The Enthusiasm Project

The Art of Scripting vs. Improvisation on YouTube

March 04, 2024 Season 12 Episode 2
The Art of Scripting vs. Improvisation on YouTube
The Enthusiasm Project
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The Enthusiasm Project
The Art of Scripting vs. Improvisation on YouTube
Mar 04, 2024 Season 12 Episode 2

Send a text message to the show!

Can you be authentic and concise at the same time? Is it possible to share your personality while also staying on topic? This week's episode dives into the how's, why's, and huh?'s  of scripting vs. improvising content on YouTube.

🎙This week's  gear:
•The "Mystery Mic" was running through the Rodecaster Pro II with on the condenser preset.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

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🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
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📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E02 | Series Episode 166

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send a text message to the show!

Can you be authentic and concise at the same time? Is it possible to share your personality while also staying on topic? This week's episode dives into the how's, why's, and huh?'s  of scripting vs. improvising content on YouTube.

🎙This week's  gear:
•The "Mystery Mic" was running through the Rodecaster Pro II with on the condenser preset.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E02 | Series Episode 166

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome. My name is Tom. This is the Enthusiasm Project, season 2, episode no. Season 12, episode 2.

Speaker 1:

I've been doing this for a while. I swear I know what number it is and today you know what that recovery. There was a little bit of improvisation on my part, because today we're going to be talking all about the art of scripting versus improv'ing when it comes to YouTube content, and I'm excited to talk about this because this is a topic that I started putting together several weeks ago. But then something happened just in the past week that made it even more relevant and made me even a little bit more excited to talk to you about it and to share it with you. So that's what we're going to talk about today and can't wait to get into that. But before we get into that, I'm going to do a little bit of a gear rundown, because I've got a little bit of a treat for you today. I'm using the Roadcaster Pro 2. I'm on the generic condenser setting, so nothing crazy there. But the microphone I'm using today is a mystery mic. I can't tell you what this microphone is because it's secret and I really am enjoying it and the reason I wanted to use this and sort of do that unfair tease of not being able to share what it is is because there are some things. One I like this microphone and when you find out what it is you'll understand why I like this microphone. It makes a lot of sense that I would like it. But there's some cool things happening here.

Speaker 1:

So right now I'm pretty close to the microphone. I'm sitting in my chair, but I'm going to step back here. I'm walking. You can hear a lot of room tone right. Right now the quality doesn't sound great because of the room tone and the reverb and stuff. But if you notice, now I'm walking closer to the microphone. So I went from a couple of inches to about six feet away and both in the roadcaster and in editing afterwards I have not touched the gain levels. So think about that again. I'm not touching any levels, right. I just I'm a couple of inches from the microphone. I'm backing up, backing up. You can hear that reverb and that room tone. You wouldn't want the whole podcast to sound this way. But in terms of gain and volume and signal level, nothing has changed.

Speaker 1:

The microphone is keeping things perfectly even and so that's not to say that this microphone is supposed to be like an up close broadcast microphone and then a boom microphone. That would be. That's just clearly not what it's for, because it doesn't sound great when you're super far away. But where it really comes in handy is a situation like this Right now I'm a couple inches away from the microphone. Now I'm about a foot away from the microphone. Now I'm kind of over on the side of the microphone, kind of over on the other side of the microphone.

Speaker 1:

What that means is, even with a typical cardioid pickup pattern, the microphone can zero in on my voice and sort of keep the level and the sound quality, even I'm moving all around. I know we're not doing video version of the podcast, but if you saw the video version you would see that I'm not sitting still at all. I'm all over the place, I'm pointing my mouth in different directions and the microphone is doing a pretty decent job of keeping that sound, the level, everything very, very consistent. And that, I think, is really really cool, because if you're somebody who just doesn't want to have to focus on your mic placement and positioning, it's kind of nice because you can be facing different directions, you can be moving around, get closer, further away from the microphone and your audio is not going to jump all over the place, your sound's not going to be inconsistent and if you're somebody who works with clients or guests other people who are not used to being behind microphones you don't have to give them that tutorial. I don't know if you've ever had to do this I definitely have in the past where you have to explain to people here's a microphone, be this close to it, position it this angle towards your mouth, and then inevitably people will forget and they start leaning back in their chair and talking and getting too close and they're kind of all over the place and you have to go back and edit audio that has highs and lows and all that kind of stuff.

Speaker 1:

This is a great microphone for somebody who is new to microphones and sort of unfamiliar with that. You can kind of just be like, hey, just talk around the microphone and it's going to pick things up, but somehow I don't have two of these to show you the comparison but somehow it does have that regular cardioid pickup pattern and it knows there are some cool sensors on the front of the microphone so it actually knows that I'm the one who's talking and so it doesn't mean that it's just an omnidirectional microphone picking up all the sound in the room, and if I had someone next to me it would be like bleeding all over the place. I don't really know how it does it, it's all magic. And the kicker, which you may have kind of caught onto, is these sound like things that would be, you know, usb features or software features.

Speaker 1:

This is an XLR only microphone. It's an XLR condenser microphone and somehow it can do all that and that is. I've never seen anything like that before and it's pretty cool and I'm excited to talk more about it when it's released. But I've been playing with this over the past couple of days, really enjoying it, and I cannot wait until I can share more about it because I think a lot of people are really going to enjoy this microphone a lot when it's released. So, using a mystery mic this week into the RODECaster Pro 2 and that is our gear rundown, it makes my life easy because I can just sort of sit and be comfy and even if I drift a little bit away from the microphone or get close to the microphone, it's not going to mess up the audio quality. So hooray for more margin for error. I guess you could call it.

