How To Review a Friend’s Video Presentation Part 1

OK, so your friend or co-worker has asked you to review a video she’s made of herself. She wants you to give her honest feedback about how she’s presenting.

You’ve said yes–hey, maybe she’s promised to treat at the movies.

So, here are some quick tips so that you can place yourself in the best “reviewing frame-of-mind” before you sit down to watch her video.

Part One of helping your friend review her video presentation is to make sure you’ve asked her the old boring Who, What, Where, When slew of questions. These questions are kind of like filling your car with gas–mundane but you can’t go far without it.

Oh, and please grab a piece of paper to jot down her answers; it’s not cheating to refer to some notes while you watch the video she’s made. Go ahead and ask her:

Who is her audience? Is your friend into poetry? Is she presenting a reading of her original work at a slam? Or is she entering an Oral Interp competition? It matters.

It matters because you need to be able to put yourself, at least mentally, in the audience’s shoes. Ministers preside over weddings and funerals and Sunday Service, but they are discrete audiences and the sermon needs adjusted accordingly. It’s the same with nearly every presentation. You need to know just a bit about her audience and the setting she is presenting in.

So not only do you need to know “who” she is talking to, but you need to also know where they are at–are they in a small bar, in a church, in a tent-revival setting, in a conference room, in the person’s home? The preacher adjusts the message for the setting and for the audience. Salespeople do the same. You have to adjust your attitude based on where your friend is presenting. Only then can you judge if her style and body language and tempo are appropriate for the atmosphere.

Ask her for the size of the audience. If it’s a small gathering, a presentation that mixes both standing and sitting may be appropriate. Plus you’ll be able to tell if her voice is too loud or if she’s speaking too fast.

Next, ask her when she’ll be delivering her talk. Evening? Morning? Near a certain holiday? Again, based on her answer you’ll be able to imagine yourself feeling like the person watching your friend would feel during the pitch. Is your friend on just before lunch? Picture your stomach growling, and that your mind is starting to think about lunch. Is your friend engaging enough to make you want to put off a bite to eat for five more minutes, or is she droning on redundantly?

Next: Don’t Blink, because first impressions count.