Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Week of Vlogging Dangerously: Day 3

Click here for the movie! (MPEG-4 format)

Today’s “danger” challenge was to vlog something physically challenging. My use of props in this speech for Toastmasters was tough, because the lectern is slanted and I was afraid of spilling a gallon of water all over!

Click here for the practice reel! There is some comedy in this one, of the slapstick variety. At least I didn’t spill the *water* everywhere!

By the way, since a few folks have asked: I got my haircut about a month ago. My outro/ID is from about 3 years ago; I vary my hair length and sometimes color with some regularity.

Coming up later this week: file format poll.

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Toastmasters Speech #2: On Videoblogging

Click here for the movie! (MPEG-4 format)

This is my Speech #2 for Toastmasters. The goal of this speech is to improve and demonstrate organizational skills. The first speech was introductory; you can find it posted here.

Afterwards, one of the members of my local Toastmasters group asked a question (we don’t usually Q&A our speeches), and I answered him.

The Handout mentioned in this speech is available here (PDF), and here (MS Word). Videobloggers are welcome to use and modify it for other presentations as needed.

And as with my first vlog on this subject, I videotaped myself rehearsing. However, because I rehearsed this speech so many times, I decided to spare you all of the attempts and refinements, and have mixed my practice sessions into this video. It’s smaller and shorter, in part because I only mixed up the introduction, and left out all the flailing around to express the body of the speech adequately.

A technical note: I hope all the folks from the Videoblogging Yahoo! Group will take a moment to mock me soundly for ranting about filming a screen and then doing exactly that, in the same week! All I can say in my defense is that the camera was supposed to be zoomed in far enough to keep the TV screen out of the field of view. Boo.

A second technical note: The practice and speech videos were shot on my new Panasonic PV-GS65 camera, which I am now seriously in love with. My husband is lucky this thing doesn’t have a butt as cute as his, or I’d leave him for it in a heartbeat!

And a personal note: We have an impromptu speaking session called “Table Topics,” in which the best speaker wins a ribbon. I won this week for my 1-2 minute speech on why we do “spring cleaning” in the Spring (because it’s easier to throw away 15 lbs. of stuff you got over the holidays than it is to lose the 15 lbs. you gained on your hips– sadly, I didn’t videotape it). Table Topics, being a popular vote competition, tend to be won by humor and rants, both of which I get a lot of practice with and exposure to in videoblogging.

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Toastmaster Speech #1

Click here for the movie! (MPEG-4 format, 19 MB, 7 minutes)

In January, I joined Toastmasters, an organization dedicated to helping people become better public speakers. While I secretly suspect they’re actually a cult, just waiting for the opportunity to recruit me, I also welcomed the opportunity to showcase my abilities and improve them.

Speech #1 is the “Icebreaker” speech. It’s 4-6 minutes long, and the purpose is to get to know the speaker and to establish a baseline for future improvement. It’s uncommon in our club to videotape speeches, but it is acceptable, and of course I couldn’t try something new without sharing it with you all! Plus, you can get a laugh at how unbelievably self-centered I am in this video.

The audio’s weak because the audio on my camcorder is weak (boo). I’m taking suggestions for an inexpensive (here. It’s longer and more rambly than the final one I gave to the Toastmasters meeting, and weighs in at 32 MB, which is why I didn’t post it directly.

Edit: I *think* I’ve fixed the problem with the wrong file being sent with the enclosure. Sorry about that!

Oh, and I should probably mention this, since it harkens back to the early days of this vlog. I bought This Book Will Change Your Life AGAIN! and have done one of the days exercises– I’ll post it as soon as the vlog for that day is ready. I probably won’t go back to doing an item every day, but periodically it’s nice to go back to one’s roots.

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