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Monday, 29 November 2010

Vlogging and Public Speaking.

I talked in my last post here about starting to vlog and about getting used to speaking into a video camera.

I also mentioned about how vlogging can & probably will, change your life in some way. Now, obviously these changes can take many forms. But, one that i have certainly noticed is how vlogging has helped me when it comes to speaking in public.

The thought of speaking in public is one of those things that makes the majority of people break out into a cold sweat. I know that many people can think of nothing worse, or more scary, to be asked to do.

There are, of course, those for whom this holds no fear. But, i suspect that they are in the minority.
Just think of all of those people who are being, potentially, held back by that fear of public speaking.

Now, when you record a vlog, what are you doing?
Yes, you are speaking in public, albeit with no audience actually in view.

I realise that for a lot of vloggers, being able to hide behind their video camera, or webcam and not actually seeing an audience, is a big bonus. I'm sure that many vloggers would think twice about talking out loud, in front of a real audeince.
But why?

I mentioned in my last blog post about how most of us are not natural extroverts and i would certainly consider myself to be within that number.
But, amongst the many and varied skills that i feel i have learned through vlogging, is an improved ability to speak. And to speak publicly too.
Whether you actually realise it, or not, recording a vlog and speaking in public are not really that dissimilar.

For both, you are the only one speaking and the audience is listening to you alone. You are, in effect, having a one way conversation.
As i said earlier, for a vlog the only thing missing is the visible audience.

So, think about that the next time you are asked to speak in public. And don't think that speaking in public is limited to standing up and giving a speech either.
No, in my view anyway, speaking in public can also mean raising your hand in a meeting and putting your point across. It means not being afraid to speak up and give your opinion.
Just think of all the practise you've had of doing just that, in front of your video camera.

Although i had done some forms of what i consider to be public speaking, before i started vlogging. I know full well, that i am far better at and more confident of, doing it now and i put that down to my experience as a vlogger.

And that experience and improved confidence can help you in the most unlikely settings too.

For those of you who are maybe not aware, my Father died earlier this year. At his funeral, i got up and gave a short speech. I talked about some of his personal history and obviously relayed some personal memories.
Now, as you can imagine, this was not an easy thing to do. But, once again, my experience as a vlogger helped me through.

Although i effectively wrote out what i wanted to say, in case the emotion of the occasion got the better of me. I ended up using those notes only as a guide. I spoke in much the same way as i would have done had i been recording a vlog. I tended to focus on one member of the audience and in a strange way, used that person as my video camera.

For me, treating that speech, more or less as a vlog, made delivering the speech far easier than i could have hoped.

Another recent example concerns a YouTube friend, who shall remain nameless.
Earlier this year, my friend was asked to be the best man at a wedding and, as is normal, they had to make a speech.
Rather like a speech at a funeral, the best mans speech can be a nerve wrecking experience. But, at least with a funeral, you have the sympathy of all who are there. The best mans speech is often thought of as one of the highlights of a wedding. No pressure then?!

During a conversation, i told my friend to try and treat the best mans speech as if it were a vlog. In much the same way as i did at my Fathers funeral.
To cut a long story short. My friend took my advice and it worked. The speech went well and everyone enjoyed it.

So, as you can see, vlogging can help you in ways that you propbably never even considered, or imagined.

Even more reason, surely, to give it a try?

And don't call me Shirley ;)


  1. I've found that vlogging has definitely made it much easier to speak casually (i.e. without a written speech) to a larger group of people. I suppose, in a way, it's an update on the speech-makers trick of practicing in front of a mirror...

  2. Vlogging is great practice for any type of public speaking or presentation ... even (given the current economic state) job interviews. Vlogging can give one the confidence and ease before a panel that other job candidates -- Often they'll pick the person who comes across better than the one who lists experience on paper, but comes a cross as a dolt.

  3. Rich: Speaking casually is a bit of an art form, imho. It's not easy to do, but vlogging gives us good practise.
    Good point about vlogging being an equivalent of practising in front of a mirror. It's just much more fun.

  4. Ken: I didn't think about job interviews, but i see exactly what you mean. Vlogging helps with both speaking and presentation.
    I also think it helps us to put across arguments and thoughts more clearly than others might.
    It's all good.