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little ambitious! I had attended the Association of Professional Sales conference and wanted to edit a documentary-style video, which ended up being 20 minutes long.5

And pretty

much no one has watched it. It’s fair enough, it actually wasn’t very good! Tere were some good concepts I

attempted; the opening was a sweep from the back of the conference to set the scene; I wasn’t using my cheap tripod so it was terribly shaky; I was far away and digital zoom on camera phones can only do so much; I included video snippets of some of the pertinent parts of the presentations. Some of the sections, and the whole video, were too long. It was a challenge – I wanted to get across the material for people to learn from, but no one watched the video. Marketing specialist Issy

Nancarrow commented that “perhaps if there were lots of shorter videos, people would have watched more?” Lesson learned.

Different approaches

I recorded some reflection videos to share key points from a conference. I’d taken Issy’s point on board and did separate videos of around two minutes each and filmed these in the garden, with sunflowers as my background.6 Debbie Carter wasn’t sure about

the concept, thinking that they were distracting (it was a little windy) and whether it was appropriate for a professional audience. I chatted to Con

Sotidis for his thoughts and, while he could see Debbie’s perspective, he felt that it showed thoughtful reflection. Was it right or wrong? Is there even a right or wrong? Perhaps it was just different and provided variety.

New toys ❝

As I was doing more of the videos, assessing the quality, or lack thereof, and learning more, I decided I did

doing, but he had it already and wanted to experiment, so he came along for the day. Te biggest bonus was having someone else do the filming! Previously I’ve set up the lapel microphones, the camera in its cheap mini-tripod, written the tweet that goes out from the Periscope app (which needs to include the topic, the interviewee’s Twitter name and the conference hashtag), while also

If you have the opportunity for someone else to be your cameraperson, go for it!

need some better equipment. By then I had upgraded my phone to a Samsung S7. Te camera quality was much better. I also purchased two microphones, which I’m still using. One was a directional microphone.7

It’s small, the size of a lipstick, and is known as a ‘shotgun mic’ as that describes the audio it will pick up – you point it to the speaker and it focuses on just that audio, ignoring background noise. Amazon has the one I purchased for £50. However, I’m sure I wouldn’t have spent that much, so it must have been on offer. Te other microphone is a

dual-headed lavalier8 (or lapel), circa

£30. Tis has a microphone that clips to your lapel, so it’s focusing on your audio as you speak. What makes this special is the device has another cable coming off it, with another mic to clip to the lapel of your interviewee. Te cables are fairly long, to give some space between you. Tis is easy to use and effective with

great sound quality. Te biggest issue? I’ve recorded videos with mics attached to our lapels ... and forgotten to actually plug it into the phone! Another lesson learned.

Bigger and better

At the CIPD L&D show9


year, I was lucky to have my own cameraman with an £800 camera. I would never invest in something like that for what I’m

28 | August 2017 |

References 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


reassuring an often nervous speaker and deciding a rough outline of our topics, questions and conversation. If you have the opportunity

for someone else to be your cameraperson, go for it!

Final thoughts

Going back to the quality of our videos. Tey aren’t professional, not by a long shot. Tey don’t all have the best quality sound. Tere’s shakiness, lighting issues and more. However I’m doing most of this with my smart- phone and less than £100 worth of equipment and zero cost on software. I’ve had no expensive training. Tis is a position that many L&D

professionals are in. We need to move with the times, the technology, the way that people are now learning, engaging with material and how we market ourselves and our learning products. We hope you enjoy our

video content and the learning stumbles along the way.

Jo Cook is deputy editor of TJ and is responsible for www.trainingjournal.

com/webinars and the online community. She can be contacted at

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