Film Yourself, It’s The Only Way!

presentation film
A few weeks ago, I was invited to make a 2 hour presentation at a local university on “How To Develop a Plan to Boost Your Blog’s Profile and Readership Online ”.

I have been blogging for around 3 years and I felt I had good handle, on what to say and how to say it. I did research, prepared, practiced and was ready.

About 2 days before the presentation, I received a call from one of the event organizers. He asked, “Would you mind if we videotape your presentation?” I was flattered. I had never been videotaped before, and I told him that if I received a master copy, I would be happy to let them video me.

Fast forward to the day of the presentation
When the presentation was over, everyone applauded. I thought I did a great job.

Yesterday, I was handed the DVD recording of my talk. Last night, I popped some popcorn, called the cat, inserted the DVD, clicked on the machine, and sat back in my easy chair to watch “me in action”.

After 15 minutes of watching my 2 hour presentation, I was gripping the arm of my chair so hard that I couldn’t remove my fingers. In short, it was bad!
Mostly, there wasn’t anything wrong with the content. It was more to do with my hand gestures, the way I stood … (I could give a list of things here, but I want to save myself from any further embarrassment!)

I watched with pain for the next 1 hour and 45 minutes (even the cat ran away!)….

Then I watched it again! This time, I took notes.

I made a complete list of everything I did wrong, printed it out, and plan on carrying it for every presentation!

The moral of the story is if you don’t film yourself, you’ll never know how good or bad you are.

Recording myself gave me a reality (and a reality check!), and it provided a platform for me to learn and improve. Had my talk not been recorded that day, I would have never known the power of recording, and I would have walked away thinking I did a great job.

If I asked you how good you are, you would probably say, “I am pretty good”. I would respond and say, “Without a videotape, you have no idea”.

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suZen said...

I joined Toastmasters several years ago - for just this reason! It's a really supportive and encouraging group and believe me, you learn as you go. I've been to countless presentations on a variety of topics and there are some presenters that, like you, make me grip my chair. The ah's and um's alone put me in a coma - we have COUNTERS for those at TM and it really helps you!

Shamelle said...

@SuZen: I have not gone for Toastmasters myself but I have a few friends who did and they really had a fun time! And they improved in public speaking too...

Robin said...

HI there Shamelle - oh dear! You know, it may not have been as bad as you think it was, because in a live performance the audience relates to the energy of the performer, and don't notice the things you might call mistakes as much as you might think from looking at or listening to a recording.

Having said that - recording ourselves is a great way of working towards improving our act! Great point!

Chris Edgar said...

Thanks for this. One thing I've found from watching films of myself speaking is that, when I'm watching myself, all of the negative ideas I have about myself are brought to the forefront. Sometimes it isn't the speaking, in other words, that creates that reaction -- it's my relationship with myself, where I could stand to be a bit more loving and forgiving. Anyway, just in case this resonates with you.

Shamelle said...

@Robin: Thanks for the encouraging comments. You make a valid point. Some of these things would have probably gone unnoticed.

@Chris: True, When I was watching a recording of myself I also tend to critize myself than acknowledge the positive things.

Nicole - JMIB said...

I've always wanted to whip out a tape recorder during an emotional arguement.

It may not be film, but imagine if you could see yourself when you were at your most irrational?

Oscar - freestyle mind said...

I want to try this! I read about this in 'the art of learning' but never tried. Now it's on my todo list, thanks for reminding me this one.

Anonymous said...

"Even the cat ran away" - LOL. :D

I just found your blog through PickTheBrain (Surprisingly I only just found PickTheBrain too..) This was a good post and I think I'll try filming my self in the future just do see how bad I look while speaking, should be interesting.

Daniel Richard said...

Wow! I haven't made any presentations since... 3 years ago while I was back in polytechnic. I might feel the same -- as in the cringing and "oh noes" -- if I were to watch myself presenting on stage if shaking knees and all. :)

But on the bright side, I think if I were to view the video of your presentation, I'd go like "WOW! I sure wish I could do that". It's all good. :D

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