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Top 5 Tools for Impressive (and Easy) Vlogging

Top 5 Tools for Impressive (and Easy) Vlogging


    Video blogging (also known as “vlogging”) can be an overwhelming idea for those who’ve never tried it before. The excuses are endless.

    I hate being on camera.”

    “I don’t know how to edit.”

    “I don’t own any equipment.”

    “I don’t have anything interesting to say.”

    Regardless of what your excuse is, video is one of the most attention-grabbing mediums of online content creation. If you want to better the chances of catching the eye of your audience, you’re going to need to get visual. Plus, it’s really not that hard (said the girl who makes 4-8 videos per week).

    Here are my top 5 tools that help me create impressive vlogs without a whole lot of work.

    1. Screencast-O-Matic

    The beauty of this product is that you can make your first vlog without even owning a camera. Screencast-O-Matic is a program that records the activity of your computer screen with just a couple clicks and no software to download. This is a perfect alternative for a “how-to” post because instead of reading instructions, your audience can just watch and learn. I also really love to use this tool for recording Skype interviews which are also a super easy way to create content while still giving your audience a great experience.

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    2. YouTube MP3 Podcaster

    Ever wonder how someone got a copy of a YouTube video and then edited it into their own? If you are interested being the next Ray William Johnson and vlogging of your favorite online videos, you’re going to love this add-on for Firefox. YouTube MP3 Podcaster downloads directly to Firefox which will add buttons underneath every YouTube video you ever watch on the browser. These buttons will give you different options of downloading that content, whether you want the Full HD version or just an MP3 of the audio. Download this free plugin and start saving videos to your computer right away.

    3. iRig Mic and iMovie Editing for iPhone

    Sometimes all you need is your iPhone. You might already know that your phone can take great quality video and upload directly to YouTube. But maybe you want to make your vlogs a little more impressive than just the average home video. The iRig microphone is a must if you want good audio (and any video is only as good as its audio). This will not only give you a professional image of a microphone, but the iRig has a range of settings for whatever situation you find yourself filming in. Just check out the demo video from Amazon to see how versatile it is with different atmospheres. After you film some footage with your awesome audio, throw it into the iMovie iPhone app ($4.99 in the App Store) and add some titles, background music, or transitions for multiple clips. Dang. You just made a sweet video with just your phone.

    4. Google Plus Live Hangouts

    The Google Plus social network has made it very easy to create panel or interview-type video without lifting very many fingers. All you need to do is have an account with Google Plus, start a “Hangout” video conferencing session, and enable “Hangouts On Air”. Once you start the broadcast, it will be public for people to watch and a recording will go straight to your corresponding YouTube account. Bam! Content.

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    5. Corel Video Studio

    If you want to to take it to the next level with your video editing without being completely overwhelmed, you’ll definitely want to try Corel Video Studio ($79.95 for the software download). This is totally affordable editing software that has just enough capability to make you feel like a pro, without making you pull your hair out trying to navigate. It comes with a lot of great royalty-free music and sounds, giving you even less work to do for an impressive video. To make it even simpler, you can upload straight to Facebook and YouTube from the program!

    What are some great tools you’ve use to help make quality video content? Share them in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: Young Man Holding a Videocamera via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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