Speaker 1:

Let's dive in to what we're talking about today the art of scripting versus improvisation. So the reason I initially thought about this topic was because I've talked about the Elgato prompter a lot lately. If you've been watching, I made like three or four videos about it. I've talked on multiple podcasts about it. It's like one of my favorite things. I would absolutely put it up there with something like the ATEM Mini in terms of a revolutionary tool for my workflow.

Speaker 1:

The ATEM is a good example because what the ATEM did take multi-input video switching and make it relatively simple. Atems can get very complex, but the basics of you got these four inputs and you just have big buttons to switch between them the ATEM made it relatively simple and crazy affordable. I mean the ATEMs are insane because the base model ATEM now the ATEM Mini Pro it's like $300. Prior to that, the cheapest four-input HDMI hardware switcher was like $6,000 or $4,000. I forget I had the cheapest Roland one I could find at the school that I taught at. I forget the exact model, I believe it was $6,000. And then beyond that you're going into five, sometimes even six figure prices for multi-input video switching and the ATEM took a lot of those capabilities, a lot of those features, and made it $300. It was insane.

Speaker 1:

The Elgato Promptor kind of does the same thing. There have been inexpensive prompters it's $280. There are phone-based, tablet-based prompters that are like $100, $150. But they're clunky, they're frustrating. And then of course, there's other prompters with built-in monitors. As far as I can tell, currently the least expensive prompters that have a built-in display are about $1,000 and they only go up from there. And the problem is if those even have prompter software of any kind, it's usually really bad and the Elgato Prompter is $280, built-in display comes with software. Yes, the software needs some updates, but they're already putting out beta updates and beta version. The software, even with its issues, is the best prompting software I've ever used, which kind of tells you how low the bar is for prompter software but is only going to get better from there and I'm super excited about that. So the Elgato Prompter is a thing I've been talking about a lot, but what that's done is.

Speaker 1:

It sort of brought up the conversation and a lot of comments and even some direct messages and emails and stuff about using scripts and scripts versus outlines and trying to be authentic when you're talking and can you be authentic with the script and it's been interesting to see not only different people's opinions about this, but how different people approach it, because it's one of those things, like many things in the world of content creation, where there is no right or wrong answer, so much of it just comes down to you know it's like should you have a schedule on our YouTube channel? For someone like me, yes, a schedule and planned out videos really makes things manageable. For other people, it could be a nightmare to do that and not having a schedule is the way to go, so it's very important to figure out what works best for you. So the thing is the topic that comes up a lot is sort of authenticity, and there's an interesting discussion about this, because some people feel like if you're reading a script, it's very difficult to be authentic, and I totally understand that.

Speaker 1:

Every once in a while I do some client projects and involve script reading and I'm not the one who wrote the script, even if I'm able to go through and kind of like modify or change some things. Like they have written their script how it should be and I need to read it how it is, and it's hard sometimes because it's like my brain won't even put words in that order, because that's not how I speak and it's not the way I would say things. But I'm not. You know, I'm not being hired as a creative writer, I'm being hired as a presenter, essentially, or you know, just to use a voice or something, and it's tricky. It's sometimes tricky to make that, to make something you would never say sound natural. In the case of the Elgato prompter for independent content creators, even if you're reading from a script, hopefully you're not saying something that you would never say. The problem is it's tricky to read from a script Like it sounds like you're reading from a script, and it can be a skill that takes a while to build up, to learn how to read from a script in a natural way, which then leads into this discussion of outlines versus scripting.

Speaker 1:

Do you want a script where things are word for word, exactly how they should be, or do you want a general outline, like right now, for this episode, this podcast episode? I don't have a script. I don't know if you could tell. I know it sounded so polished and scripted. I have an outline, though I have a checklist in the Notes app of main points. I wanna hit, and I know that when I get to the end of those main points even if I kinda wander and weave about throughout when I get to the end I will have covered everything that I wanted to cover about this topic and I will feel confident that this episode is finished. It's complete in the way that I wanted it to be complete when I was planning it out and so for me that's been a good balance is, I use outlines a lot.

Speaker 1:

I will use direct scripts every once in a while if I have like very specific word play where it needs to go in a certain order for the joke to land. Sometimes I will like script that out and then other times, especially if it's something technical, I don't like doing deep dive tech spec type videos, but every once in a while I have to talk about technical specifications or things like that and I don't wanna mess those up. I don't wanna say megabytes instead of gigabytes or something you know or whatever it is. And so having tech specs in a script is very important and very helpful for overall video quality and stuff like that. But I feel like personally it doesn't really affect the ability to be authentic or not.

Speaker 1:

And if you look at when did the Elgato prompter come out? It came out. I got mine in October. I guess it's not about when it came out, it's about when you're actually able to get it. I got mine in October. I have used it.

Speaker 1:

Every video on my channel from October to now that you're looking at you're looking through the Elgato prompter. Now some of those you're looking at there's no script. There's nothing on screen, it's just a confidence monitor where I can see that everything's recording and the shots in focus. Other times there's an outline, like literally I would just move the notes app to the prompter, and other times there is kind of a direct script and I feel like, hopefully, if my plan has gone the way I want it to, you can't tell. Hopefully, if you click on any of those videos, you don't know if there's a script or an outline or nothing at all, and that's how I want it to be. I don't want it to be obvious either way and I feel like that's cool because that means, even when there's a script, it still feels like I'm being my authentic self. If there's no script and I'm just sort of rambling and going off, you know, based on whatever's in my head, it still also feels like my authentic self, and so I think a lot of that varies by person, and a thing that this kind of touches on is that this is a skill, these are skill sets, and I was reading a thing on Reddit the other day.

