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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 January 24, 2021

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

    For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

    But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

    It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

    And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

    The Importance of Saying No

    When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

    In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

    Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

    Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

    Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

    “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

    When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

    How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

    It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

    From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

    We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

    And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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    At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

    The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

    How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

    Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

    But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

    3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

    1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

    If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

    2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

    When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

    Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

    3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

    When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

    6 Ways to Start Saying No

    Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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    1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

    One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

    Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

    2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

    Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

    Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

    3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

    Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

    Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

    You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

    4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

    Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

    Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

    5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

    When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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    How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

      Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

      Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

      6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

      If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

      Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

      Final Thoughts

      Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

      Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

      Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

      More Tips on How to Say No

      Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
      [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
      [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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