A Quick Hello from Iguazu Falls

On Saturday me and my girlfriend arrived in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) from a 16 hour bus journey from São Paulo. We didn’t sleep on the bus so, tired and hungry, we decided not to waste the day by sleeping and went to see the famous Iguazu falls – one of the New7Wonders of Nature . It was spectacular. It truly has to be seen to be believed.

20% of the falls lie in Brazil with 80% belonging to Argentina. We took a day off from travelling the following day in order to do some work but on Monday we got the bus to Puerto Iguazu; which is the Argentinian city you need to go through to visit the other side of the falls.

Whilst standing looking at the waterfalls on the Argentinian side two days ago, I had the ideal of recording a quick video for all of you to introduce myself.

One thing I know I need to do this year is video, audio blogging and podcasting. I had made, and broken, a promise to myself 3 or 4 years ago to learn more about video blogging. It never happened. I never made the effort to actually do it, which is something I now regret. Due to this, the thought of doing video had been bugging me for a long time. Looking back, I can’t say there was a good reason for not doing it. I simply always gave other things more priority.

Why video?

Video is one of the most powerful tools on the web. It’s used everywhere. More importantly for me, it’s used by all the top people in my field – bloggers, marketers, social media promoters and even coders.

The are many reasons why I want to start doing video:

  • To help readers get to know the real me.
  • To raise my profile.
  • To do video blogging regularly.
  • To do webinars (conferences)
  • To save time. It might take me an hour to write something that would only take me a few minutes to say.
  • To give detailed tutorials via video. This is important as I plan on developing a membership website.
  • To organise video chats with readers. Wouldn’t that be fun!!

Video is going to be a huge factor in how I connect with all of you and I am acutely aware that the relationship I have with my you will play a huge part in my success moving forward.

A Quick Hello from Iguazu Falls

I don’t know why I decided to record a quick video two days ago. I hadn’t planned it. Before going to Rio I had the idea of doing a video there as it’s such a beautiful and exotic city; but I didn’t do it and I honestly hadn’t given it a second thought since then.

It was a spur of the moment decision. The second I decided to record the video, a thought crossed my mind: what the hell am I going to say???? I hadn’t written down any notes or even thought about what topics I would speak about. I decided to just say a quick hello and show the beautiful Iguazu Falls.

One thing that surprised me was that whilst I wasn’t 100% comfortable in front of the camera, I didn’t feel too nervous either. The biggest problem was with what I had to say. You will notice at the end that I wasn’t sure what to say e.g. I said mmmmm a few times between my sentences. I’m aware a lot of video newbies do this but it still frustrated me afterwards.

The video was recorded on a simple camera and the sound isn’t great either due to us being at the falls. Still, you should be able to hear me.

Here’s the quick video that I produced:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-w1B5mQrj0?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

For those that haven’t heard it before, that’s a Scottish accent :)

My Scottish Accent

The Scottish accent was another issue I have to look at. I am fully aware that people from other countries struggle to understand our accent and the speed in which we talk. I’m not different to anyone else on this planet that I speak quickly when I speak naturally. I’ve learned from travelling that I need to slow down the way I talk considerably in order to be understood.

I remember the first time I encountered this problem. Ten years ago I travelled back up to Bangkok as I had to change some details with my flight. The woman behind the desk only spoke basic English and really couldn’t understand anything I said. A few minutes later a Russian guy walked up to the desk and spoke a few words in poorly spoken broken English (not criticising him, I know how difficult it is to learn another language). You guessed it, the woman understood the Russian guy fully.

I’m still conscious about having to speak more slowly whilst I’m speaking with non-native English speakers. The thing is, I find it quite uncomfortable speaking at such a slow pace sometimes. You can see in the video that I slowed down what I said a few times. It felt strange to me.

The key thing to understanding accents is getting familiarised with it. In the USA I found a few people that had trouble with my accent (and inevitably assumed I was from Ireland). Thos was partly my fault for not speaking more slowly and their fault for not being exposed to the sexy Scottish accent :) After talking to them for a few minutes, you could see they understood me much better. I hope you all do too. If not, I’m going to have to start posting random clips from Scottish people talking. You have been warned!!

Moving Forward

I wasn’t delighted with my first video however I’m not terribly disappointed either. I know it was my first attempt and I was going to make a lot of mistakes. I went through the same thing with blogging. Looking back at my first blog posts 6 or 7 years ago is embarrassing but that just shows how far I’ve came. I believe the same will happen with videos. I truly hope that in a year I will look back at this video and cringe; as that will probably mean I have improved considerably. Who knows, perhaps my terrible first attempts at video blogging will be an inspiration for some of you later when you begin to tackle the medium.

Whenever I’m learning something new, I want to learn as much about the subject as possible via books etc. That’s something I know I will need to do with video blogging but in the short term, I don’t think that’s the best thing for me to do.

At this stage I think it is better for me to throw myself in the deep end and do more videos for you. Once I feel more comfortable in front of the camera, I will then look at improving certain aspects of my video blogging skills by learning from people who are experienced with video.

I would truly appreciate your feedback on this. I know it may just seem like a silly little video but to me, this is the first step for me into something that I don’t know much about. Which is quite exciting in a sad kind of way :)

Thanks guys,

Kevin