Not everyone relishes the prospect but filming ourselves is becoming an essential 21st century skill. This article, written by our CEO Cheryl Clemons and originally published in Learning Technologies magazine, shares why user-generated video is essential for learning and how it can benefit us at work.

Why user-generated content is essential for learning right now

It’s no accident that Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn have put video at the centre of their strategies. User-generated video is the most viewed, shareable and memorable online content. Social video is also poised to solve many workplace challenges from unlocking access to expertise to helping teams adapt to culture change. Fosway’s Kate Graham’s thoughtful event round ups, and the growing number of learning vloggers participating in #OneTipWednesday, show how we can build on the success of consumer-led How To’s, self-improvement and personal experience videos to extend how we see the world and develop ourselves.

User-generated video is uniquely positioned to not only enhance live learning experiences with reflection stories, sharing of ideas and feedback but also to make digital experiences more human. Super-fast access to experts, knowledge and inspiration in the moment via social media or next gen learning platforms is brought alive by real stories from real people doing real things.

 

Feel the fear and film yourself anyway

Not everyone relishes the prospect of filming themselves. If this is you, you’re not alone. It’s well known that countless Hollywood actors struggle to watch themselves on screen. So, it’s not surprising that a minor stumble over words, an unexpected high inflection or a stray hair makes our toes curl when we watch ourselves back. However, as with most things in life, if we focus on WHY we’re doing something we can overcome some of the inevitable self-doubt which creeps in when we do it.

For the actress Julianne Moore, seeing herself on screen isn’t the validation of her performance. The act of creation is. Think about why you might want to share your story on video? Apart from being asked to, it’s probably because you want to share what you’ve learned, inspire others, reflect on your progress, work out loud or raise your profile. And, if we don’t do it, we’ll miss out on the significant benefits of sharing our reflections.

Why should we film ourselves for learning?

Here’s five practical reasons why we should film ourselves to support our learning and careers:

Reflect on our own progress

Reflection is critical to learning. And, it’s even more effective when we involve others and share our experiences. Helping people to reflect, self-film and amplify their stories is a powerful way to learn and grow.

Learn from, encourage and inspire each other

There’s no substitute for people sharing the ‘struggle’ of real experience. In our fake news era, honest and personal video stories cut through and create change in ways that the corporate short flick now finds harder to achieve.

Embed our own learning

Explaining something you’ve learned in a simple way reinforces your own learning and helps others to learn.

Improve our communication skills

We live in a world where the importance of visual communication requires us to express ourselves beyond the written word. Planning what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it succinctly, for a short video, is a great way to practise. By watching your body language and vocal tonality you can also experiment and become more expressive.

Raise our profiles

Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘personal brand’, there’s no question it’s important for all of us. It’s not just something that’s relevant for leaders. At a time when people new to the jobs market are predicted to have up to five different careers during their working life – that’s career changes not just job changes – we all need to ‘lead’ ourselves. One great way to do this is to share what you stand for, what you’re doing and what you’re learning through video.

These are just some of the significant individual benefits of making your own user-generated videos. So, let’s take a deep breath, question our confirmation bias and refocus attention on why we’re filming ourselves. Your validation could be getting your point across, embedding your learning, inspiring someone else to do something for the first time or better.

Read: Five steps to engage your colleagues with user-generated video

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