This blog post follows on from Workshop 1, part 1 – filming one minute video pitches without training, where the students practiced recording a one minute pitch using Flip cameras.
We then had a group feedback session where participants discussed their feelings about making presentations to camera, and discussed how they were finding the process so far.
After everyone had created their one minute video pitches, we scheduled a break while I uploaded the videos to the computer. With the Flip, it’s very easy as there is a built in USB (see video that shows how to upload). If you use a smartphone (eg iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry etc) then you will need a USB cable in order to upload the video.
We then played back each of the videos on the big screen.
Each person had a feedback sheet with the following categories for feedback:
- Body Language
We briefed the group to use the criticism sandwich: give positive feedback, followed by anything they could improve on, followed by positive feedback. Again this tapped into research from my Fellowship showed that students found it easier to do presentations if they were in a supportive informal environment. Eg, “I was really impressed by how confident and naturally you came across. It would be great if you were able to slow down a bit so the audience has time to understand all the points. I think you communicated your key messages really clearly.” It can be demoralising for people to only receive negative feedback, eg “You’re too quiet, and you need to speak up”, especially if they are nervous.
The partners gave initial feedback. And then also wrote their feedback on a sheet. The group then joined in and did a crit for each video.
The feedback was very supportive and mainly positive. We should ask the group to also be explicit about how the videos could be improved, to ensure that more critical feedback is included as it is not always easy for people to deliver critical feedback for fear of hurting people’s feelings.
The videos were, overall, very natural. There was not a lot of rehearsal involved and the speaking to camera in a relaxed atmosphere in one take produced something that demonstrated their energy and personalities. Most were quite confident, some were more expressive off video. It is possible that over-training or preparation around the videos could decrease this energy.
In terms of technical skills, everyone managed to use the Flips without problem. Training around uploading, editing and posting to YouTube or Vimeo etc is likely to be necessary. Getting the right distance from the person (whether too close or too far) is a consideration, and a couple were potentially distracted by the time reminders from their partners, though it kept them to time, and knowing exactly when to start and finish the video.
A key area that I felt needed more work was structure and content. Really structuring the content and knowing the key elements of your project is important to ensure the message is conveyed in this short period of time. An exercise where they have to practice their pitch and ensure that they are communicating the key elements could be built into the next workshop.
The next blog post will be about the second workshop, Workshop 2, part 1 – training on how to do a video elevator pitch, where we are showing participants how to do a video elevator pitch successfully, in association with SEE and the SEED Fund, which requires a one-minute video pitch as part of the application process in order to receive up to £5k funding for a business idea.