The Art of Communication: YouTube Experiment

6 03 2009

Over the past year I facilitated two-day workshops with senior HR executives and had concentrated on the precision of language and the economy of words.  This invaluable experience raised my awareness of connecting with and engaging my audience in face-to-face situations.   However, I started to wonder how I could take these skills and leverage them in the web 2.0 world with a focus on video and podcasts.

I started to ask myself some questions:

  • How well does my voice convey a concept or idea?
  • How effectively do I modulate my voice?
  • Can I grab and maintain an audience’s attention by using video and audio?

I pondered these questions for a few weeks before planning and producing my first  “3 Minute Insight” for distribution on YouTube.  My story on the Washington Monument in Washington DC is my first attempt.  This is the starting point for further developing and expanding my presentation and communication skills.

I used a screen capture and a video recording/software package called Camtasia to produce the video.  I wanted to show  just one idea of a 3 minute learning module “or nugget” that can provide information, advertise a product, make a sales pitch, etc.  I also used my minicam video recorder to actually tape this on my computer (it is a PowerPoint presentation as the source document) but the result was not as good when played through video viewing software.  Video will work better to tape people and events outside an office environment and then the video can be edited in many ways with the addition of music and sound effects.  This will probably be my next experiment.  Once again, preparation and scripting are vitally important to ensure a quality product.

I’ve learned that art of communication takes concentrated practice and openness to receiving feedback from a number of sources.  Experimentation takes time, effort, patience and practise.  I now have a great deal more respect for the art of great actors such as Laurence Olivier, Peter O’Toole and Merryl Streep.

Of course improvements will continue to be made.  I’ll  gladly accept feedback and suggestions from my readers.

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