Video presentation skills workshops – lessons learned

The lessons we learned:

  • This group were generally fairly comfortable already with speaking and videoing themselves. This could be because they were MA students studying entrepreneurship.
  • They all found using the Flip camera fine
  • The biggest improvement was how the structure of their video pitches improved – this was highlighted in the group’s feedback and in our observations. The elevator pitch training seemed to be very useful in relation to this.
  • Confidence also improved. This seemed mainly to do with practice in the practical exercises, repetition of the elevator pitch and having to video themselves. The exercises where the students practiced their pitch and gave each other feedback (using a criticism sandwich) seemed effective for this
  • Getting the right distance from the person (whether too close or too far) is a consideration, as some of the sound in some of the videos were too quiet
  • Choosing a suitable background too makes a difference to the ambience of the video
  • Quite a few of the students filmed in portrait. Perhaps better to do it in landscape due to the fact that video players are landscape, but not a big issue
  • Noticed that there could be a possibility that over-training or preparation around the videos could decrease the natural energy that some of the students expressed in their first videos
  • The critiquing of the videos worked well, with peer feedback both verbally and written – it was really useful to give participants to be reflective, share feedback and to discuss openly.
  • Participants were slightly reluctant to give negative feedback. Encourage students to use the criticism sandwich and make sure they include the constructive criticism in the middle. Perhaps include this on the printed feedback form, eg include one positive thing and one thing that could be improved on.
  • Technical issues! To be honest, these plagued us throughout, even though I am pretty comfortable with tech. The Flip cameras were all easy to use. The sound in the main lecture theatre for the first workshop didn’t work and we had to get a technician to fix it, it took quite a long time uploading the videos in the workshop break, and an equally long time getting the video player to work (VLC seemed to be the best option) – if you don’t use video players it is best to familiarise yourself in advance! The worst tech problems happened in the final evaluation workshop while using the large touch screens in the classrooms at High Holborn. The touch screen was pretty inaccurate and it was really hard work loading lots of videos, and trying to flip those recorded in portrait so they were upright. One participant came over to help, and we ended up with virtual scribbles over the screen instead! It ended up with me using my MacBook stood up on its side showing the videos to the students, which was really quite ridiculous. And even then, the sound on some videos was very quiet as they had been taken a bit too far away – the mic on the Flips isn’t particularly powerful. Phew!
  • Attendance – we were expecting up to 20 students, but there were only 6 – luckily they were all dedicated and returned for all the workshops and it was easier doing the pilot on a small scale. But scheduling is clearly something important to think about, and the students were in the middle of doing big hand-ins, so the Course Director said it is definitely worth trying to schedule away from any other major activity to encourage attendance
  • We could have done it in a single or two workshops, rather than three – that was the feedback from the students, and we agreed
  • General staff time – everyone involved was very busy and it’s challenging for everyone to find enough time. Though now a workshop structure is more develop, that won’t be so much of an issue for staff wanting to deliver it
  • Equipment – all students opted to use the Flips rather than their mobiles. We had enough for our six students to have one per pair, you could need quite a lot for a larger group
  • Some sort of training around technical equipment – given the difficulties we had, I imagine others will do too. So it would be useful to develop guidance around downloading videos (especially if recorded on students smartphones), naming conventions of videos to ensure that they are easy to locate at a later date, basic training or guidance to using video players such as VLC, including how to adjust volume, rotate videos that have been recorded as portrait etc
  • We didn’t include uploading videos to YouTube or Vimeo, and then embedding in blogs or websites, so that would be useful to produce or locate guidance on this for students
  • We just did one-minute videos without any editing, but video editing would be a useful skill to develop as well


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2 Responses to Video presentation skills workshops – lessons learned

  1. Pingback: Video presentation skills workshops – an overview | DIAL

  2. Laura,
    yes we must meet up about this….about how your observations could be adopted across other colleges. I would like to volunteer LCF to adopt these recommendations and pass them on to the Schoold Of Management & Science (Fashion Marketing courses) who do a huge amount of presentations on their courses as part of assessed project work, but also other post grad courses in other schools too, such as Media and Communication.
    Talk to you soon,

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