Do you use video taping to your advantage?

I recently videotaped myself and a self-defense pro for my latest educational web site.

While the content of the video was fine, I was pretty nauseated at how I looked. Aside from the weight I’ve gained in the past two years, my facial expressions were stiffer than Al Gore’s. Painful though the experience of watching this video was, I learned a lot about how to improve my facial expressions – starting with relaxing and smiling more in front of others. I used to be good at that, but not on this day.

Anyway, it’s a great idea to get yourself videotaped once in a while, to see how you come across to others. You might be surprised to find that your intent (come across as a brilliant, happy, enthusiastic person) doesn not match your impact.

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  • malikyte

    Hmmm, so how much do we have to pay to see this video of you with a self-defense pro? :)

  • http://websitefaq.com Ronny

    Nice idea Andrew!
    Will make sure to do that soon :)

    I would also like to add that you’ll probably be surprised to hear your voice. You can always blame the cheap microphones, but you know it’s not it. You don’t know your real voice until you hear it’s recording, and then you’re most likely to be surprised, for good or for bad. Just try it :)

  • http://anand.biz AnandC

    I was in speech & debate in High School and I can confirm that this is a very effective method to help you improve your oral presentation and delivery skills. In addition, it is easy to post a video of yourself online and solicit feedback from others. Much easier than in days prior to the net where I had to make my family watch me do a practice run.

    Good Luck!

  • malikyte

    In all seriousness, this truly is a great yet simple and effective means to help you learn how to act with clients to appear more casual and open…and just working on anything you might want to change about your behavioral appearance. Great tip, Andrew.

  • http://www.eleytech.com beley

    I know the feeling of looking at yourself in a video/photo and being shocked. In the past few years, I gained weight slowly and didn’t really notice, except when my waist size went up. I went from a 33″ waist just out of school to a 38″ waist (about 4 years).

    I just went through some old photo albums and saw pictures of myself when I was in school just a few years ago and recent photos and was just sick to my stomach. I wasn’t healthy.

    So, I stopped eating (and drinking) sugar, and started exercising. I’ve lost over 30 lbs and am down to size 34″ waist. It’s amazing what a little change in habits can do. I drink Splenda in my coffee now instead of sugar, and have stopped eating fast food, drinking soft drinks, and stay away from candy.

    As for the public speaking abilities… I don’t even want to imagine how bad I am. I speak from time to time, but have never been videotaped, so I don’t know how horrible I looked. Maybe I’ll have the guts to tape myself one day – I’m sure it’d make me a better speaker, but I don’t really like the thought of watching myself do something I do poorly. :)

  • shadowbox

    Watch out for those artificial sweeteners Brandon, they can be worse for you than the sugar they replace!

    I think recording yourself is a great idea – even just re-recording my voicemail message recently made me realise just how much I’ve started mumbling words and generally speaking ‘lazy’.

  • malikyte

    -offtopic-
    Splenda can’t be much worse than sugar as it’s made FROM sugar. Aspertame and …the other one were the ones that have unfinished testing on them.
    -offtopic-

    Don’t miss the big point here guys (and/or gals), taping yourself isn’t useful just to see how you present as a speaker, it’s also useful to know how you come off to others just in normal conversation, during a pitch, or in an interview. If you notice you don’t smile much while presenting, chances are that you don’t do it during an interview. If you always have a serious look on your face, you might seem standoffish which is bad in any social situation. This is why taping yourself, and then watching it (can’t forget this part) carefully to see what to improve on is a very powerful and cost effective way to manage your outer appearance and approachability.

  • skeeterbug

    as for weight gain, the zone diet is incredible. it reduces hunger, improves mood and you lose weight.

    the zone diet isn’t atkins… it is an incredibly moderate ediet. unless you have serious weight issues, you can pretty much eyeball things once you figure out you eat a balance of protein, carbs and primarliy mfats.

    when i drink soda (most of the time, but i’m on water right now), i drink diet rite – not the best, but it is flavored with splenda.

    pbs did a study and the lady who went on the zone lost the most (to be fair, she had the most to lose). when asked how she felt about the zone, her first comment was, “i love the way this diet makes me feel.”

    not even a peep about losing 40+ pounds in 6 months. ;-)

    i’ve never had to lose more than 5-10 lbs b/c i apply the zone as required. recently, i was about 3 lbs over my highschool weight (20+ years ago!). i’ve had a bump since my knee has hobbled me due to a basketball injury, but i’m no elypticalling every day and i’m back in the zone again.

    i’ll be within my high school weight in no time – and feeling bettr for it. i’m about 180 lbs now, i should probably be between 170-175 lbs.

    remember, the easiest weight to lose is the weight you don’t gain and it is easier to work off the weight now rather than later (as we get older).

    food is like a religion, and i think more people die for their food than they do for their religion. in proper context, food is not an end, it is a means to an end.

    i’ve walked ya’ll to the water…

    good luck!

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  • RollyPolly

    I’ve videotaped myself and my girl, but it’s not anything I can post online :D