Saturday, October 29, 2011

Professionalism on Youtube

I find some amateur Youtube videos to be very amateur.  Perhaps I have an overly critical view, but I feel that Youtube is meant for a large audience. Presenters should be somewhat professional, and talk... efficiently, if that's the right word.  What I mean is, if a person on-camera is talking, and using way too many casual colloquiums "Like, you know, like, OMG!", and blabbering off-topic, it makes me switch to another video.  Whether or not you agree that professionalism is key, we can all agree that you want the audience to watch your whole video.

Last night I was searching for Youtube reviews of a product.  Once the person on-camera started blithering, after a few seconds I got annoyed and clicked on other videos.  The ones I watched to the end were because the host was speaking efficiently.

Tips to improve your videos:

* know exactly what you'll be talking about
* if you need to, have cue cards off-camera to keep you on-track
* get a program for basic editing, to remove mistakes, interruptions, settling into your chair, etc.
* make sure the room is extremely quiet so the audience can hear your mic

If you would like your videos reviewed, feel free to send me a link!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tip of the Month: Body Accessories

Almost everyone has piercings, tattoos, wild hair colour, wild fauxhawks... being creative with one's looks knows no bounds!  However, keep in mind that society, as a whole, leans towards conservative.  If you're being interviewed on-camera and trying to reach a wide audience, tone your look down if necessary.  Cover up tattoos with clothing, flip your hair to hide rainbow streaks, take out piercings if you can, and cover the chest.  On the flip side, if the crew interviewing you works for a more liberal station, by all means flaunt what you've got!

For a critical eye on how you appear to your audience, contact me for a review.  Reviews of your appearance can be done on-line or in-person.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tip of the Month: Umbrellas

Today's tip is in honour of our current weather, which is rain, rain, rain!

When it's raining, if you can't find shade or an indoor place to conduct an interview, you're going to have to stand in the rain.  SANS umbrella.  Umbrellas add unflattering shade and filter the light shining on your face and head.  Even if the cameraman has a light, it can be reflected badly by the colour of your parasol.

Make sure your hair is styled to withstand the rain and resulting frizziness.  Ladies, wear waterproof makeup!  No powder - the streaks will look like you're crying.

For more tips on how to do well in interviews, contact me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Up and About

Waking up early has been successfully ingrained in me.  I love waking up at 6:45 a.m.  Being up before 7 feels like I've already accomplished a goal, first thing in the morning!  The air is clean, the world is quiet.  It's a great feeling.

To be up that early, ideally I'm in bed by 10 p.m. because it takes me about 20 min. to half an hour to get to sleep.  Lately I've been falling asleep at about 11 or 11:30, so this week I've managed to get up at 7, no earlier.  I look back to 6 years ago, when I would be awake no earlier than 10.  And that was a struggle for me back then.  Now I can't imagine it any other way.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sign Points to Entrepreneurship

Got a pretty big wake-up call the last couple of days at my main job, where I work for an employer.  The management has seemed nervous ever since we got taken over by a large corporation.  I came in late on the weekend, due to a traffic jam, which made my bosses nervous that I wouldn't get a special project done.  I worked fast (my hands were shaking from nervousness) and I got the job done early.  I actually had plenty of time for a modification, to make the item look better.

The next day my boss came down hard on me, for coming in late and making the other bosses anxious.  I apologized for being late, but pointed out that the work I did was fine, on-time, and there were no complaints about the quality of it.  Having that talk with her was punishment enough.  I guess she felt differently, because I found out through the grapevine that she's ready to put a disciplinary letter on my permanent file.  This is an interesting change;  6 years ago, when I was making a bad habit of arriving late, all it took was a small mention from my boss, and I cleaned up my act.  I've been striving ever since to be on time for everything, even social events.  Now she wants to put a letter, despite that I've been arriving on-time for 6 years, despite the project being done by deadline.

When you're an entrepreneur, you set the schedule.  It's important to be on-time, but you set the start time that works for you.  When you work for an employer, you are a punching bag for their insecurities.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I feel that I've successfully embraced the habit of waking up early.  I tried instigating it about a month ago.  After a week of setting my alarm before the rooster crowed, my body crashed and I went back to sleeping in.  I wasn't going about it properly, and this was reflected by my feeling sluggish, sick, and stressed.  About a week or two ago I tried again, using different techniques.  I am happy to report that I love waking up early now (hence the title of the post), even on weekends.

Here's what I was doing wrong before:
  • Went to bed too late: 11 or 11:30 p.m.
  • Drank coffee as late as 2:30 p.m.
  • Launched into the task too abruptly; set my alarm too early in the beginning of this exercise
My success now hinges on:
  • Going to bed at 9, no later than 10 p.m.
  • No coffee past 1 p.m. -- tea only
  • Started with an 8 a.m. wake-up, and gradually kicked it back to 6 or 6:30
 I feel I have embraced this habit permanently (I hope!) and have reaped rewards for doing this.  I can hit the mountain early for snowboarding and not crash or need a coffee; I get tasks done before heading to work, instead of madly trying to do it on my lunch break; my social life hasn't suffered, as I had feared earlier-- I just take disco naps to compensate on the night of an event.  I really love waking up early!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Unique Gifts

Seriously, what is better than giving a gift like this to your clients?  This mini bubble-gum dispenser is empty now, because my co-workers pounced on it when I brought in.  A perfect mixture of nostalgia, distraction, colour, and advertising!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Re-Shuffling Time

Lately I've determined what's important to me in reaching my career and personal goals.  Reaching them means that certain activities are not conducive to my life.  Going out several times per week with friends, constantly eating out, wasting time on too many social media platforms, buying objects that clutter my household.... those activities have pretty much gone by the wayside.  I now focus my spare time on either relaxing, or working on my career or hobbies.

It was an impulse that I fought in the past, mostly to fit in with friends who pressured me to act more "fun".  It's definitely important to regularly have fun in your schedule, but too much and suddenly you've got less money, you're too tired to work, and you're grumpy to your loved ones.  I find being picky about what I do socially, helps me stay on track with my goals.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Looking Young

Almost everyone wants to look as young as possible.  In everyday life, this is a bonus.  But in front of the camera, looking too young can hurt your credential with the audience.

Ask yourself: What is the age of the audience I'm trying to reach?  In terms of general news media, usually the people watching you are conservative and middle-aged.  Note also that that is usually the age range for news staff - anchors and reporters.  Your image should match these people.  If you naturally look younger, your clothes and accessories can be adjusted to match the audience's mindset.  Consult an image specialist to convey that conservative look, yet look up-to-date as well.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Empty Malls

A few nights ago, idly spending time, I dropped by one of the biggest, busiest malls in Canada.  Except it wasn't this particular night.  Being January, the hallways were CLEAR.  There were signs advertising massive sales and markdowns, but hardly anyone was shopping. 

I wonder if retailers are advertising this?  Focusing not only on lower prices, but on the pleasantness of shopping with hardly anyone else around?  There was lots of parking, I wasn't getting bumped or squeezed by crowds, and salespeople had time to chat with me.  Shopping was an actual joy that night!