Archives For Video – Wednesday Watchlist

In the The Behavioural ScienceGuys video David Maxfield and Joseph Grenny make the argument:

When you are trying to influence people who need motivation and not information, don’t offer more information.

They warn us that if you offer to much information you can provoke people to reactance. The best way to motivate people is not with speeches but with questions.

Consider the following questions:

  • What is the goal/purpose/intent of your message?
  • Are you motivating people or are you just providing more information?
  • Are you targeting the head or the heart?
  • What is the last sentence or phrase that your viewer will hear?
  • What will they remember?
  • What is your call to action or do you even have a call to action?

In the Power of Words video a simple shift in words moves from sharing information to motivating people to share the blind man’s misfortune.

Finally, consider the heartfelt power of the following six word story attributed to Ernst Hemingway:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

Are you using the power of images, video and words to influence and motivate people or are you just dumping more information?


Gardner, A. [Andrea Gardner]. (2010, February 23). The power of words [Video file]. Retrieved from

For sale: baby shoes, never worn. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 12, 2016 from,_never_worn

Maxfield, D., & Grenny, J. [VitalSmarts Video]. (2015, January 5). How to change people who don’t want to change: The behavioral science guys [Video file]. Retrieved from

We are all compelled by a good story and when we wish to communicate with our friends, colleagues, or those we just want to influence the best way to do that is with a well crafted story. Nancy Duarte argues that an idea is the single most powerful idea and everything we see around us started as an idea in someone’s mind and that they communicated it in a way that became reality. She also warns us that leaders must communicate ideas in a way that compels action or the idea will die.

So how do we communicate in a way that make our ideas come alive?

Whenever I explore an idea or pursue and answer to this type of question I will watch countless youtube videos and read as many books as I can find on the topic and then try to narrow down my search to the best resources that I can use. The following are some of the best videos and books that will help you craft your message in a compelling way and make your ideas come alive:

Nancy Duarte is one of the leaders in visual communications and the following videos and books are your best starting point:

Nancy Duarte: How to Tell a Story

Nancy Duarte: How to Create Better Visual Presentations

Duarte Design’s Five Rules for Presentations by Nancy Duarte

Can creating a compelling message be as simple as following these 5 rules? YES!

  1. Treat your audience as king
  2. Spread your ideas and move people
  3. Help them see what you are saying
  4. Practice design not decoration
  5. Cultivate healthy relationships

Nancy Duartes’s book Resonate is one of the best resources you can find to help you create compelling stories and I have a well worn copy in my library. You an also view the book online at!page0

Nancy’s TED talk TEDxEast – Nancy Duarte uncovers common structure of greatest is another great summary of the ideas presented in the book Resonate:

Just confirm that I have looked at more then just Duarte’s work you can also find the following resources useful:

Garr Reynolds book Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery is another well work book on visual communication that I have in my library.

How Presentation Zen Fixed My Bad PowerPoints

How to avoid death By PowerPoint | David JP Phillips | TEDxStockholmSalon

A list of resources on effective communication would be incomplete if it didn’t include or reference work of Edward Tufte. He has several books that are worth the read but at minimum one should explore Beautiful Evidence and The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within.

Researchers Philip J. Guo from University of Rochester, Juho Kim from MIT and Rob Rubin from edX collaborated on quantitative research project to study how video production decisions affect student engagement in online educational videos. They used data from 6.9 million video watching sessions across four courses on the edX MOOC platform to measure how long students watched each video and whether they attempted to answer post-video assessment problems.

They found that shorter videos, informal talking-head videos, and Khan-style tablet drawings are much more engaging. They also found that highly produced pre-recorded classroom lectures did not engage students.

The following table provides a summary of the researchers findings and their recommendations:
Video Engagement Summary

We really shouldn’t be surprised by the results. When we are looking to learn something or solve a problem an authentic simply produced and presented message wins out over the highly polished and drawn out information dump. The marketing and social media world has recognized that there is an ideal length for everything online and that every piece of content should be as long as it takes to convey the message and no longer (See Internet is a Zoo Infographic).

Now that we have the hard data to support this notion academia too can start moving in the right direction when it comes to effectively using media to engage the learner.

Read the full article…


Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014, March). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of mooc videos. In Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning@ scale conference (pp. 41-50). ACM.

In a recent Using Video & Digital Media to Engage Students information session for the School of Health Sciences at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) I shared some of my favorate media creation tools. The following are all the tools that I have used or are still using on a regular basis. In future posts I will go into greater detail on how to use these tools.

Digital Storytelling

The Center for Digital Storytelling is my starting point for creating powerful stories. The Digital Storytelling Cookbook PDF is worth the $20 US but in case you want to check it out first before spending the money you can always start with preview a partial version of the book at:


If you are a Mac user than you should already have iMovie on your system. If you don’t your best your best starting point for iMovie
This site covers everything from where to download iMove to how to use it and connect to others who are using the software.

Not Suited for School But Suited For Learning was created using iMovie & Audacity

Screen Recording & Video Editing – Camtasia helps you create professional videos by enabling you to easily record your screen movements and actions, or import HD video from a camera or other source. Works on both Mac and Windows platforms. Techsmith the makers of Camtasia does offer an educational discount:

Screencasting and video editing software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, iOS device, microphone and your computer audio. Screenflow and Camtasia are very similar. Most hardcore Mac users will prefer Screenflow.

If you are a Mac user than you should already have Keynote on your system. If you don’t your best your best starting point for keynote is:
This site covers everything from where to download Keynote to how to use it and connect to others who are using the software.

Creating Significant Learning Environments was created with Keynote & Audacity


Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.

Audacity tutorial –

Free audacity tutorials –

If you are a Mac user than you should already have Garageband on your system. If you don’t your best your best starting point for Garageband is
This site overs everything from where to download Garageband to how to use it and connect to others who are using the software.

Windows Video Tools

I stopped using Windows on a full time basis back in 2006 and I only use now if I really have to. I am including this information because BCIT is still primarily a PC based institution so Windows is the default OS. Microsoft’s MovieMaker attempts to do what iMovie does and PowerPoint is a very limited version of Keynote.

Microsoft calls MovieMaker your very own movie studio

Your best starting point for learning how to fully use Powerpoint

Equipment Tips

I have been using a Blue Yeti USB Microphone for the past 6 years and have no reason to look for anything better.

The CowboyStudio Photography/Video Portrait Umbrella Continuous Triple Lighting Kit with Three Day Light CFL Bulbs, Three Stands, Two Umbrellas, and One Carrying Case For Product, Portrait, and Video Shoots sells for just under $90 and does a wonderful of providing basic 3 point lighting. The stands are not that robust and if you are planning on being mobile it would be worth while upgrading to a higher quality system. However if you just want to light your videos, screenflow or camtasia sessions this bargain priced system works just fine.

Power of video & sound

December 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

There is no other way than video to demonstrate the power of sound.