Tag Archives: confidence

Speaking on Camera

I make a lot of videos these days. I appear on camera for people to hear what I say. My top video that I appear in screen has almost 800 views. That many people have watched me talk about fantasy novels I’m anticipating in 2017. 

But think about this. How would you feel if people you know are watching your videos? They could be friends, family, and even coworkers. A few years ago, I would have said there’s no way I could do that. But now? It’s not a big deal for me anymore. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don’t think about it. Even though I’m thinking about it now, I’m so used to it that I really don’t care if people have a negative opinion. I do it for those who enjoy that type of video. 

I also do a lot of public speaking now. 15 years ago, I couldn’t do it. Then I became a team leader in a call centre. I spoke to groups of up to 50 briefing them on projects. Then I taught English for 11 years to groups of up to 8-10 people. Now I speak to groups of up to 40 several times a day at work. And I have no problems doing it. I would’ve had terrible stage fright several years ago. Now it’s not a big deal. 

How do you feel about speaking in front of groups?

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The Benefit of Making YouTube Videos

I’ve come to realise something about making daily YouTube videos. I’ve been speaking in front of a camera, and looking at my earliest videos, then my more recent ones, I see an improvement in my ability to speak. I’m becoming a better speaker. I’m feeling more comfortable speaking in front of a camera. And I think this will carry over to something very important.

You see, my job will involve me speaking in front of audiences, making science presentations and demonstrations. I need to be able to speak well, and in a friendly manner. The more I speak, the better I get. Thankfully, I’ll be talking about something I know well.

It’s funny, thinking back to when I was in school, I never would have imagined that nearly all of my jobs involve a lot of speaking. When I worked in the call centre, I had to speak a lot. Then I taught English in Japan, a job that required me to speak in front of groups. And now, I’m going to be speaking in front of larger groups mostly about physics and astronomy.

As I do more videos, I will improve. My videos will get better. And as I speak more in my job, my presentations will get better.

I surprised myself on Monday. I used to always just sit there and listen to most people talking. However, I tended to take the lead in some ways in conversations during my training. I wasn’t worried about talking in front of fifteen people. My manager even mentioned that I am the astronomy expert out of my group of trainees, so I’m the one to go to if there are any questions. This is definitely going to be interesting. This is the first time I’ve gone into a job where my degree is allowing me to be the “expert.”

Let’s see where this goes. This job may be one of my biggest opportunities for the future! And I have to thank YouTube videos for helping me improve my speaking and confidence.

I Think Better than I Speak

Blog posts and vlogs may try to convey the same message, but making them can’t be any more different than they are. I’m doing both. I’m writing this blog, and I’m making videos for the same purpose. I’m just expanding my reach on the internet. However, how I come across is quite different.

Watch this video before reading on. Don’t worry, it’s not long.

Blogging

Blogging allows me to take the time to think about what I’m going to write. My words are well thought out, and I can re-read to edit it. I can make it look and sound good. I sound far more articulate, I use bigger words, I have no pauses. It just looks so much better. It’s also easier for me to do, because the words flow out of my brain and onto the computer. My thoughts are far more well-organised. I think logically, and I tend to use more complex language in my mind. I speak smoothly in my mind.

Vlogging

The potential to reach a larger audience on YouTube is irresistible. I’ve found a much bigger response from people on YouTube for one of my videos than I usually do for a blog post. What I like about doing videos is that you can usually see the real person. It’s not just words, but the actual person speaking. But the problem with making videos for me is that I don’t have the patience to spend hours editing a video to make it sound and look perfect. But when it looks perfect, I don’t sound natural. It’s not how I talk. I’m giving up on sounding like the best speaker on video. Although I taught conversational English for eleven years, and I’ve been able to have extremely good conversations in lessons, when you put me in front of a camera, I don’t appear like a very outgoing speaker. I pause a lot. I have thinking sounds all over the place. But I don’t want to edit those out. One, it’ll take too long. And two, it’s a more manufactured me.

But taking both of these into consideration, I think I sound more articulate in text rather than video. However, I will work on the videos a lot, reach a new audience, and have some great conversations. What videos allow me to do is deliver my message more quickly. And you get to see another side of me. I’m more confident in my ability to write blog posts, but I have the potential to reach a larger audience on video.

If you blog and vlog, how do you feel about your ability to communicate via the two media? Let me know in the comments below.

Introverted Does Not Mean Shy

A lot of people have this misconception that introversion means shy. They often say that introverted people need to come out of their shell and socialise with others at parties. Well, take a look at this video. It’s called Body Language for Introverts. You’ll notice that I have the top comment at the moment (if you go to the YouTube page for the video). I love how one person goes on a rant about how North Americans are all extroverts, and that’s what makes North America so great and powerful.  Too bad for him many major business leaders and actors are introverts.

The video gets off to a really bad start. It equates introversion to people who have social anxieties, always having trouble figuring out what to say, or a lack of confidence.  Wrong!

I was once a shy person. Being shy means the above three things. I am not shy now. I’m still introverted, though. What introversion means is that you gain energy by doing more solitary activities, while being in a social situation drains us of energy. We need more solitary time to recharge our batteries, basically.

Let’s look at these three points Vanessa Van Edwards brings up. First, we have social anxieties. Not really, no. That’s what a shy person has. I have no problem being at a social gathering with many people around me. I just prefer to talk to people I know. I’m not nervous at all.  If I’m sitting at the side being quiet, people immediately assume there’s a problem and ask me what’s wrong. Nothing’s wrong, I’m just observing. Think of it as information gathering. I’m also studying people’s behaviour, which is extremely useful when speaking to them. I use this information to adapt how I speak with them. Extroverts tend to speak to everyone the same way. Introverts learn to adapt to different people’s behaviour, and I feel we become better communicators in deep conversation.

Second, she says introverts have trouble figuring out what to say.  Well, that hesitation that introverts have at the beginning of a conversation is usually something called “thinking.” We’d rather start off saying something that’s not inane or unimportant. We’d rather not do small talk, you see.  It’s just talking about the same thing over and over again with different people. We’ve done that conversation, so let’s move on to an actual conversation, please. When we’re in a conversation that is actually about something of substance, we don’t shut up.  Really! Take this example. When doing small talk, people will often bring up the weather.  Last night, a typhoon passed by.  In regular small talk, they might say, “Be careful tonight. There’s a typhoon coming.” “Oh, it’ll be so windy and rainy. You be careful, too.” It’s not really communicating any information that’s useful. There’s nothing being said other than acknowledging that they know the same information.  But, put me into the equation, and I say, “Yes, it should be here around 6 pm this evening. The rain is supposed to be the heaviest around midnight, but not so bad. It actually won’t be a typhoon at that time. It’ll be a tropical depression.” That then goes into a rather detailed discussion on both sides about typhoons, hurricanes, tropical storms, etc. What would have normally been a rather meaningless exchange on something we already knew turned into an information exchange that was far more meaningful.  That is how introverts like to talk. And we do talk a lot.

The third point is that she says we’re not confident.  That is complete BS.  Shy people are not confident by definition. Introverts are quite confident, especially my personality type, INTJ. We’re known for being straightforward and often a bit too blunt in what we say. We’re honest, we say what we think, and we’re confident about it. We just say it in a way that has a lot of thought behind it, rather than blurting out something that we might regret.

So, people, don’t confuse introversion with shyness. They are not the same thing. Vanessa Van Edwards does not know what an introvert is.  Take this from a real introvert: we are not shy. Quiet, yes. Shy, not all of us.