I love teaching people about video, pretty sure this hasn't been a secret at all. And just when I think I'm getting to the top of my game, the industry shifts - and their are new tools, tricks, tips, and gear to learn about. But, that's one of the reasons I love it...so much change! 

As a public speaker in Minnesota, I tend to rely on a few "tried and true" speech decks that have been met with positive reactions from crowds. One of these, is my smartphone video workshop - that, in 2017 I expanded and turned into a 4 hour "bootcamp". Because, wow - your brain does get a workout trying to ingest all things video for that long. 

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The feedback from attendees, overall has been positive - and seeing lightbulb moments as they go from frustration, to excitement - is one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world. But, when I started these bootcamps, one thing I didn't expect...was to learn FROM my audience. Here are a few things these extremely smart people have taught me. 

1. LEAVE TIME TO BREATHE
     I've realized that I'm so afraid of not covering something that people want to learn, that I was filling absolutely every single minute of time. New skills take time to process, and feeling overwhelmed without a brain break - hasn't ever helped anyone. 

2. ASK WHAT THEY WANT MORE OF
    After the bootcamp, I stuck around for about an hour and a half having conversations with students and answering questions specific to their organization. One of the consistent questions people kept asking was, "I can never get people to open up on camera. How do I do that?" The funny thing is, is that when it comes to video in the professional realm, technology hasn't really been my strength - I leave that up to my director of photography, most of the time. So, my actual strength IS interviewing people, and a few different crews in town have told me as much. I realized, my deck had a lot about storytelling in it, but not a lot about how to conduct the proper interview. (hits self on forehead...duh, girl!) So, what's in the works for 2018? A special breakout bootcamp with hands on interview techniques. As well as a bootcamp about using live video platforms, and a potential "shoot and share" hands on only bootcamp. 

3. SHOW THINGS INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT THEM
    I brought a few pieces of equipment with me to the bootcamp, so we could pass them around the room, touch things and get an idea for how easy it would be to use. This included my Joby Gorillapod Pro as well as my brand new, bright blue yeti usb microphone (I'll be using it for voiceover vids and podcasts mostly!) 
 

At the end of the session, Tom came up and said, "Man, I'm so glad I got to handle that tripod, because it's so much more sturdy than the one I have that I thought was the same thing." This has also inspired the idea of a "show and tell" workshop - with way more hands on opportunities. 

4. THE WORKSHOP IS ABOUT THEM, NOT ME
    Of course, it's about the students. But, the control freak in me started to panic when questions were flying and we were getting too behind to finish all the content. In the end, I had to let go - and realize this audience wanted to learn more about legal scenarios, than editing in premiere - and just roll with it. This also has me convinced I should probably break the bootcamp into a class format at some point, so the topics are hyper focused and we can deep dive with one thing at a time. 

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5.  CONNECTIONS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS KNOWLEDGE
   The unexpected side effect of both of these events this year has been this: by keeping the class at 25 people or less, people are more likely to ask questions....both of me, and of their neighbors. There is a certain level of solidarity that comes with being thrown in a room together and learning at the same pace. I feel comfortable knowing that if I'm not around, they'll reach out to their classmates if they troubles. And, the coolest part? A few of them have projects lined up to do together in 2018. We also have an hour long strategy session at the beginning of the class, and since most weren't in competing industries - they felt comfortable sharing some of their wins, strategy goals, and tips. Collaboration is so great, especially for a lot of these folks - who are often times "one man bands" in their content departments. 

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Overall, I have been sooooo impressed by the people who've attended the events I've hosted. It makes me sad that I haven't made the time to create a private facebook or linkedin group for them, or offered to host a Puke Rainbows Bootcamp alumni event, haha. My hope is to do this in the future. Who knows? Maybe they'll all come armed with their smartphones, and livestream it so you can be there, too ;-) 

It's so nice to learn, when you expect to teach. A huge thanks to everyone who has attended a bootcamp or class of mine in 2017, you are the true teachers...and I'm honored to learn from you. 

Thanks for reading! 
Erica
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Oh, and yes, Puke Rainbows is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  (buuuuut, I don't recommend anything I don't stand behind - these were all on my list, and happen to be sold on Amazon - if you can find them somewhere else, go for it -I don't blame ya!) Stay awesome. 

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