What If Being Yourself Isn't Good Enough?

One of my most personal public videos is a collection of outtakes edited together with my narration, read word for word, from my blog post written back on August 5th, 2007 titled Is Being Me Good Enough? I made the similarly titled video the next day.

At the time the video (which you can view below) generated some discussion in the comments and was a real turning point for me personally in how I thought about myself and how I presented on camera. It took a weight off my shoulders.


[Note that especially for this article I've re-edited and re-uploaded the video to Youtube because the last sentence on the original version was cut off by Youtube's uploader. The new version is identical other than I've added a title screen at the beginning and cropped the footage for 16:9 ratio - plus added some length to the end to ensure it doesn't get the last line cut again.]

I came to be thinking about this video again because of my latest video diaries - which I will be the first to admit aren't that visually exciting. Particularly if the majority of the video is just me speaking to camera.

I started broadcasting on Youtube back in 2006 and whilst I'm much more comfortable with speaking to a camera, even today, I'm still pretty much the same as I was back then. Albeit probably a little less self conscious than I used to be. Which reinforces the point I was trying to make back then that you really are getting me as I actually am. I don't put on a persona for the camera.

Unfortunately being myself still leaves me wide open to criticism from both well meaning people offering advice to straight up idiots that will tear anything down that doesn't fit with how they think things ought to be.

Many of my contemporaries on Youtube have gone on to have thousands of fans whilst I'm still only just half way to my first 1000 fans. My videos do get views over time but nobody is rushing to watch them as soon as they are released.

Unlike on GoAnimate, with Youtube I commit the cardinal sin of releasing boring videos. Though I'm not wondering why very few people are watching, nor am I deluding myself that my videos are well crafted greatness - and people just can't see it.

Generally, being myself on Youtube isn't good enough - at least not to build an audience that will keep coming back to see my latest video. I don't blame people either. I wouldn't come back to keep watching the videos I make for Youtube.

The problem is that I really haven't found that one thing that I'm excited to make videos about. My diaries I make just to try and get making regular videos back into my routine. However that strategy is failing because I'm not excited to make them - and it shows on camera.

The one thing I know is that I do want to make Youtube videos. I'd be really open to suggestions on where I should go with my Youtube videos from anyone reading this that's familiar with what I do.

What do you think I should explore with my videos?

12 comments:

  1. Well, that sounded OK to me, but I think you said you were reading it from your blog. I think you have got better. I don't think you can get away with not editing pauses out etc, especially if they are long pauses, but brief pauses are natural, perticually if you show that you're thinking what to say next.

    When I do writing for my group to be published in our quarterly mags, we are told to come back to it later, maybe more than once over a period to edit it 'within its life' we're told! Never to just hand in the first draft, to get rid of rambling or unnecessary words etc. I believe authors do quite a few drafts before the final is published.

    I don't do much editing, but my last work for our recent mag which is coming out shortly was submitted to the group for a critique, which are meant just as 'suggestions' apart from any punctuations, but not to change the story in anyway. I reorganised quite a few sentences after looking at all the submissions for suggestions, as I felt that one or two of mine had been a bit clumsy trying to explain something,hence submitting it.

    Some people fill their speech with 'ums and ahs' and 'you know's' but I don't hear any of that in yours, or perhaps it's because it's being read,(the present one) but I don't remember it from the videos.

    The blogs and videos I find most interesting are the ones about things happening in everyday life, punctuated with a bit of natural humour. I think humour is the key to stop an article or presentation video from being boring, and it comes over as more natural.

    I think it's important to just be yourself, maybe with 'warts and all' as while it's great to listen to someone polished who never slips up, it's nice to know that someone is human, ecpecially if it's a celeb!

    Look at Ian 'Molly' Meldrum - you'd hardly call him polished in his speech! He's not called 'humdrum' for nothing, which was his segment on the 'Count Down' music programme. He's always referred to as 'bumbling' yet people love him for it, as I do. (look at his Prince Charles video - priceless!)

    You could practise in front of a mirror for facial expressions, unless you can already see yourself on the camera. I think a pleasant face and voice is important, and to just talk as though you are talking to someone in front of you, and not just the camera. That's how I used to write my letters, and now emails, as though the person is sitting at the side of me. I could never understand people who didn't like letter writing (before emails) who would say, 'I don't know what to write!'

    That's my point of view for now anyway. I think you do very well. I've had to speak in front of my group (Older Women's Network) and I'm getting better, when my voice doesn't let me down by being husky! Hope some of this helps.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions. Molly's definitely a good example.

      I do think I've gotten better over the years. Especially since I've started to do a little voice acting for animations - which is an opportunity to practice more expressive speaking.

      I was really looking more for ideas on what to make videos about. I want to keep doing them but I don't think the diary videos are really what I should be doing.

      Once I get the van fixed I will be doing more travel videos but I need something else to make videos about in between trips.

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  2. Everybody worries about what other people think at certain points in their life, usually youth or when doing something new. If you're constantly worrying about what other people think that is a sign of being insecure which leads to low self esteem.

    The internet is huge. not everyone is going to like you. Once you realise this and accept it you will have the power to Youtube like you don't care, let people vote with their mouse and whistle.

