Categories: Knowledge Sharing

Putting myself on Video, lessons learned from working with Capture Mozilla

Learning is everywhere at Mozilla.  It seems like every time I do something, or don’t do something, I have something to learn.

As a response to Sean Bolton’s post on 5 things he learned from the Capture Mozilla Project, and Mardi Douglas’ post on her learnings as she plans the Summit, I’m naming my learnings from putting myself on video.

A few weeks back, I did a knowledge capture around a special thing I’ve been delivering training on and continue to be tapped for:  Communications.  Person to person story telling.  My personal and professional mission is to improve the communications experience one voice at a time.  Problem is, there isn ‘t enough of me to go around.  I needed to find a way to scale myself, even just a little bit.  You can check out what I did here.

Here’s what I learned from putting myself on video and from the process of doing it:

1) Doing it with help is better than doing it alone and never actually doing it– I tried to do it alone.  Alone is not for me.  I love the microphone (even though I get nervous) and I have a good time making the story, but when it comes to doing any kind of even simple editing, my heart races and I can think straight.  Staring at user-friendly editing software is like staring into the sun. So, I got myself a pair of sunglasses in the form of a friend.  In a mere 10 minutes he was able to do the minimum editing and teaching it required me to finish my video project.  Asking for help, not always easy, but worth it.

2) Done is good- even if it’s imperfect- That’s it.

3) It gets easier- Now that I’ve done it once it feels less risky on all fronts.  All the, “I don’t know where to start.  The audio isn’t perfect.  What if I sound stupid. It needs to look perfect.” stuff is replaced with “I wonder what I’ll do next?” and “The next one’s gonna be way better.” and “Ooo. This is kind of fun!”

4) When it helps someone, it’s awesome- The day I completed the wiki that contains the curriculum build around the videos I made, I sent the link out to a few who expected it.  Then I went on vacation.  Happy to be away from all the potential embarrassment of my face and voice on video, I hid from the news of what people thought for nearly two week.  What an amazing thing to learn that WebFWD is using the curriculum and videos!  It was a wonderful relief and joy that through video, I could continue to have an impact without my presence.  Wow.  What a feeling.  And, when I attended a pitch practice session as a coach, I was full of glee to hear the WebFWD crew referring to the lessons in the videos.  Awesome.

5) Brevity is important (a little off-script rehearsal helps)-  I’m a talker.  Not everyone loves the sound of my voice as much as I do.  And in video, this  matters big time.  My videos are still too long and I’ll do a V2 pretty soon.  But what I learned is that the shorter the better.  And if you want it short, a little run through helps.  You don’t have to script it.  But run through what you’re going to say, out loud, just a few times and you’ll cut down on delivery time by A LOT.  And, brevity feels powerful.

If I can do it, so can you.  What do you have to teach what will help someone who doesn’t have direct access to you?  Give them the gift of you on video.