Speaker 1:

There was actually a very doom and gloom article about what was it called the pandemic of incompetence, and I think it might have been a little more doom and gloom, but it was essentially about how current students in high school and younger a lot of them sort of have, like this, learned helplessness, there's a lack of curiosity, and I know this is like ah, kids, these days it really sounds like it, but there's a lot of evidence of everything from like literally the tracked amount of minutes on like mindless apps, screen time sort of thing, all the way down to, you know, enrollment in different types of program, academic performance, reading skills, reading comprehension. Then, of course, there's a ton of outliers Like I can. You know, fortunately, as my time as a high school teacher, I have tons of outliers Every time someone says, oh, kids, these days it's like oh, yeah, but like look at all of these kids that I get to work with that are like absolutely amazing. And, you know, through YouTube I've been able to meet like younger people, some of whom are not so young anymore, who are also, like, absolutely amazing and some of the smartest people I know. But essentially the gist of the article was, generally speaking, there's sort of a lack of curiosity and a lack of problem solving, critical thinking, whether students just don't have it or were never taught it in the first place, which is probably what I kind of think the problem is. It's an issue and what does that mean? As time goes on and these people not only, like, enter the workforce, which is of course, a thing people talk about, but move beyond that, move beyond the entry level positions and when you need the really innovative technical high level, you know positions in society, who's going to fill those? Because it seems like there's a pandemic of incompetence popping up and that's sort of you know, that was kind of the gist of that article there and again I feel like that was leaning a little more heavily towards doom and gloom than probably is accurate, but I do think it was an important point to bring up.

Speaker 1:

But in the comments to the article, the top like most upvoted comment with someone saying like yeah, there can only be so many influencers and YouTube stars which, of course, like whenever you talk about things like that, it's always like you know, I think in more old school times it was kids wanted to be famous musicians, athletes or celebrities, movie stars or whatever. And now the modern version of that is being an influencer, a YouTuber, something along those lines and the fortunately and so it's often dismissed sorry, see, this is where I should have had a script. It's often sort of said with this dismissive tone of like oh yeah, you know, kids just wanna be YouTubers or whatever. But somebody actually replied to that and said you know, the thing that a lot of YouTubers and influencers don't highlight and don't make apparent are their soft skills and the like. I forget exactly how they phrased it, but soft skills and the ability to communicate, you know, think critically, problem solve, present themselves effectively, manage people not as necessarily a manager, but your audience, your viewers, dealing with brands, all of these soft skills that you know.

Speaker 1:

When a middle school kid just sees a streamer, a YouTuber or whatever, those aren't necessarily the things they're thinking about when they think about that being something they wanna do. So it there is a skill and there's so much like that that goes into YouTube. You know. I know Heather and I on the couples table have talked many times about like I have seen some channels about things where it's the info is really good, the technical production value of the channel is amazing, but the person is not a good presenter and maybe they could learn to be, or not. But I think sometimes people sort of think like because something looks good and sounds good, automatically the content will be good, because somebody has a skill set or a knowledge set, what they say is going to be good or understandable, and that's a lot of times absolutely not the case. The ability to communicate clearly, to present yourself, to connect with an audience, to understand your purpose, your tone, all of those things, those are skills and that's kind of what it comes down to when we're talking about scripting versus improvisation.

Speaker 1:

When people say like, oh, I can't read a script, I sound so robotic. What that says to me is you haven't practiced reading scripts enough. Everybody's gonna sound robotic the first dozen times they try to read a script, you know. But as you do it more and more, you sound a little more natural. Everybody's going to kind of, you know, go into the woods and go off topic if they try to just improvise something from scratch. But the more that you do it, the better you'll get at it. Even you know.

Speaker 1:

I know I use teaching as an example a lot, but it's a good example because it's something I did for a long time and it's also something that's pretty relatable, because pretty much everyone has spent some time in a classroom at school, had thoughts about teachers, and when I first started teaching, my lesson plans were so detailed you know, it's literally like from 10.10 to 10.25, we would be doing this on page whatever. Do the like. You know I type stuff out, write full pages. You know, the last half of my teaching career I just had index cards every day and it would just be like. You know, don't forget to take attendance. If we were doing a thing about, you know, whatever the lesson might be, I would just put a note of what it was like. Oh, projects due.

Speaker 1:

Next week final cut exporting scene coverage. That would be my lesson plan and I would know, going through those bullet points okay, I need to take attendance. That's the first thing to do. Get that out of the way. Oh, project due. Let's talk about the reminder that everyone has a project due and what the requirements are. Final cut exporting Okay, let's, you know, do a quick, you know five, 10 minute thing where I pull up the projector and walk everyone through some of the settings and the basics of how to export projects, just as a reminder so they can turn stuff in on time. And then, okay, scene coverage cool, this is gonna be our big thing here. I will have already had things set up where there's like cameras and a little studio and let's get some volunteers and go over there and talk about how to film a scene from different angles and get different scene coverage to edit. All that together that's a big. You know, that's a full 90 minute class with some pretty in depth technical instruction. But the lesson plan for it is four bullet points. And that's four bullet points because I had done it so many times over so many years that I didn't need to.

Speaker 1:

You know, I'm sure everybody has something in your life where it's like, you know, if someone was gonna pay you $10,000 to go give a speech about any topic you want, but you need to talk for 45 minutes straight, I'm sure all of us have something, whether it's, you know, a TV show, a band, a political idea, whatever, something that you're just so into and obsessed with and familiar with that you can talk about it without needing any outlines, any notes, any anything. It's your area of expertise and that's a skill right. You weren't born with that. You weren't always able to do that. It's time, energy and effort that got into being able to do that, and that's something that's really overlooked.

