|By William Arruda||
|May 23, 2010 02:05 AM EDT||
More and more personal and business YouTube channels are popping up – using video has gone viral! And, while it’s alright to sacrifice a little visual quality for the immediacy of taking a timely video live – what’s never okay is not being able to communicate in your video, succinctly, with passion and purpose.
Ben Franklin said, “Words, like glasses, can either make things hazier or clearer.”
I’ve seen many a hopeful presenters flub their presentations or video moment by talking too fast, peppering their moment with “ummms” and “you knows” and a few “uhs”, or taking a pregnant pause that made everyone in the audience think “this baby is way overdue!”
Do you want to know the secret?
Well, that magic bullet isn’t so magic - you’ve heard it many times before. Practice. You must practice. You cannot learn to swim by just studying someone. You must get wet. To be good on video, you must practice your storytelling skills.
Here’s my favorite practice tool –
And, it’s one I didn’t realize I was using until people started commenting how good my presentations were and how well I timed out my speeches and even television interview. Natural talent? Not really. You’re looking at the gal who didn’t get to go out to recess like everyone else because she was working with the speech therapist – I had a lisp and a slight stutter that frustrated me when I would work to communicate. Yes, when I would work to communicate.
The practice tool was reading out loud to my boys. Yes, reading stories – like the entire Harry Potter series out loud, with pauses, voices and everything. We’re not the family that has the XM radio on when we would drive and travel together. We might have the occasional CD or plug in the iPod for a moment, but more often than not, my reading a story out loud was the entertainment for the trip. And, we live in Texas so our trips average 7 to 16 hours when we travel.
I know – not glamorous but very effective.
If you want to become better on video, where your stories flow and you emphasize the right words at the right time (like someone telling a joke – knowing where to pause for effect and emphasis), then do some reading out loud. And, get feedback from others hearing you.
1. It will give you timing and perspective.
What might seem like a meaningful pause may actual feel like an eternity to your audience and a viewer might just click on over to another video that seems “peppier”.
What seems like its passionate words flowing, might actual present itself like someone babbling like crazy.
When you read out loud to someone, you learn to know the feeling of a pause that is“just right” in regards to timing. And, you can replicate it many times in the future once you know what it feels like.
2. It will help you read faster.
People with notes when they’re speaking drive me crazy. Even scribbles and outlines cause frustration when the speaker reads what’s on them. We think much faster than we read. So, when you are reading slowly your audiences mind is running rampant wondering if you have a ‘fast forward’ button. On video, you do and they will.
If you must use notes, then practice every day in reading stories out loud so that you can close that gap between your speaking speed and your audiences thinking speed.
3. It will give you practice speaking with a variety of words.
Most books are good at using a plethora of words so that the reader doesn’t end up reading something to the effect of, “See Spot. See Spot run. Run Spot run. After all, they’re edited. Use books so that you’ll come up with other things to say or phrases to use besides “stuff like that”.
What have I missed? What have you used?
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