As I've said before, I can always count on one of two things whenever I take vacation time: a health issue or something breaking down. It's grass season so I'm dealing with allergies. That's one. And, as of last night, my computer software to burn video of my last speech decided not to work. I literally burned one DVD with no problem and have not been able to repeat the process. I am baffled.
I've been working with a Flip, a digital camcorder the size of a smart phone, to record myself giving speeches and decided to dabble a bit more into it last night. I don't plan on making a habit of this, but I thought I'd try out the Blogger version of showing video within my blog. It's a step, a small one, to help me feel a bit more comfortable in my own skin.
I went from cute little girl to awkward teen to the ever-critical woman heading for middle age. I have flaws aplenty, or so I think. I can mentally pinpoint every dark circle, age spot, dimple, excess fat, and discolored hair. Now, I feel I looked better in the past. My past self would have argued I didn't look right back then. I suppose with hormones and evolution comes a fractured vanity that judges far more harshly than before. And in five years, or a week from today, I'll reason I looked better now than in the future. It's such a whacked irrationality.
But I have to get past it. I can't cringe and avoid looking at myself in video form if I'm going to improve my speech-giving ways. How can I stand in front of a group of people and exude confidence in whatever I'm saying if I don't feel it? Or address problems in delivering a speech if I don't see myself give one in playback form?
I viewed my last speech last night. Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I gave the speech with parts of trepidation -- mental hiccups, waves of inner anxiousness of getting to the next point, and trying to remember everything. Still, I hung in there and made the most of the time. I had good feedback from the club for the most part. Doing a speech makes you feel like you're drowning and watching a recording of it gives you a buoy of sorts.
The video I've uploaded into the blog is a video postcard relaying a story based on the recent event of moving. I wanted to see how I'd do with a shorter amount of time, with nothing prepared, and looking as I would normally do with casual clothes and no makeup. Here's what I discovered in viewing the three minute clip:
I blink too much. Geez, I look as though I have a facial tick. Guess it could be nerves or my allergies, but I didn't have any preconceived fears of filming. In fact, the final version was after a fourth or fifth take. Note to self: steady gaze and settle down.
Voice needs inflection. I've already heard that in the critiques of my previous speeches: use more inflection; do everything bigger on camera. Easier said than done when you live your life as a mild-mannered person who never has the occasion to sound or act like a cartoon character. I've always viewed doing the DAHHLLLINGG! mode as being forced, fake, and shoving myself into another's space in the most obnoxious way. On the fringes, in the background, observing the action, and making my presence through quiet conversation...that's me. I guess the power of vocal variety will come with time and practice.
I'm not fat. Another preoccupation of mine is whether I look pudgy, overweight, and the like. Maybe it was the lighting, but I don't see anything that would make me ashamed of how I looked in the clip. Always room for improvement, but nothing there that would make me reach for the "delete" button.
I'm articulate. I'm not sure why I don't have the Southern/New Orleans accent that was present in certain members of my family. If I have one, it's subtle. It's more audible when I tired or in a rush. It's nothing I consciously work on, but I have a noticeable absence of an accent. At least I'm not into "like" and "ya know" as crutch words. I try to focus on the storytelling and choose my words carefully. Perhaps that translates into how I speak. I'm happy I don't sound like a moron.
I'm currently working on my next speech which I may give this coming week after the Mardi Gras holiday. It's been a nice vacation despite allergies and computer issues. I found a workaround on connecting the video to my blog through YouTube how-to library. After a few hours, I learned my video was "too big" to upload directly to Blogger. Yet, I can link from YouTube to Blogger without issue. Technology is very confusing.
At any rate, enjoy the video. Cannot say they'll be plenty more where that came from, but it's a start.
Take care and travel light.