Speaker 1:

People spend so much time focusing on what camera do I need, what microphone do I need all of which are very important, but if you can't communicate and you can't present on camera or behind the microphone in an effective way, then it kind of doesn't really matter. And so, going back to what I said before, when someone says that reading a script to make them sound robotic, yeah, to me that says you need more practice reading scripts. If somebody says they can't improvise things because they go off track, well, that kind of is a weaning area, and that's why I think outlines are really great, because they're sort of that sweet spot of keeping you on track. You can, you know, put some specific things that maybe are semi scripted and then sort of launch you into whatever your next topic is, but they also then teach you how to, to improvise a little bit and you know things will change too. You'll have a new thought If you're working with other people or an audience. Someone might say something or bring something up that suddenly becomes relevant, that you couldn't plan for, and you need the ability to sort of adapt to that. You know that kind of stuff happens all the time, but I think it's important to emphasize that it is a skill, and so I see this debate pop up a lot in comments and online. You know, scripting versus outlining and it's so black and white, and I don't think I really ever hear anyone talk about the skill set that not only is it about what works for you. Some people are more comfortable with scripts, some more comfortable with outlines, some more with improvisation, but so much of it is about about just putting in the time and the practice. So here's an example. So that was kind of like the topic that I wanted to talk about because it's been coming up so much about the prompter. But then last week something happened that was really interesting and sort of highlighted this in a really interesting way. At the time I'm recording this and the time you're listening to this, if you listen, on the day that it's released.

Speaker 1:

My most recent video is called my most underrated, my favorite pieces of underrated, affordable camera gear, something like that. The title's vaguely clunky, but it's something like that I wanted. This is a video idea I'd had for a while about. I wanted to make, I wanted to highlight small pieces of you know, video, audio gear that I think are awesome, but I would never make a whole video about. They're just sort of too too small, too niche, too, whatever. But you know you put 10 of those things together and hey, now there's, there's enough room there for a whole video and that's kind of cool. And so that was the idea for a video.

Speaker 1:

I don't really think that's an original idea for video. Tons of channels have done stuff like that. I was trying to keep things under $100, to keep it relatively affordable, because you know there's a lot of small little doohickeys and whatnot's in there and if someone was like, hey, that's cool, I wanted them to be able to go order it without, you know, draining their bank account. And I also tried to focus on things I hadn't talked about before. So there's other cool stuff, like, you know, mounting arms and whatever, but things that have those things have popped up in other videos and so I tried to focus on stuff that I had not covered in any video as far as I knew, at least, at least you know, to my recollection anyway and that seemed like a cool video idea. And then I kind of decided well, sort of a couple of things happened. One is over the past few months I've been going back and watching a lot of older YouTube videos.

Speaker 1:

I've been trying to think about like what was it back in like 2011 or so that really hooked me into YouTube? I've been watching YouTube since it started, since like 2005,. But for those first five or six years it was really like the website for funny video clips. You know it's like oh, did you see the bootleg fireworks? Did you see the Charlie bit my finger or whatever? You know, like it was that kind of a thing. Or, you know, trying to watch a bootleg family guy episode that was broken into like four parts in low quality. That was kind of what YouTube was for me, at least for those first number of years.

Speaker 1:

It wasn't until specifically around 2011, maybe into 2012, that I started actually following channels, and at the time I don't even think I knew how to subscribe to a channel, so I would just sort of check in the channels. But you know, I would think about like, hey, I'm interested in this camera, let me see camera reviews, let me see unboxings, let me see this one specific channel that I like. Let me, you know, check out all of their videos on this topic. And that's where channels like Dave Dugdale, dslr video shooter, film Riot two out of three of those still going strong to this day, which is incredibly impressive. That's where a lot of those types of channels first popped onto my radar.

Speaker 1:

And Dave Dugdale was a big one because he did. His channel was learning DSLR video, like. It literally started with him getting the Canon T2i and I think he had a 50 millimeter prime lens with it. Knew nothing about filming video and over the years you kind of watched him, you know, progress into having a super pro setup, being a very skilled videographer and then diving really heavy into like computer modifications, upgrades, editing software, like really technical stuff, and it was cool. That was really cool to see.

Speaker 1:

And the thing about Dave's videos I think pretty much all of them, but especially a lot of those early ones is he would have B-roll mixed in, but he did such a good job of like the B-roll was to help clarify something. You know, if he's talking about a camera slider, he would show a B-roll shot of that. He got with the camera on the slider and then there would be a B-roll shot of him using the slider. And you know, like contextualizing, I guess, which I try to do with my B-roll I think a lot of people on YouTube do a really good job with not having just random, incoherent B-roll. But the videos were not hyper edited or anything. I don't even know the length of time.

Speaker 1:

I feel like a lot of his videos you know 10 to 25 minutes, which, again, we're talking back in 2011, 2012. That's pretty long for a YouTube video at that time and so much of it were just him, like in his home office, sitting down and talking to you about something, and sometimes he didn't need slick B-roll, he would just hold up the camera and, like, point to a part of it and show you what he's talking about, and that's sort of it, and I really liked it because it felt like that's one of the channels that I think of specifically when I think of having the first feelings of. I could do this too, and maybe it would be really cool to have my own YouTube channel one day because it felt like I was just hanging out with someone who was telling me about some cool stuff or some interesting stuff and it didn't feel like out of reach. It didn't feel like something I was incapable of. It was like, oh, I'd love to go do my own version of that too, and that was really neat and I just sort of, you know, in this world where a lot of people talk about YouTube fatigue and watching it less and stuff, I was kind of just wondering like what was it that hooked me back then? And a lot of those videos have such a different tone and such a different pace.

