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Get Comfy On Camera (Chapter 6)

Chapter 6: Get Comfy On-Camera (Before It’s Too Late)


When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.

– John Richardson Jr.

Everyone who attends school develops their written abilities. It’s necessary to gain basic writing skills not only to avoid flunking out, but also to function in the world. However, there is no similar training that teaches people to communicate using video. Younger generations tend to have more experience than older generations, but not consistently. For most, this experience can only be gained by doing for those who are self-motivated. Then there are the few who earn a living in the media, that is, as an actor, newscaster, and so on.

Yet video is becoming part of everyday life so rapidly that it’s challenging to keep up. The ability to address a camera with heart and authenticity is an extremely valuable skill to possess. Eventually, those who communicate well on-camera will have a definite advantage over those who do not. It may happen sooner than you think.

Ten years ago, who would have thought that we would ditch our landlines in favor of mobile phones? Who could have predicted that blogging would transform journalism? Who could have imagined that we would be “tweeting” to one another or that we would exchange intimate personal details and photos on a service called Facebook?

Picture all the above but toss in a video component, not just as an add-on, but as an integral part. This shouldn’t be tough to do because it is already happening. This gives a taste of where we are likely to head in the next few years – but just a taste. It doesn’t include all the inventions we can’t imagine because no one has invented them – yet.

– Consider this –

Videophone technology has been around since the 1970s, but now it is poised to take off big time. Many cell phones already record video. There are rumors that one major mobile phone manufacturer plans to turn its phone into a mobile video conferencing device in the near future.

Chatting has changed. For roughly ten years, chatting online has meant text, but no longer. Tools that have built-in video capability such as Skype, iChat, and Google’s Wave platform are transforming what it means to chat.

Video conferencing was once confined to certain industries due to cost. With a camera built into every laptop and the numbers of telecommuters rising each year, video has become essential to a variety of businesses and its usage is increasing.

“Telepresencing” uses high-definition video and multiple LCD screens to emulate physical presence. Corporations are the primary users due to its expense. Nevertheless, like all technology, it will fall in price and find its way to home users. With 3D TV now a reality, 3D telepresence will no doubt follow.

Video resumes are requested with increasing frequency. Employers want to save time and have a “face-to-face” meeting before they meet in person. As cost-cutting becomes the norm, this will likely increase.

Video submissions are now accepted at colleges such as Michigan State University as a supplement to the traditional personal statement. At some point this may become a requirement.

Small business promotion, social activism, social media, and personal branding are three more areas that already use online video and will only see that opportunity grow in the coming years.

It is now easy to post live video online from a mobile phone. This poses a threat to broadcast news in the same way blogging challenged the newspaper industry. The many other ways this will change everyday life have yet to be seen.

Email changed communication. The speed of information increased exponentially. This has offered incredible opportunities as well as some challenges. Mainstream culture’s relationship to media, especially visual media, is not altogether healthy. Yet change rushes forward. Now it is up to you whether change happens because of video or whether you use video to create change. In other words, you can fight forces, or you can use them – to transform your own life and potentially those of others.

Are you ready? Let’s choose the best tool for you.

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