Part 1 – The Back Story – I’ve thought about this for a year or two, but didn’t . . . I was too afraid.
First learning something new isn’t easy. I also hate looking and listening to myself, almost as much as I hate nails on chalkboards. Publishing NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM in 2019 helped me get used to having my picture taken.
This year in May I signed up for a marketing class with Yong. We talked about what I was doing to help people find me. She suggested video as one way to connect to my audience, as a way to show what I can do as a speaker.
I started by diving into Yong’s Super 7 Live Streaming Video Challenge. I watched a video each day that modeled something new. Then I had homework. Can you guess what it was?
Making videos! They were terrible at first, but I got used to them. To seeing my face, to hearing my voice. I started to feel comfortable, and the videos got better.
I also learned to look for what I did right. I saw progress, and that kept me going. I also looked at what wasn’t right, not to pick on myself, but to look at how to improve.
The setup – I start with notes about my latest post. I didn’t use images on the 1st one, but pictures help! They give you extra information. They help me remember what to say.
I added them to the 2nd. I printed out pictures, but they were hard to hold. It’s like looking in a mirror and trying to point to the right spot. Last week I surprised myself by going to Zoom. I didn’t plan to, but it worked!
After the words and images are done, I run through them a couple times until I’m ready to try them on video. I record, watch, and repeat until I’m comfortable with what you’ll see. Then I save it.
No matter how hard I try, I’ll never make perfect videos. It’s like writing with permanent marker. You just can’t fix a mistake. It’s easier to start over again.
I’m trying not to be a perfectionist. It’s over-rated! I think close enough is good enough. So is your best. At some point we all have to decide the work is OK, and let it go.
Part 2 – My First Two Videos – The Madisons was the first video I posted. I was so nervous! I thought I was ready – I did seven videos as part of Yong’s class. OH MY! It was scary, but I’m glad I forced myself to take that step.
To get ready I wrote my script, then practiced talking through it. I made practice tapes to see how I did, and to see how I could improve. Then I finally made that final tape. OH WOW!
My secret – you never saw what I was looking at . . . my script. It was my security blanket. The only thing I had to remember was to focus on my camera. It’s the dot of yellow at the top of my computer.
I also looked at the length of the video. My first try was 11 minutes. I cut out a whole section about Dolley. I’m glad I did!.
I kept in the part about Little Jimmy, how he wrote the Constitution, and last, how he got Aaron Burr to introduce him to Dolley. I like to find the fun quirky details about people.
The HARDEST part – saving and downloading it. YIKES! I was supposed to go live at 3:00. I was 10 minutes late, but I was still sweating it out. I didn’t start taping until 1:30 on Sunday, and time flew, LITERALLY!
I finally finished taping my video at 2:40. Then I had to wait for it to download, find the notice in my email, and save it. FINALLY I could post it on Beach Girl Press. By the time I finished, it was 3:15. That was too close for me, and, no fun! It was enough to make me move taping to Saturdays.
I learned my lesson for the second video, The School of Word Play. I recorded it on Saturday, and I thought I was on track. I practiced my script. I made practice tapes so I could manage those vocabulary cards. I felt OK with everything, so I recorded and saved the video.
THEN I hit a problem – I had to download it onto my Beach Girl Press account on Facebook. That’s my business page. I think I started downloading around 2 on Sunday. I thought I’d make my 3PM deadline, but my video didn’t post on Facebook until 4:22. I had two terrible hours, full of panic and frustration! But, live and learn . . . I discovered a few tricks to make that download go faster!
BTW – here are the four words that I tried to say, and on video . . . OH MY!
Part 3 – Videos #3 & 4 – I felt comfortable talking my way through this one. It was my third video, so speaking to an audience that I’ll never see, it felt OK . . . until I held up pictures like this refrigerator.
I didn’t have trouble with the picture. I had trouble pointing to things I wanted you to notice . . . like the top left corner of the fridge. It’s the new one with my son’s family. How do I know? There are 4 names up there, not 3 . . . 2 go across, and 2 go up and down. My grandson is now officially family! His big sister was there already.
It’s HARD to point things out! Every time I tried, I was pointing at the wrong side. It’s a lot like trying to point something out when you’re looking in the mirror. Everything’s reflected . . . but in reverse. It’s the same with the reflection in a swimming pool. You think you’re reaching for a coin, but you miss . . . by a lot! TRICKY!
This came from video #4. It was about service dogs, financial literacy, and responsibility. I was planning on doing it on Facebook Live, but when I went to record, I switched to Zoom. I didn’t plan it . . . it just happened. I’ve done classes and critiques on Zoom, but I’ve never been in charge of the meeting or the video. THAT – was a whole new element.
When you have a new variable, it throws everything off balance. You don’t feel comfortable. You’re on edge, trying to keep things under control while trying to look calm, cool, and collected. TRICKY!
When I practiced, I worked on what I wanted to say about the pictures, and on moving from Zoom to Microsoft Word, then back again. It took a little longer to practice, but I got it done!
PS – My newest challenge – adding another site to share during the video. The last one was about editing and revision. I had it done, only 6 minutes long! Then I went back to save and trim the beginning and end. That’s when I discovered the problem. I could hear me talking about it, but no pictures, and a picture’s worth 1000 words! I took you home, to my author page on the international worldwide web so I could show you how to find my books, and the free journal pages.
When you make a mistake, you need to figure out where you went wrong. Mine – I didn’t click on Share New. I practiced switching around a few times and I recorded my efforts, only a minute or two to see if I could get that part right. I did! I reshot the video. I slowed down, took my time, and was happy with what I’d shot . . . until I saw the time . . . 11 minutes! OOPS! Live and learn! Shorter is always better!
See you on Sunday at 3PM! I’m still debating if I’ll share this post, or the next one I start writing. I guess we’ll both find out on Sunday!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!