Speaker 1:

And then a while ago, a couple months ago, for Patreon and channel supporters, I started uploading a couple updates that were just sort of I mean, honestly, they were just kind of me rambling in front of the camera for a bit like I just pressed record in the e-cam, talked about stuff. Sometimes I had like a microphone or something I was showing off. Sometimes I was just talking about ideas or the channel or just giving updates or whatever and sharing those. And I got more positive feedback about those than anything I had posted for channel supporters ever, and typically I would almost kind of do blog posts like here's an update, here's that. You know there's hyperlinks in there and stuff is kind of formatted very similar to like a short blog post.

Speaker 1:

And a lot of people said that they really prefer the video updates. Even if it was just me kind of sitting and rambling is what it felt like, because they could just turn it on and have it on in the background like a podcast. You know they didn't need to watch every frame of it, they could listen to it and kind of glance over if I mentioned something interesting or held something up and people really enjoyed that and was like, okay, you know that's not terribly difficult for me to produce and you enjoy it, so I'll put that there. So then I was kind of thinking, okay, if I'm going back and sort of appreciating sort of this slower paced thing, people who have taken the extra step to go out of their way to support the stuff that I make seem to also like this. What if I tried something like that for everybody on the main channel? And I know that's.

Speaker 1:

You know, what worked on YouTube 13 years ago might not be super relevant or effective today, and you know the thing that people like who have already decided that they've opted into really liking the stuff that I make. Maybe other people who are just sort of random. You know the algorithm randomly pushes stuff out to. They might not be as patient or like it quite as much, but anyway, what I decided to do was take that underrated gear video and film it in one shot, unedited, so it's just me talking into the camera. Every piece of gear is something I just pick up and hold up. There's no B roll shots, even though I totally am aware at times it would probably be more effective to have one or two B roll shots to specifically show something you know, without having to wait for the camera to focus in on it or whatever.

Speaker 1:

But for this video specifically, you know, I wanted to explore that and I made the video. I was pretty nervous about that video because what I was worried about was that I was going to publish it and people were going to say that I was being lazy because it felt kind of like cheating. Like the video is 34 minutes long. I think it took 36 minutes to film. You know, like it's, there's a little bit at the beginning and a little bit at the end that I cut off, otherwise it is unedited. There's not a single cut in the whole video and editing it was very easy because I just went through and made sure it made sense. I just saw the color a little bit, you know, polished up the sound a little bit and at the end I added in the the supporter names and the outro music. That's it. But again there's not a single cut in that video.

Speaker 1:

So there's a couple mistakes. There's parts where you can see me glancing off, you know, not even because I didn't have a script so the prompter was just the confidence monitor, so you can see me glance off to the side to look at kind of my notes, like wait, what was I supposed to talk about next? And you know it's way slower paced than one of my typical videos and I'm not even someone I don't think so who hyper edits, like I'm not. I don't do the Mr B style of editing where there's a cut every fraction of a second and things are just loud and in your face and all over. I try to keep things interesting and fun to watch and you know if I talk about something I try to then show B-roll clip of that thing or a specific part of it, especially if it's a product I really do try to like. If you can't hold this product in your hands and look at it and see what it feels like, I try to make a video that gives you the best like by proxy version of that. Through me, you can see and feel and hold and understand what this thing is so you can decide if it's something you're interested in or something that would be a good fit for you. And you know, I don't, I don't think that that, you know, goes into the hyper editing.

Speaker 1:

But from a production standpoint it's a lot of work. You know it's a lot of planning, it's a lot of work. Takes a couple days to make, even you know, a simple basic video, usually at least. And it felt kind of like cheating when, honestly, this video was less than an hour to make, like if you count the raw footage and the time editing and exporting, it was like under an hour. And then the you know, the thumbnail was just a frame grab and the title was just what the video is like 10 pieces of underrated gear or whatever. And I was excited to try that. But I was very nervous when I scheduled it and then, much to my surprise, it became like one of my most popular videos. It was one out of ten on YouTube for a while.

Speaker 1:

It like for me at this point with my channel, a typical average video in the first day that it's uploaded will get somewhere between two and three thousand views. If I kind of get around like two thousand twenty five hundred in that first day, it's usually kind of on track, which is pretty modest for a channel of my channel, a channel of my size. It's. You know it's not going to be on the trending page anytime soon, but it's also not zero. This video, this unedited video, was ten thousand at the end. I don't know where it is now, but it it. I was so surprised when I checked it in the morning I was like wait, did I publish like a different video that I forgot about?

Speaker 1:

Like this, this video is outperforming like other videos that I spent like weeks on, like really polished, wonderful things, like me just sitting and talking for a bit, and in the video I do mention I do explain that. So it's not just this random thing I dropped on people, but I explain like this video is going to be unedited, me just sharing stuff. There are chapter markers so you can skip around if you want, which I think really does help. And so a lot of the comments. The comments kind of split between, you know, people talking about the gear and like suggesting their own things they like or asking questions or confirming that something's really cool or whatever, and then the the other big chunk of comments are about that structure and the vast majority of them are really positive, like people really liking sort of I keep kept seeing the words authentic, genuine, like, able to connect those kinds of things is what they felt with that type of YouTube content. And a lot of people said that they're excited to see more channels returning to this type of content, which makes me think that other channels are also doing maybe slower-paced videos.

