Tales of Vlogging from an Introvert

Of all of the assignments we have received so far in this course, I found creating a video to be the most challenging.

I have been blogging for a while, but I created my first PodCast and Vlog both in this course. I feel comfortable with the written word, but I stumble a bit more with oral communications.

My comfort level decreases with the amount of high-touch interaction. I’m an introvert, so I feel right at home with the keyboard under my fingertips. I love to read, research and write. However, when it goes to face-to-face interaction, I falter. I found this graphic on the Triumph Over Panic website and found that it is a great visual representation of the anxiety I feel over social interaction. (2010)[1] When I’m behind the safety of my keyboard, I’m “Pur-r-rfectly Calm” However, when I’m in face-to-face situations, my anxiety is at a level 10.

Littlejohn & Foss describe the “trait theory” as an individual’s way of thinking that affects their behavior across social scenarios. (2011, 80)[2] I found this to be the most fascinating theory I’ve read about so far, as it is right on point with my experience in communications. The trait theory identifies five factors that determine an individual’s specific traits. I am absolutely an introvert, which aligns to the “openness” factor. I pay attention to my inner feelings and stay in my own head quite a bit. My husband jokes that I have an ongoing inner dialogue that never stops. I am reflective and an independent thinker. My husband, on the other hand, holds the extraversion factor. He is a true extrovert. He enjoys being in groups and he gains his energy from being with others. Littlejohn & Foss identify the other factors as neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness. (2011, 81)[3] I believe the other factors can work in conjunction with each other while openness and extraversion are juxtaposed. I like this infographic that I found on the Health 24 website, as it perfectly describers the differences between an introvert and extrovert. (2013)[4]

I felt more comfortable with the Podcast than the Video Blog (Vlog) since I was still “behind the scenes”. The video brought me face-to-face with my weakness, which is interpersonal communication.

I prepped for this assignment more than any other, yet, I’m the least satisfied with the outcome. I shot three versions of the video before I was satisfied with the output.

Let me tell you a little bit about my process.

First, I brainstormed about what character would best represent my “inauthentic self”.  When I read Chapter 4 in Littlejohn & Foss this week, I was interested to read about the “characters” that we present to various audiences. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my previous manager early in my career. I was in my mid-twenties and I mentioned to my manager that I would have to take my “work-hat” off when I got home to be my authentic self. She responded, “I don’t have to do that, I’m exactly the same at work as I am at home.”

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This statement perplexed me for years. Was she truly exactly the same at home as she was at work? Was I the only one that presented a different image at work than I did at home? I don’t think that I’m alone. Littllejohn & Foss state, “Self-presentation is very much a manner of impression management.” (2011, 102)[5] I couldn’t agree more. I have a carefully crafted brand that I’ve created for myself in the workplace. I have an image that I want to project and I must portray myself differently in various situations. Even within the workplace, I present myself differently to my manger than I do to my employees. I also present myself differently to my peers than I do my business partners. I don’t call this “inauthentic” rather I define it as tailoring my message to my audience. I need to ensure that not only what I say, but also how I say it is relevant to my audience. In order to do that effectively, I present the message in a different manner.

Additionally, who I am at home is not the same as who I am at work. This goes exactly to Littlejohn & Foss describe as one’s “performance”. (2011, 102)[6] I thought about this “performance” and how I would present an inauthentic self for the video. To effectively achieve this, I asked myself “who am I?” In order to understand the qualities that contradict my personality, I had to first understand what made me….well, me.

DSC_0307

I conducted research on what makes an effective speech and found an excellent article by Jerry Slaske. Slaske states that when writing a speech, you must know your speaker. He says that before you begin the process of writing your speech, you must get to know the speaker. (2008)[7]

Therefore, the first step in my process was to create an outline of my key attributes.

Here is the outline I used for my process

1. Stacy’s key attributes

Introverted. Loves running, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle. Believes in working hard to achieve success. Likes to stay active and doesn’t like just sitting around. Abhors those who feel entitled.

