Send A Greeting Message Before Doing A Talk

On video, or with text and a photo

Before doing a talk or workshop, I like to say hello to my audience in advance. It just makes everything so much easier when we gather for the real thing, especially online.

I describe the benefits of this in A Modest Book About How To Do An Adequate Speech. Here’s an example.

How to connect?

The video below, filmed and edited by me, is designed to introduce me to a group on the far side of the world. Rather than just film a hello at my desk on Zoom, I decided to give a sense of myself being in London.

To be clear: this is a real video, for a real organisation. For client confidentiality I have edited out the organisation’s name – so there’s a jump in the video, at the bit where we see a bird paddling to the right.


I wanted to avoid going on about myself like a bighead, but also to provide just enough assurance that they’re in safe hands – I know what I’m doing, having done it before.

So I dropped in some cutaways, including a still photo from a workshop I did in Korea, and a peek at a page on my website.

You might think I should talk myself up more / less – but there’s no objectively right way of doing it. It’s a personal thing.

Low tech

The footage was all filmed on my phone or on Zoom, and everything was edited on my Macnosaurus, with a paleolithic version of iMovie.

I dropped in a couple of sound effects from iMovie, but if i can’t find what I need there I try Freesound.


The effect of the sounds – audience laughter and, later, applause – is intended to create variety, surprise and (I hope) entertainment, because that’s what I intend the session itself to be like.

If the session was supposed to be serious, this welcome video would be too.

Give credit

At the end, I typed a personal hello to each individual attending the session, plus a hello/sorry to anybody whose name I might have missed. The point of the exercise is to let people feel happy about attending – not to offend anybody by leaving them out.


Nearly 20% of participants, all strangers to me, replied. They appreciated my effort, and took time to provide thoughtful answers to my question.

Here’s one, edited only to conceal the writer’s identity:

Hi JP!

Thanks for the fun introduction video.

Not entirely sure if this is the type of input you’re looking for prior to the session, but I was interested in learning on “How to say No” in the context of:

  1. Different cultural nuances – e.g. old school East-Asian work cultures where the work culture is very hierarchal
  2. Being a woman and coming off as “rude” rather than affirmative
  3. Social situations – not to be a party pooper

Looking forward to the session!

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or comments, jp at this domain name.