaching me, um, are helping to make that connection more real, more authentic and to keep, keep that what’s important about us. Yes, alive.

[00:43:09] Yes. Yes. And that, and that. You can’t, you can’t. That’s worth, that’s worth everything. And I, and I fear that as we move more into AI and robotics and what have you. And then soon it will be, um, um, what do they call that? Um, Hy Hyper um, uh,

[00:43:31] Chris Schwager: hologram stuff.

[00:43:32] David Deane-Spread: Yeah. Yeah. Hologram. Hologram. That’s right. Hologram. I was, I was gonna say Instagram there for a moment.

[00:43:40] Chris Schwager: Well, maybe actually holograms might be Instagram, so that could be feature.

[00:43:44] David Deane-Spread: Yeah. So, you know, we, we, we must not lose our connectivity as humans. Um, there is a lot that we can do to improve that using video, but we need the kind of advice and expertise that you offer. And, and I certainly would say that anyone in my profession really needs a kind of service that you offer and the coaching that you do.

[00:44:11] And, and, and you know what I really love about working with you is your manner. You’re, you’re, you’re real, you’re human. You know it. There’s no, there’s no bullshit. There’s no ego. It’s just get on with it and let’s have fun at the same time. You know, let’s enjoy it. And so

[00:44:26] Chris Schwager: That’s right.

[00:44:27] David Deane-Spread: That’s good.

[00:44:28] Chris Schwager: So, so, so, so I guess we talk, I mean, I’ve overcome a lot of the vulnerability, you know, kind of bullshit that’s come with, you know, working with corporates and whatnot and, you know, unapologetically, making sure that I’m comfortable with the level of, um, the level of skill and training and whatnot that I give to people, but I want to do it in my, in my term, on my terms. And I think the biggest thing for me in, you know, the last two months at least, taking on 10 new coaching clients has been that that seems to be a theme. People get that, you know, if, if it doesn’t look right, I’ll call it, I’ll call bullshit. Mm. You know, if it interrupts the flow, then so be it. But I think that’s the way that people progress quickly, is to not kind of dicking around a thing that’s. That’s, you know, quite frankly, not that important. But, uh, just getting straight to the point and, and rubbing out any of those, uh, things that aren’t progressing their, their understanding. I think that’s probably, um, What I like about the, the process and, and to see people like yourself, even, you know, even though it’s been, um, you know, a month or so since you’ve done actually longer than that, since you’ve done any on camera stuff, for being able to pick up, uh, immediately what I’m talking about when I talk about adjusting tone and using commas and punctuation and, and doing that quickly. Like almost like I’ve just trained you last night. That, that brings me joy to, to understand that you, that those things are sinking in and that to be real and to, uh, give it a good crack, those adjustments are what makes it interesting. And that skill is, should be learnt, practiced, and repeated, you know? Um, so yeah.

[00:46:30] What about, tell me more about, um, I guess big picture down, you know, you are probably one of the very few people in your position to have this level of ingenuity around not only your synchronous live version of yourself doing your live training and whatnot, but also now starting to get better quality videos with your social videos and your, um, your training content and whatnot.

[00:47:02] What, um, what impression do you believe you make on your market by upping the game with that?

[00:47:10] David Deane-Spread: Um, well, the intention, the intention is to give of more value to the client. In a more value and, and str the, the essence of strategy or being strategically successful. Uh, a big component of that is speed and, and so to be of more value sooner, is is really where I’m, where I’m headed. And so, and, and we’re talking about, uh, companies that are preparing to list companies that are trying to do a turnaround and companies that simply want to really want to improve. And I can’t think of anyone that I’m working with who doesn’t have those ambitions. It’s really being, getting them there faster and better and quicker and, and this medium is a very useful tool when we do coaching online now, which is what I’m doing more of, even though I could see them live, I’m doing it on video so that we record it and they can go back over it and over it again. So they can watch that again and they can get a transcript using, you know, AI now so they can read it and they can watch it. Particularly when we’re doing behavioral stuff, because the, the behaviors in this, in this bit that we see, you know, the body language as well as the tonality and the facial expressions. And so to be a, uh, an effective leader, you’ve gotta bring all of that to, to the table and we can now do that and record it. So they’ve now got a, a very easy way to go back over and get exactly what we covered, rather than their, like memory’s one of our weakest, um, skill sets. We, we, we, we, we, we really underestimate, uh, or oh, sorry, overestimate our memory. You know, we’re convinced we can remember. But you know what? You double te I’ve, I’ve, look, I’ll tell you I have. Blows me away. Uh, taking witnesses statement from a traffic accident way back. I would have people who were eyewitnesses to the event give me if there were six different witnesses. There were six different stories with six different descriptions. Um, you know, if we’re talking about the color of eyes, one would say brown, one would say blue, one would say gray, And, you know, hair color, there’s nothing, you know, memory’s terrible.

[00:49:49] And perceptions are, or the, is

[00:49:50] Chris Schwager: it the perception, right? Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, go on. So yeah. Is it memory or is it perception in this particular scenario?

[00:49:57] David Deane-Spread: Both. It’s actually both. Yeah. Yeah. And so the, and, and an eye witness, um, who, who saw something and gave a statement to someone and then gives another statement to another person later that, that story’s different cuz of their memory. Not, they’re not trying to lie. There’s no nothing in it for them. They’re just impartial witnesses, but the story’s different.