Speaker 1:

So it's a 35-minute unedited video that people seem to like and seem to do really well in terms of analytics and stuff, which is crazy, and it was there. There's no script. I'm not reading from the prompter or anything on it, and that, to me, was so interesting when we're talking about scripting versus outlining, because, you know, there were, of course, a couple people who were upset with it and were just like. You know, please, like, go back to editing videos like this is such a waste of time or you know like, oh yeah, it's so much better to look at blurry blobs in front of your face instead of good footage or whatever, but they, I feel like those people missed the point honestly. And it's not that I would want every video to be like that, because then I feel like the pendulum would swing way too far in the other direction and that would become old very quickly.

Speaker 1:

But it's a cool thing to know that, like you know what, every once in a while and for a certain topic that was a topic that just worked really well for that style of video Every once in a while it might be an effective thing to do. And it even does have me thinking as I go into, you know, making quote, unquote, normal videos. But if you know what, if I took that video, which is an unedited video, and I edited it only a little bit? So what if you know, I took a video, I made a video like that and maybe cut out some of the mistakes in the dead space, put in a little bit of B-roll, so maybe it's almost like there's there's tears of editing videos. There's the fully unedited thing on one end of the spectrum and the you know very polished high production value thing on the other end and everything in the middle and it kind of just depends on what the topic is.

Speaker 1:

But what I'm noticing, at least right now, was the biggest value to this unedited video was the connection with the audience, where people felt like that was what I said at the beginning. I wanted this to feel like you're just hanging out with me and I'm telling you about stuff. Because that's probably what happened, Like if you came over and we were hanging out and we were in my studio, I would just start telling you about stuff, and that's the same with everybody I know on YouTube. Like I did a another Patreon post recently that was with Alan from SoundSpeeds, who he came and visited a couple of weeks ago and I literally this was not we weren't planning on making a video, but I just asked him about XLR cables because he had made me a handmade cable a while ago. And then last year Rode came out with their cables, which I've been liking, and I was kind of asking those. He literally, you know, like was taking the cables apart and showing me the things and pointing out.

Speaker 1:

It was like I'm just watching a SoundSpeeds video right now. I was like, okay, let's turn on the camera and can. Can you just say this stuff in front of the camera, like it's? It's silly to let this go and record it. And same thing with, like you know, my buddy, peter Lindgren, who you know we talk all the time and so many times, even when we're hanging out in person, it feels like I'm watching a Peter Lindgren video, like my own personal one. If I ask him like, oh, do you really like that capture clip on your backpack? And he's like oh, yeah, the capture clip is really cool because you can do this, and maybe it's just because we're trained to like talk that way as YouTubers. But I also think it's because a lot of people who have channels and people have been fortunate enough to become friends with, are really enthusiastic about this stuff, and so when we talk about it, it we kind of can't help but almost make it into a video.

Speaker 1:

And I totally forgot why I told those stories, but those are enjoyable stories. See, this is where where the script is needed. I don't remember why I told that story honestly, which is really funny, but you know there was a point there and I'm sure you can make the leap to. Whatever my point was, I guess I guess it was about that connection with people. That was kind of the biggest thing I was taking away from the comments was the connection with people hanging out, spending time together, sharing you know my thoughts about a thing. And then you know, for me, somebody who does like to have at least a little bit of like mild humor, at least in the videos the fun part was there there were like jokes that are in that video that I would have cut out in an edited one, not because they're like bad or inappropriate or anything, but just because they're. They're kind of clunky, they're more, it's less like here's a clever wordplay thing which I like those I can be wrong, I'm proud of those. I like those like want to keep doing those, but it's more of like you know, like like I.

Speaker 1:

One of the one of the products that I talk about is a set of gloves photography gloves and they're really cool like weather proof gloves. They have capacitive fingertips so you can use touchscreens with them, but the thumb, middle and index fingers on each hand, the tips can like fold back so that way you can. It's perfect for still holding a camera or a drone remote controller or something like that while wearing gloves. That's like you know what they're made for. But I pull out the gloves and on the confidence monitor I was looking at it really looked like the OJ Simpson trial and so I was like I had, you know, made a joke about like these are my gloves that I use for, you know, drones and crime and like it was sort of like a throughout that whole segment and kind of the rest of the video was sort of the joke of like committing crimes with these gloves and it was. It was like stupid and silly but kind of funny and it was almost like an inside joke for anyone who was watching that video.

Speaker 1:

And there was another. The other one was one of the products was sandbags. You can go to B&H photo and get pre-filled sandbags, which I know sounds like why can't you just fill up your own sandbags? It's a pain, it's total pain and you can just for $15 or whatever, just get a pre-filled sandbag shipped across the country to you, which is amazing. And I was trying to explain like these bags are really cool because they have double zippers, so that way it's not just one layer of zippers but two, so the sand doesn't fall out and the sand itself is in this really thick plastic bag. So I've never had one break or anything. But when I opened up the sandbag and showed the sand in the plastic bag it really looked like cremated remains, like it was hard not to make jokes about that.

Speaker 1:

And those are like those were funny little moments that would have probably been edited out for clarity, because what makes those jokes funny? I mean, okay, I'm using I'm being very generous with the term funny here, but what makes those funny isn't so much like that. It was a funny joke in a moment, but it kind of did become like an inside joke that I was able to reference repeatedly throughout the video because it was on the top of my mind. Which is exactly what happened if we were hanging out right Like we'd be doing something. Something happens and it kind of becomes an inside joke and then throughout the rest of the night or whatever, we can say that thing or reference that thing and we laugh because it's that inside joke. That's kind of what those did.

