“Creatives on Camera” Course with Jess Keating: Week One Reflections

I am taking a “Creatives on Camera” class with the talented author, scientist, and presenter, Jess Keating. It seems fairly impossible that I would become comfortable on camera and embrace the social media possibilities of video in my career as a writer and educator but I am up for the challenge.

This first session has taught me so much! One example: Look at the camera, not at the people on the screen. Also, the looking straight at your audience and being physically present in your body helps your audience feel at ease. Jess is a master of connecting through video with a sense of intimacy and joy.

For homework this week, we have 4 assignments:

  1. What is your “why?”

Why am I taking the “Creatives on Camera” class?

Inner beauty is the only true beauty yet when I come face-to-face with myself on camera, I judge rather than embrace my imperfections. I also talk too fast. I would like to become more comfortable on camera.

Jess cultivates a thoughtful online social media presence. She stresses being perceived over being visible. I need to learn more about this.

I would like to share my passion for reading, writing and creating with others. I also have a desire to make a difference for those readers and writers who haven’t yet found success in the classroom.

Through my writing, I want to speak about nature, resilience, suffering, and joy.

I am looking forward to learning from and getting to know Jess and the other members of our “Creatives on Camera” community.

2. FaceTime with a friend.

My husband graciously FaceTimed with me from his office. Employing Jess’ tips helped me to speak more slowly and looking directly into the camera helped me focus on what I was saying rather than responding to his body language. Hmm. Is that a good thing? Yes, I think it is because it means that I am taking the space to communicate what I wish to communicate. In the past, I was so alert to micro-expressions that I would hurry my presentation in response to my perceptions of the impatience or the boredom of others.

3. Short Video Message:

Compose a short video message with an introduction, one or two pieces of information, and a sign-off.

4. Clear Your Airways Before Public Speaking

As someone who usually starts my presentations by talking a mile a minute, I really appreciate this tip: Take a pen (or other object) and slowly describe what it looks like out loud for a few minutes. This helped me prime my speaking voice to present in a calm and composed manner.

In Session 2 of “Creatives on Camera,” Jess asked us to go deep and reflect on our visibility fears that are rooted in past experiences. We were encouraged to journal about our experiences related to “going public.” Growing up, the expectation was “be quiet” and when that changed by high school and college, I didn’t have the tools to speak up. It wasn’t until I had a mentor that encouraged and expected me to share my expertise with the school community that I started to become more comfortable with public speaking.

I believe that the world needs everyone to share their voice and heart. I will facilitate that through upcoming workshops.

If you would like to learn more about Jess Keating or her classes: https://www.jesskeatingbooks.com