A Material World

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

“’Cause everybody’s living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl”


                                                            ~Madonna, “Material Girl”

We are living in the material world.

One of the things about a material world is that nothing is static. Everything changes and changes regularly.


Some months ago, many people didn’t know when Zoom was let alone how to use it. Now it is second nature but most of you still use video like amateurs. You sit there like a lump and do little to distinguish yourself on camera from the other people in the meeting that you’re attending.

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Here are a few things that you can do to succeed in the virtual world and, thus, be successful in the material world.

  1. Get a better camera and microphone. The camera on your computer is inadequate. The microphone is even worse. There are many excellent cameras and microphones that you can plug into your laptop. Get them so that you appear clear on camera in your voice is as it really is. Apple airpods have great audio but you need to arrive a little early to the meeting in order to make sure that they sync up with your computer instead of keeping everyone waiting for Bluetooth can to connect.
  2. Occupy center stage on video. So often, people present themselves as small on camera. They may be is in the center of the screen but looked tiny by comparison with the environment around them. Be big on camera, not small.
  3. Smile more. Raise your energy level. Look happy. Smile. The people see the twinkle in your eyes instead of the fatigue of your body. Whenever you are on camera you are an actor. You are there to perform in your role. When you put in half effort, you’re not being “world-class.” Instead, you are being average or mediocre. Average people and mediocre people are paid average and mediocre salaries. If you want to live in the material world, you have to perform.
  4. Check your lighting. Check your backdrop. Your backdrop can distract people from paying attention to you. Your lighting can hide your face, hide your eyes and darken you. I remember interviewing someone for my YouTube channel late in the afternoon before I got a ring light. As the sun started to go down, the lighting on my face disappeared. By the end of the interview I was being let by the monitor of my laptop. It was not a good look. Don’t make my mistake. I now own a ring light.
  5. Learn to use your voice. Becoming conscious of your voice and your energy on camera is important, just like it is for an actor in the movie. That is what you now are— an actor, a performer. It does make a difference to think of how you connect with your audience when you’re on camera just like you did when you were in a meeting in person.

“Boys may come and boys may go
And that’s all right you see
Experience has made me rich
And now they’re after me”

                                                                                ~Madonna, Material Girl

Remember, to be successful in the material world, you want to be in demand. You don’t want to be another ordinary or average performer. You want to be seen as “best in class.”

Be seen as a champion and not like everyone else.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021 



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “NoCareer Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smartsets.

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