30-day Video Recording Experiment

Over the last 30 days I recorded a daily 5-15 minute video clip on any topic of my choosing. As extra incentive, I leveraged a verbal contract with a friend who, in turn, committed to a daily exercise challenge. We both subjected ourselves to a financial penalty any day we didn’t deliver.

A large portion of this process proved painfully challenging, as I lacked much experience in not only content recording, but public presentation in general. In spite of a narrow 3-4 person audience with whom I shared this content, I felt a pressure similar to that of those rare-occasion larger scale live presentations.

I found myself recording clips on topics such as Computer Science, Machine Learning, idea gathering, cognitive biases, the Pareto principle, memory techniques, and other cultural or scientific introspection. I also varied languages between English, Portuguese and Russian on a fairly spontaneous basis depending on mood and content. What have I discovered?

  1. Consistent with my language self assessment, the English content resulted more scientific and academic in nature, yet dry and personality lacking especially in the earlier stages. I believe to have somewhat improved in that regard, but the dichotomy is still notable.

  2. The Russian language content sounded more natural and expressive, yet full of subtle grammatical oversight and prohibited or overused constructs. I occasionally even uttered colloquial elements prohibited (or of bad taste) in this medium.

  3. The Portuguese language content, similar to the Russian, contained enough personality, yet demonstrated certain language flaws. However, in light of everything, the output far surpassed my expectations.

Considering I largely improvised, with occasional few but mostly no written notes or any preparation beyond a few minutes of reflection, I believe to have notably strengthened my presentation abilities and reduced camera anxiety. I focused laboriously on eliminating filler sound effects and maintaining a presentable rhythm. I still have much to improve in the areas of proper vocal channelization, consistent eye contact, and unnecessary facial contortions.

With respect to any grammar inequities or incoherence, I would naturally attain much quality control by simply preparing the material prior and dedicating some rehearsal time. I embarked on an unusually ambitious project in improvising content in varying languages, all while maintaining very strict time constraints.

I intend to continue recording content as this partially reflects my longer term ambition. In faith with the content I publish here, I don’t cater to one particular audience. On the contrary, I wish to vary between scientific topic summary or exploration, introspection, and an occasional journal style reflection.

I entirely lack experience with overlaying or mounting video clips, least of all special effects. These are areas towards which I may ultimately dedicate some attention, but the immediate 80/20 focus remains faithful to strengthening vocal presentation and body language in lieu of cinematic finesse.