Speaker 1:

And the reason those would have been edited out of another video is because it would have been too hard to like make that coherent. You know I would just be at some point later in the video kind of randomly referencing committing crimes like what are you talking about? In order for that to make sense, this other part has to make sense, but that's taking too much time away from the actual point of the video. You know, like it's just for the sake of, like, keeping the video lean and focused and on point, those things would have just been cut out, but they weren't cut out and so I think lots of little moments like that helped people to feel, you know, a little more connected.

Speaker 1:

It's not unlike this podcast, to be honest with you. It's very much like a podcast episode where it's like I know I could edit these and cut out the mistakes and cut out the ums or bad sounds or things that happen or whatever. But part of what I like about this show is the fact that it can feel as much as possible as me just sort of talking to you about stuff. And you know it's a one way conversation because it's a pre-recorded audio, but it's about as close as we could get to. You know, if we're hanging out and I'm dominating the conversation, I get, I guess, and that is. You know, that was pretty interesting and it really led to the coolest thing about that video.

Speaker 1:

One of the coolest things was there were multiple people who have their own channels, who left comments and were saying stuff. Like I'm editing a video right now and I was going to cut out a bunch of stuff because I thought it was too unrelated, but now I think I want to leave it in because it lets me show my personality more and it lets me, like, create a more, you know, mellow tone, and so it was like that video gave people permission in a weird way. It's not like sometimes you just need to see someone else doing something you're thinking of doing and it's that, quote unquote gives you permission to do it. But even Heather was then working on a video and she was like, yeah, I had this idea. It was kind of a big idea, but instead I kind of want to just like press record and go. And so I was like, wow, it seems like audience, you know, viewers kind of want to be able to connect with people in this way and even creators sort of want to be able to create and communicate in this way, and this little goofy gear video was sort of a good. It was a good experience for me, and it turns out that for some people, it's also a pretty good example of what that kind of thing can be.

Speaker 1:

Now the thing is though, as I said, I wouldn't want to make every video like that. I wouldn't want to never edit a video. But the question I was kind of asking myself is is this video really unedited? Because what I wouldn't want to do and I kind of talked a little bit to people in the comments on that about this is, as happy as I am, that it's a motivating thing for people to be like oh, I don't need to do hyper editing and stuff. I can kind of just sit and talk in front of a camera. For a lot of people, especially if you're new, if you just press record and talk for 35 minutes, you might not end up with a 35 minute video that people want to watch and that doesn't. This is where I hope you know I'm not like tooting my own horn or being braggadocious, but it goes back to that skill set.

Speaker 1:

The video is unedited. There's not a single cut or anything. There was not a script for it, but there was an outline for it. There was. I did have each piece of gear in order. I made a little notes doc, that was on my monitor. It had each piece of gear with the price, so I could say like, oh, this thing is $49. This thing is $29, whatever, and I ordered them in a specific order that I thought kind of made sense so I could transition in ways that just sort of flowed well. So, right there, the video is not being edited, but the plan, that's all that. The outline was there wasn't like multiple bullet points per item or anything, because it kind of goes back to that lesson planning thing of. This is gear that I've used a lot and so I can talk about each piece without needing to have notes to refer to. But I do want to remember what order to talk about things in and I do want to remember the price of everything accurately, which is tough to do, you know, on my own without a couple of notes. And then I also, of course, had everything ready to go. Like all of the gear I was talking about was sitting on my desk, just out of frame, so that I could very easily reach over, pick something up, talk about it and then put it down, you know, usually on the floor on the other side there. So there was, like there was planning put into it. Right, it was, you know, planning and preparation put into it which helped me to be able to create that video. So that, which is something that you know I don't want to overlook when we talk about this, is an unedited video. Yes, it's unedited, but a lot of planning and preparation went into it. Plus, there is my own skill set, which this is why I want to be clear that I'm not tooting my own horn.

Speaker 1:

I used to be a horrific public speaker. Not only was I nervous and scared, but I could not stay on track. I could not make a point. If you, you know, if you were to go back and watch like presentations I gave in high school or my first year or two of college. They are confusing at best because it's like you don't even know what I'm talking about and I'm so nervous and shaky. You know I've talked about this in a couple videos.

Speaker 1:

I think my first year teaching I had to get these special sweat pads because you know I'd always wear like a button-up shirt and a tie and stuff. But you can get these little pads that you sort of stick under your armpits and they soak up your sweat, because I would get so nervous that I was like not just little sweat stains but like massive, like did somebody spill something on you? Levels of sweat. And it was interesting because that's how I felt at first and after honestly wasn't even the end of the first year, but after a few months of doing it I kind of just noticed like I don't need these anymore. And it was crazy, like I mean, physiologically, it was crazy to go from like I'm gonna dehydrate myself because of how much I'm sweating to I can, you know, raise my arms to the sky. And there's nothing there that that just came from repetition, from planning, and I'm not somebody who innately had that skill. It sort of got built up.

Speaker 1:

And then you know, teaching teaching was really the first school I taught at we had six periods a day, six hour long periods a day. The second school I taught at, we had four 90 minute periods a day and the kids had eight classes. So it was like periods one through four one day, five through eight the next day, one through four the next day. So it was kind of a weirder schedule. But those point being you're essentially doing like multiple performances, multiple speeches all day, every day for years, and your audience is teenagers who are, like you know, just simmering in hormones. Their bodies are changing every second. They even the ones who want to pay attention are like in this soup of teenage hormone nests, trying their best to just figure things out. And now I have to like teach them a skill. Got a little easier when I'm talking about digital media, but when I started I was teaching English. It's like okay, you guys really want to hang out here and talk about grammar? Okay, that's, the only way to make that happen is to be able to talk about grammar in a way that's interesting or relatable or mildly entertaining. And you know, like that was a good audience to kind of cut your teeth on.