2. Target audience

The article by Jerry Slaske also stated that a speechwriter must be able to connect with their audience. He says the key to connecting with your audience is to know as much about them as possible. (2008)[8] Therefore my next step in the process was to conduct an audience analysis.

3. Audience Analysis

  1. Male
  2. Young student in high school
  3. Likes video games and junk food
  4. Feels entitled
  5. Low aspirations – likes to sleep in, receive credit when it’s undeserved and wants to have little to no responsibility
  6. Doesn’t like physical activity

4. Brainstorm about an inauthentic self

  1. Extrovert
  2. Advocates for concerns of young students in the target audience
  3. Feels entitled

5. Position for candidacy

High school class president

6.    Research how to write an authentic speech

I looked up information from eHow on how to write an effective high school election speech. I found informative information in this article about writing and organizing an election speech. The advice that resonated the most was, “In order to really write student election speeches that are effective you need to inspire people on a personal level and move them.”[9] I spoke with my son to ask about the key things that male students in his school were interested in. I figured that he was my best resource for truly understanding the young male generation. I asked him what they cared about and what changes kids at his school would like to see from a class president. My son enjoyed providing his dream scenario and I took lots of notes.

IMG_6194

I went back to the computer and conducted a bit more research on writing an effective speech. Jerry Slaske advised to focus a speech on two to three main points to ensure the audience stays engaged.  I took this advice and wrote my own speech based on the top Critical to Quality factors (CTQ) that are important to my target audience. I based my top three CTQs on:

  1. Late start time for classes
  2. Xbox allowed in school as an approved elective and homework option
  3. No consequence attendance model

I conducted additional research on what makes an effective speech and I came across an excellent article by Bridget Tsemo. She stated, “The main ingredient of a good speech, however, lies in the theme.” (2006)[10] I made the theme of my speech, “It’s all about you.” I didn’t want my speech to go on about my accomplishments, but I tried to tie it back to the key audience to ensure they knew that I was going to be serving them. I tried to focus my speech on the “What’s In It For Me” or “WIIFM” factor. I wanted to ensure that all of my key points focused on how my election would benefit them.

Robert Lehrman, who was the chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore, wrote an excellent article in the New York Times providing tips for a political speechwriter. He stated that “Speechwriters must help maintain what Aristotle called ethos, or character. Voters cast ballots not just for candidates they agree with, but for those they like.” (Lehrman, 2012)[11] Therefore in my speech I tried to convey an open, warm, extroverted personality and tried to make my character not only a strong candidate, but likeable as well. This is tough because there are so many layers for what makes a person likeable. As Littlejohn & Foss describe, there are four tiers or layers of the personal self. Part of this tier is the “relational” layer, which is who you are in relation to other individuals. (2011, 103) Without the personal interaction of an actual audience, it is difficult to feed off of others feedback to respond and convey likeability.

Finally I was ready to begin writing my speech. I wrote a short speech with key points to keep the audience’s interest.

My speech for the “Inauthentic Self” Video

 Good afternoon everyone.

Thank you for considering me to be your next high school class president.

Why am I here?

I could stand up here and tell you about my past success in driving forward a petition to bring Pizza Hut as a vendor in our cafeteria. I could tell you about the 85 percent increase in satisfaction among the student body when I successfully influenced educators to install an Xbox in the common areas to play in between classes. Or I could tout my success at eliminating physical education as a required course.

But, it’s not about me, it’s about you.

Many of you have come to me to ask for help with the issues we are experiencing in this school.

Namely that our teachers have unrealistic expectations and this cannot continue any longer. 

Some of you have even told me that in addition to the eight hours of school a day, you are expected to do hours of homework at night. 

I understand how difficult it can be to mange your conflicting priorities.

When I’m high school class president I’m implementing a three-point plan to eliminate this pain point.

