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Obama’s Top Ten Tips For Video Blogging

Obama’s Top Ten Tips For Video Blogging

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    I started a video blog documenting my journey fighting breast cancer across America. President-elect Barack Obama started a video blog documenting how he plans to implement change in America. What do we have in common? Absolutely nothing; His vlog is way better.

    So if you are like me and want to video blog like Obama,  I offer these tips that I picked up from watching the President-elect’s weekly video address.

    1. Each word counts

    Use as few words as you can, making the ones you use count. Each word should have its own moment to shine as you move through your presentation. Stay away from using complex terms that the average viewer may not know. Your words must be understood to be enjoyed by as many as possible to keep your video engaging.

    2. Stay under five minutes

    We all have web enabled ADD. Please keep your content short and snappy. Under five minutes should be your target. This is not to say video blogs cannot be longer, but unless you are producing the next Batman film, play it safe.

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    3. Cut!

    Cut. Say something. Cut. Have something happen. Cut.

    Rinse. Repeat.

    A long static shot is the kiss of death. Thank you, MTV.

    If you are limited with what you are working with, use pictures where you can. iMovie has a great Ken Burns effect that you should take advantage of. Do not ever let your pictures remain still.

    4. I will tell you …

    The key to any presentation: Tell us what you’re going to talk about, tell us what you’re talking about, and then end by telling us what you have told us. ADD, remember? Plus audiences love to measure outcomes, so by telling people what you’re going to say, saying it, and then repeating it, they will feel like you delivered on your promise; This is important in building trust with the viewer.

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    5. Well Lit

    Shoot during the day if you do not have a well lit space to film in. Unless you are filming the next …

    6. Not HD? Switch. Now.

    Sure to be controversial: If you noticed, all of Obama’s vidoes are in HD. In February, the United States is asking broadcasters to switch their signals to digital. Terrestrial radio is starting to push listeners to invest in digital radio receivers. Most filmmakers have made the transition to digital.

    I know, HD camcorders and web cameras are expensive; I don’t have one yet either. As soon as you can, switch to HD. The audience expects this quality, and if you do not offer it, they will find someone who does.

    7. Audio please

    If you visit Change.gov, you will notice the video blogs have the audio of the video blog available. If you can extract the audio, make sure you do the same. This is great for viewers who may want to listen to your material while driving or on mobile devices without screens.

    8. Text

    Like audio, the text of the video blog is available for Obama’s vlog. Now, you do not have to follow a script, you should, but providing the text is helpful to readers who may not be able to hear, may not be able to watch at work, and readers who might want to quickly copy and paste the text to send to others. Yes, they can do that with a link, but again: Some might be at work and cannot watch your video.

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    9. What Am I Watching?

    Tell  your audience what the video is about before making them watch. Their time is limited, and not every sketch, rant, review will be of interest. You should accept this and help your audience use their time wisely.

    10. Appearance

    I once saw a presentation on Youtube where a representative of Google stated that the most searched item in the world is a beautiful woman. If you look like me and you are video blogging about the same subject Obama girl is video blogging about, you will find yourself in a potentially losing battle for viewers.

    Yes. Personal branding and video quality matter, but on a purely superficial level? She wins every time.

    So, what do you do against insurmountable beuaty? Take care of yourself before you get on camera. This could be anything from showering to dressing your best. If you seriously want to pursue video blogging, your personal appearance is key. We are Americans. We judge.

    Barack’s Bonus Tips

    Extra video thoughts:

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    End On A High Note

    End your video blog on a positive note. I may not look like Obama Girl, but I am dedicated to what I am doing and I am encouraging my audience to join me in my project. Engage your viewers and give them something to look forward to each time.

    Schedule

    If you promise weekly video, deliver weekly. Do not falter without advanced notification to your viewers.

    Fast Start, Faster Finish

    Focus your time on the content. Do not waste time. Start and end like Obama: “Good Morning”, “Goodbye”.

    What are some of your video blogging tips?

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    Last Updated on December 10, 2019

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

    Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

    But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

    Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

    But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

    Journal writing.

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    Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

    Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

    Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

    1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

    By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

    Consider this:

    Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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    But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

    The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

    2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

    If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

    How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

    Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

    You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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    3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

    As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

    Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

    All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

    4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

    Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

    Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

    The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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    5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

    The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

    It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

    Kickstart Journaling

    How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

    Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

    Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

    Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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