    Muhammad Ali admits to being terrified before he went in the ring with George Foreman, yet he is the poster boy for confidence and self esteem. His catch cry, "I am the greatest!" He thought it and said it until he believed it and until the world did too. In other words fake it until you make it. Only you need to believe it, have you seen David Hasselhof lately? If other people believe you too that's a bonus although no one's going to be convinced unless you are.

    As for your delivery not being interesting enough. Hello! Reality TV! Especially Big Brother. Proof the mundane has an audience. Also if you can remember Elliot Gobblet or Steven Wright(http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0942833/bio). Maybe you need humour or a quirk to make youself stand out (paint your head red :-P).

    Having said that, that was a very expressive voice over on the the video. It had lots of emotion because you believed in what you were saying. You gave your opinion with conviction and put accross convincing arguments with a strong voice challenging you critics.

    So listen to your own video more times because your answer is there. Say it like you mean it and don't give a stuff. Who cares if some don't think you're good enough. The important ones are the people who do even if it's only the dog (I'm sure he'll spread the word).

    Anyway you know us geniuses are never understood. You should be used to it. So suck it up and get on with it :-).

    I am the BEST!

    To the loo for now (and remember, when all else fails you always have you middle finger).

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    1. .... further more I don't care about the typos. I'm still the BEST! Btw I'm thinking of getting a dog lol!

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    2. I do remember both those comedians but I kind of think they could get away with their style because you knew you'd be getting a laugh with nearly every sentence.

      As I said in my reply to Mum, I do think I've gotten a lot better since this video - which I made in 2007.

      What I'm really looking for is suggestions on perhaps what I could do videos about because I don't really think the diary videos I'm doing of late are really useful.

      Need to plan some kind of show format that I can work towards and then record each week. That kind of thing.

      I'm the BEST! and you should get a dog :-)

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  3. Well you can't be that good if you can't think of your own ideas for videos (rasberries). Perhaps you need to get a writer like Seinfeld.

    http://makingwebshows.com/web-show-idea/

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  4. Well, as I said, I like the ones about everyday life (a lot to draw on), and things in the news. I'm thinking more about the blogs though, but have a look at the topics you've covered there in the ordinary everyday things.

    I think you're quite humourous, and always seem to get a bit of humour into your blogs anyway. You all must have inherited that from me and your Dad because both sides of our families had a great sense of humour, even your Dad's Dad who was very quiet! As for my Mum - well - what can I say about her sense of humour! Nothing like it! Our Janet's very humorous and her families too, so you've inherited plenty!

    Just be yourself, and don't worry what people might be thinking, just talk like they're sitting with you. I used to worry a lot when I was younger about what people thought and whether they liked something I'd bought, and would feel upset if they didn't like it not trusting my own judgement.

    When I was in my second job at Paige's Fashions in Leeds, UK when I was 17yrs, one of the older women cut me short when I was telling her how so-and -so didn't like something I'd bought, and could see I was all worried about it. She leaned forward to emphasise, and said, 'Do you like it, love?' I said, 'Yes, I like it, but....' 'But nothing,' she said, 'If you like it, that's all that matters - it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!' I couldn't relate to that then, as I felt it was important for others to like what I'd got etc, but looking back down the years, I can now see that she was right!

    I know this doesn't really relate to a video as much, but as long as you know you've done a good job with a video for content and delivery by being yourself, it doesn't matter! Those that like will watch - and those that don't - won't! I've seen some favourable comments on your videos, which I think outweigh the latter kind. You can just take on board any critiscism if it's constructive and just use what you want to improve.

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  5. I just found GoAnimate and it's a fun place for self expression. I used to be so afraid of saying what I felt about certain things because I wanted so much to fly under the radar. Plus, I was afraid that it would be career suicide (it may just be, who knows?). Then a few years back I realized that I wasn't embracing my creative side. It sort of reminds me of the t.v. series, WEEDS, I was just this everyday suburbia drone fit in a box.
    I wanted to produce some honey. And, I want to help people get out of their boxes too. I'm just starting, but like you said it is good to let them judge with their mouse and whistle. At least I have unleashed my beast to fly or fail.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

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  6. enjoyinglifeinseoulOctober 21, 2013 5:09 PM

    Hey TET, are you still looking for video ideas?

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    1. Well I am open to suggestions so if you have an idea feel free to share it.

      I have recently come up with a strategy for creating Youtube videos by basing them on what I write each week in my blogs but it still requires ongoing subject matter to make it work. Thinking about implementing the idea from January next year.

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  7. enjoyinglifeinseoulOctober 24, 2013 1:19 PM

    Are you looking at doing fictional stuff or are you staying away from that?

    You mentioned doing some travel vids. when you get the van running better. Have you though about documentaries? I remember when I was searching for images of your town for my Lil' Running Dudes, I saw some nice images of the downtown and surrounding area. Maybe some history there to look into. Not everyone's cup pf tea, but some folks would enjoy a video on it.

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    1. The Travel vids are definitely going to happen. Hopefully early next year. The van's just waiting to have new brake pads installed - which I have the money for, just a matter of organizing it.

      My town does have a rich history that is easy to research. A large part of our community is devoted to preserving the town's history and raising awareness of the many stories. I may do something on that but they wouldn't really be travel videos for me... it's basically a rich history I can walk to.

      I want to start skateboarding again and thought a tour of a few public skateparks in my region might be a way to go. Definitely need the van to get to most of them.

      I have ideas for fictional stuff, much of it animated but I would like to try live action and comedy sketches again too.

      Delete

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