[00:50:20] Chris Schwager: So we’ve got the value of having some evidence that video, you know, it tells the truth to somewhat to some degree. Then you’ve got mix Adam in with facial and human interaction.

[00:50:30] Yeah. What’s, what’s all the, what’s your take on all of that for, for you and your business where you are at the moment? Stress some of the importance, I guess, around being, you know, having this eye contact. I mean, this level of eye contact. I mean this is like broadcast media quality stuff here, you’d nev you’d never experience without getting this unit.

[00:50:54] You’d always have your ear hole going, oh, tell us a bit about yourself, David. You know, it’s like that. That is not the same experience. I mean, you and I have this great intimate relationship because we get to see each other, you know, virtually. Uh, building our contact directly with each other. I, I look at your nuances of what you are talking about and believe now, and it, and it’s completely different to you reading a script, for instance, you know, and so there’s this beautiful level of, I won’t say authenticity, but your nature comes through and this beautiful spirit comes through. Uh, yeah. In you just, yeah, free flowing and being in the flow of the conversation. Yeah. It was what an amazing, what an amazing gift that is, you know, to be able to do that. Tell us your perspective on human behavior, facial recognition, eyes, that this type of thing. Totally excited.

[00:51:47] David Deane-Spread: Look, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s crucial. It’s something that I’ve trained in because of my, my previous occupa occupation, and now I’m using it to help people to be the best they can be. Whereas before I used it to get people to hunt people. Now I’m using it to find the hunt the light in them, to hunt for the good in them to, to help them be the best they can be. Same skillset. And so the importance of being able to see a person’s facial reactions and to notice the, you know, the, the, the wear lines around where you smile, the smile lines and, and, and is this smile fake or is this smile real? Um, and how do you tell the difference? Um, your matching tonality with facial, um, facial expression is a big thing and sometimes you are, I don’t like you at all.

[00:52:41] That didn’t work. How could that work? You know, or Yeah, I like you. Yeah. I mean, you can see those, those differences. So for, for, for coaching people to be authentic, uh, generous, vulnerable, in other words, and vulnerable doesn’t mean to say exposing your, your weaknesses, it means simply being natural. And, and, and recognizing that we’re not perfect and recognizing that we can, uh, slip up in speech. And that’s one of the good things about conversation. We can immediately correct ourselves. I I didn’t mean to. No, no. What I really mean to say is X, Y, and Z. So we can, we can actually fix it or you can actually just by your expression say, where’s he going with this? Which you are doing, by the way.

[00:53:35] Chris Schwager: You know. what the f***? Yeah. Um, no, I’m listening. I’m listening. I’m waiting for the gold. I’m waiting for the gold.

[00:53:43] David Deane-Spread: So the waiting for gold. So I’m okay. You’re digging deep. So

[00:53:51] Chris Schwager: the, I, I am just for my own agenda, you know. Yes.

[00:53:56] David Deane-Spread: So look, it’s so getting, getting, um, recognizing what a person’s saying by, by not only using your ears, but using your eyes and, and your other sensory perception, like all brought together, you call it instinct if you want, or intuition if you want, to actually understand what a person’s saying, but also having the courage and the, uh, openness to say, hang on, I didn’t get that. And that’s a, that’s a wonderful thing that we can do. I mean, just earlier on, you were helping me to work with the camera and fix some minor instruments on the ca, which I no have bloody clue about, but we did it because of the way in which you were willing to show me and talk to me about it. And it, it worked. And, and you are in Bloody Melbourne and I’m, I’m in Perth.

[00:54:52] Chris Schwager: Sydney.

[00:54:54] David Deane-Spread: And you know, how good is that?

[00:54:57] Chris Schwager: It’s amazing. It is amazing. It is amazing. It is. It is. It’s bloody, it’s no reason for me to come to Perth.

[00:55:03] David Deane-Spread: Say again.

[00:55:05] Chris Schwager: There’s no reason for me to come to perth.

[00:55:07] David Deane-Spread: Yeah, yeah. Well, um, yeah, and air airfares at the moment are, they’re gouging us, you know? Yeah,

[00:55:13] Chris Schwager: yeah. Well, all the more reason to invest in the DIY Video Studio.

[00:55:16] David Deane-Spread: Absolutely. I mean, it is, yeah, it is really valuable. I mean, what you, what you offer is valuable, and anyone who’s a, a professional, um, needs to get this under their belt. It’s good value for money. It really is. I mean, and it is. Look, it’s not cheap, but guess what? It’s worth every cent and I, and I’m clear about that.

[00:55:40] Chris Schwager: Yeah. Fantastic. Thank you so much David. Look, I think we might wrap up. I know that you had to get somewhere at 1:30, so I’ve gone over time, so I don’t wanna uh, annoy you any further. You’re, but thank you so much. We’ll get busy on this edit for you. Sure. Uh, I’m sure this’ll will be some grabs we can pull from that. So thank you again, I appreciate the, uh, time that you’ve given us today.

[00:56:01] David Deane-Spread: My pleasure, mate. Thank you very much.

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