Everyone wants to be more persuasive, more attractive and more authoritative on screen. But in many cases, there’s something nagging at you that won’t let you do your thing as well as you’d like…or maybe at all.

The problem is that most of the time this is hard to see in ourselves. The results make us feel pretty bad, though, and those results ripple out to our business and our customers.

There is a surprisingly simple solution to this problem, and the ripple effects of this new understanding are just as far-reaching.

For more background, check out this blog post by Justine Musk:

    18 replies to "How to Find Your Your True Onscreen Authority Voice"

    • Karen Baldock


      Thanks for the video and for all you do!


    • Lucien

      Great advice as always Steve. I do try to keep my relations with customers on a professional level and agree wholeheartedly that becoming too friendly can create uncomfortable situations. But what about when your friends become your customers? That has happened to me and fortunately we are still friends. However I must admit that I felt awkward in my role as a service provider. Your thoughts?

      • Steven Washer

        Boundaries. The problem comes at the entry point. We don’t want to go all school marm on our friends, but we also don’t want to enter into the transaction in the same way we would get a pick-up game together.

        The stakes are high for both of you, and out of respect for your friend, you might even want to be extra-careful in your recommendations, even if it means he will hear something he really would rather not.

        That’s the time you need to stick to your guns.

        So if this is made clear on the front end, you should be able to navigate the dual relationships with ease, knowing that the relationship will be at risk not from your side, but solely from his side.

        He needs to understand that your role as an advisor is to provide care, protection and guidance. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if the roles are too uncomfortable for the both of you, you might have to either re-think the transaction or create clearer boundaries.

        Either way, communication is key. You can’t let this issue slide and hope it takes care of itself. It might, but if you truly value the relationship, it will be best to take it on consciously.

        Hope that helps!

        • Lucien

          Good advice Steve. Thanks again!

    • Neill Neill

      You piece reminded me of something a senior colleague once cautioned me with: “I’m friendly, but I’m not your friend.” An important principle for all of us service providers!

      • Steven Washer

        Good one, Neill! Things get a little muddier outside the therapeutic relationship, as noted above.

    • Mia Sherwood Landau

      This is a good piece of advice, and it is truly an issue for many people in business, especially those of us who work with clients in a long-term relationship. The boundary between professional service and basic friendship often becomes blurred without our making a conscious effort to keep things clearly defined when we are service providers. Your explanation in this video is great!

    • David Joslin

      Great video Steve!
      But I just want to talk to little Stevie. He seems pretty cool.
      Hilarious – very creative.

    • Faith Zimmerman

      Steve, This was excellent! So I shared it with the NJAWBO (NJ Assoc of Women Business Owners) Facebook group.

      • Steven Washer

        Glad you found it helpful, Faith. And a shout out to the NJAWBO!

    • Dianne Crampton

      Love your videos, Steve. Always get great new ideas from you. Like painting my wall blue or green. Yes, I know about green screen which won’t work in my small shooting space and with my white hair. All the same, bravo. How DID you get little stevie on screen with you. LOL,. Very fun.

      • Steven Washer

        Stevie lives in the world of greenscreen, so the better question is why do I keep invading his space! 🙂

    • David Cole

      Hi Steve,

      You hit the nail on the head – I have spent more years than I care to mention being sucked dry by client “friends” who are more than happy to make their problems my problems. When they do, for some reason they feel that I am now accountable for righting all the wrongs they have inflicted on themselves.

      Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate and value my clients but am GULITY of enabling far too many to cross over the line from a relationship as service provider to “professional friend”.

      • Steven Washer

        Professional friend? Ouch. That’s a difficult cross to bear. Here’s a possible way to turn it around, at least if your friend has a sense of humor. Let me illustrate it with a story.

        I have friend with whom I sometimes joke about being on the “Platinum Level” friendship contract. We joke about putting in our travel papers in triplicate and getting approvals on anything we spend outside the “contract”. It’s all for a laugh, but if you started doing this with your “dangerous” friends, could effectively put them on notice that you’re aware of such things.

        Start doing this and you’ll likely never be in that stressful professional friend position again! 🙂

    • Sandy Archer

      Good information and very timely, thinking about people pleasing v service is a great way to eliminate fears around what you do and who you do it for. Will help me move forward with my confidence in delivering my message… thank you

    • Nancy

      Steve, you’ve reminded me how many excellent products I’ve NOT bought that were under the auspices of a network marketing system and promoted by marketers who could have really benefited from this video.

      In the old days, it often felt like a friendship strip-mining operation. Initiating gobs of “friendships” was only a (thin) marketing disguise. Many times an excellent product was completely obscured, even disregarded by the marketer, in favor of the push to get someone on board. Family, friends and acquaintances were hotly pursued as prospective “downlines.”

      Things have gotten much clearer and more professional over the years, but I still shy away if a product is put out by that means. To all the current Network Marketers who might be reading this, I’m sure that what I’ve described has never, and does not now, apply to you – kudos!

      • Steven Washer

        Wow. “friendship strip-mining”. That’s one of the more graphic descriptions I’ve read on network marketing. Thanks for the new word and a way of talking about something to be avoided at all costs.

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