Speaker 1:

I have a friend who is a middle school teacher and maybe about five or six years ago she started also doing just open mic stand-up comedy and then she was doing really well and got like quite popular. And so one of the local like bars that has a comedy night. It's like oh, can you do a weekly set or whatever? You know you can do 45 minutes every week, sure? So she was doing a brand new 45 minutes set every week for like months and she didn't realize, like, when a stand-up comic has a stand-up comedy special and you see their hour-long thing, they have workshopped that for usually what? At least a year, sometimes multiple years, to like figure out their jokes, get their timing, get their structure and then get it into something that is a very tight, you know, 60 minutes and I'm not saying, you know, obviously, like a person who's essentially improving a 45 minute set every week is on the level of a professional comedian. But she won, like you know, there's like stand-up events and things and she won them and she got like the biggest crowds, I think to this day. But she didn't realize until months later that like she didn't have to make a new thing every time, like she could have, you know, material that you can come back to.

Speaker 1:

But because she's a middle school teacher, she is used to not repeating the same thing at least in the course of a year. She's used to. Every time I see this group, every time I see a group, it needs to be a new topic that we're talking about and the group she's used to our middle schoolers, who have even less attention span than high schoolers do, and she's to keep them engaged and interested in topics that they're being forced to learn. She's. She's an English teacher, so it's like they're not. You know they have to take that class to pass to the next grade. It's not an elective or anything. And when you think about, you know, distracted middle schoolers and you think also about intoxicated adults. There's a lot of overlap between what you need to do to keep their attention and keep them interested in what you're talking about, and she was able to do that partially because of her personality and her life experience and all that, but also because she'd, I think, because she'd been a teacher for years.

Speaker 1:

It was a uniquely preparing experience for something like that, and so that's why sometimes, if I'm, if I do a podcast where I managed to make some sort of sense for an hour, or a live stream or a 35 minute unedited video, there are there's experience and skill set coming into play that have been worked on for a very long time, and I'm not special because I can do that. You know anybody can do that, but I just have taken the time to do that. It's the same thing like if someone has practiced an instrument for many years and they pick up the instrument, they play it really well and then you've never played it and you pick it up and you don't know what to do. It doesn't mean that they're better than you or anything. It just means, oh, they put more time into this one specific skill, but they're probably a person who's then more equipped to go on stage and play that instrument than you are.

Speaker 1:

It's kind of the same thing here whether you script or improv. Stuff is personal preference, but when we're talking about stuff like this video, this, this unscripted, unedited, you know, 34 minute video that's gonna go out to thousands of people, it does take a skill set to be able to talk about something in a way that's at least somewhat interesting for that amount of time. And I think to just tell someone like, yeah, I press record, talk about whatever you want, don't edit it, upload it. For a lot of people that would actually be a big mistake. But pretty much anybody, if you're willing to put in the reps, can learn, can build up that skill set to be able to do that, and that's that's really the main thing that I kind of wanted to emphasize here was I think it's something that's worth trying, it's worth experimenting, and every, every creator for themselves, needs to figure out where that line is between you know, totally improvising something and totally scrimping something or outlining in the middle or whatever it might be, but to also know that you know if you're bad at reading a script now or you're bad at improvising now, all that takes is practice and they are skills that will be built up, the same way that you know, on that, that article that I talked about earlier where somebody said you know the youtubers don't emphasize their soft skills that's very true, like it's a skill set, and if you go back and watch even big channels, you go back and watch their first videos.

Speaker 1:

You you oftentimes see people that are awkward and uncomfortable and things that are poorly edited or whatever, and then you watch their most recent videos and they seem like a polished professional. It's like, yeah, you're looking at thousands of hours and many years of practice in between and I just think that's kind of the important thing to remember is, even if we're talking about an artistic endeavor, we're talking about also talking about a skill set that needs to be practiced and honed and also, like, maintained. I don't think it's as much of a use it or lose it thing as a perishable skill as some things are. But you know, if you build up your public speaking skill set, your presenting skill set, your, your on-camera personality, and you don't use it for a couple of years, there's definitely gonna be some rust there when you go back to it. So continuing to sharpen and hone and refine these skills is something that is really important and incredibly helpful.

Speaker 1:

So that's a that's the end of that chapter. That's we're talking about today, and I just thought that was so interesting. It's fun to already have an idea about improv versus scripting. And then this, this random, you know, video experience sort of happened that was really related to that, which I thought was super cool. So thank you so much for listening. As always, if you have something you want to share, if you want to either share something scripted or or improv, you can go to highmanamistomcom and click little button says leavea message for the show and we can include you in a future episode. Of course, episode five of the season will be the Q&A episode, as always, but you don't have to wait until then. If you want to send something, send something anytime or you can email tom at enthusiasmprojectcom. So, with that being said, really appreciate you listening, really appreciate you giving me your time on my unscripted semi outlined episode here and I hope you have a safe, happy, healthy rest of your week and I will see you next time you.

The Art of Scripting vs Improvisation
Content Creation
YouTube, Teaching, and Soft Skills
Developing Public Speaking and Communication Skills
Revisiting Slow-Paced YouTube Content
Unedited Video Connection and Inside Jokes
Unedited Video and Public Speaking Skills
Skill Development in Content Creation

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