First, I will successfully implement a late start time for classes. 

Secondly, I will develop a comprehensive strategy that will map the requirements under the Common Core curriculum to allow video gaming to be an elective.

Third, I will implement a no consequence attendance model.

This school should be grateful that we are students here. We are entitled to these privileges and I will do everything in my power to ensure that the administrators, teachers and staff are aware of the value we provide.

If you elect me as president, I will ensure to drive forward these changes to make your life easier. 

Thank you for your consideration for class president. 

I recorded my video using iMovie on my Mac. As I mentioned earlier, I recorded three different versions of the video before I was finally satisfied. In one of the versions, I dressed like a male to try to appear as a different self, but I didn’t like the way the video came out. In the end I decided to present as a female, but with a different personality, as I outlined.

imovie

I used the iMovie editing software to create a title page and ending page in the presentation. I also added music to one version of the video, but I read through YouTube’s Copyright information and discovered that YouTube doesn’t allow the use of copyright-protected material in a video. Therefore I removed the music from the introduction.

I played around with the editing in iMovie and modified my opening and ending so it got straight to the point. Afterwards, I followed the instructions for uploading the video to YouTube.


Stacy Cacciatore

I would love to learn more about iMovie and after learning about creating Podcasts and Vlogs in this course, I’m excited to incorporate these new communication channels in my promotion plan for Lunch, by me! This week I also presented at the Southern Women’s Show in Charlotte, NC on the Cooking Stage, on how to pack a healthy lunch to promote Lunch, by me! I had my son video my performance and I’m going to look into how I can edit the video into a shorter clip that I can post on my blog for my first personal Vlog! Thanks for the inspiration!

 IMG_6238

What did you think about my video? Could you tell how uncomfortable I was?  Are you more comfortable with video, podcast or writing? Are you an introvert or extrovert? I’d love to hear from you!


[1] Triumph Over Panic (2010) “Mastering Panic: 11) Observing Anxiety. Retrieved on September 20, 2013 from http://www.paniccure.com/approaches/cbt/mastering_panic/Pizza-11.htm

[2] Littlejohn, Stephen W. & Floss, Karen A. (2011). Theories of Human Communication. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc.

[3] Littlejohn, Stephen W. & Floss, Karen A. (2011). Theories of Human Communication. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc.

[4] Health 24 (2013) Extrovert vs Introvert. Retrieved on September 20, 2013 from http://www.health24.com/Mental-Health/Multimedia/Extrovert-vs-introvert-20130812

[5]  Littlejohn, Stephen W. & Floss, Karen A. (2011). Theories of Human Communication. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc.

[6] Littlejohn, Stephen W. & Floss, Karen A. (2011). Theories of Human Communication. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc.

[7] Jerry Slaske In speechwriting, know your speaker and audience. By: Slaske, Jerry, Writer (Kalmbach Publishing Co.), 00439517, Jan2008, Vol. 121, Issue 1

[8] Slaske, Jerry (Jan 2008) In speechwriting, know your speaker and audience. Kalmbach Publishing Co: Vol. 121 (Issue 1), 1.

[9] eHow Contributer (n.d.). How to Write Student Election Speeches That Win.

Retrieved from: http://www.ehow.com/how_4858230_write-student-election-speeches-win.html#ixzz2f71xgiUX

[10] Tsemo, Bridget Harris  (Mar/Apr2006) How to Write a Memorable Speech. Footsteps, Volume 8 (Issue 2), p39-41 Retrieved from http://ezproxy.queens.edu:2173/ehost/detail?sid=2e973a49-79ed-46ad-9a2e-af399a11ad9a%40sessionmgr114&vid=8&hid=3&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=mih&AN=20584760

[11] Lehrman, Robert (November 3, 2012) The Political Speechwriter’s Life. New York Times. Retrieved from http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/the-political-speechwriters-life/?_r=0

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