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744 - Anatomy of Design for Two Video Keynotes

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - September 12, 2012.
#744 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,824 Readers - - twitter: emasie - The MASIE Center.
Host, Learning 2012 - Oct 21 to 24, Orlando, FL -

Subject: Anatomy of Two Video Keynotes Today - Designing from Afar!

Today, I had the privilege of delivering two different keynote/seminars via video to learners around the world. Here is the “anatomy” of how I prepped and delivered these two events. Designing and presenting via video is a different process and requires a wider range of choices and decisions.

Video by 2 Formats:
- 1 PM, 1,780 learning colleagues around the world in a Video Webinar on “Social and Collaborative Learning - Innovation & “Hype”. I used a new HD Video format from GoTo Training. The video was from an HD Webcam on my IBM PC via a 3 times T1 connection. Each participant could watch, hear and send questions from their desktops during the sixty minutes of Elliott presenting and responding to written questions.
- 4 PM, 250 senior learning leaders at the Learning Live Conference in London. I was the after-dinner speaker for their 2 day event. I used the High Def Telepresence from Polycom, which was the same tech they had in London. I was magnified on a few screens and Donald Taylor was the host and facilitator for me, moderating our conversation. This was 40 minutes of Elliott as interactive keynoter.

So, what were the Design Decisions that I made today?

* Dress: I selected an Orange Golf Shirt as it looked great against both a blue wall and in the office.  And, I chose to wear a set of shorts - since both keynotes were from the waist up. It was going to be a long day, so I wanted to be comfortable :)

* Style: The style for each of these video presentations was quite different. My model for the first video presentation to thousands of people was a comfortable seminar format - with a content flow through the various ups and downs of social/collaborative learning. My model for the dinner keynote was quite different, mixing content and highly interactive Q & A led by my host in the U.K.

* Tech Prep: For each of these video presentations, there was 1 to 2 hours of technical prep and rehearsal. Audio and Video images for each session were different. The webinar used audio through the PC, so I wanted to test pitch, volume and resonance - including checking it from a remote location. And, the video camera needed to be raised with ceiling lights targeted for best views.  The video conference dinner presentation had high definition cameras and I needed to push the table back to create a sense of intimacy in high def.

* Content Images: For the webinar, the technology was focused on PowerPoints, which I don’t love. Yet, learners will get bored without shifts in the slides. So, I put together a 22 slide stack of bright pictures - without bullets - to be used in sequence and a few in response to teachers. They allowed me to flow the conversation with visual enhancements of my video, as that would be pretty constant for 60 minutes.  Check them out at

* Humor: Both presentations had me use a range of props and humor:
- Since they were at the same time as the Apple announcement, I made a “faux” announcement about what the new iPhone would look like. So, I held up a 10 year old Mickey Mouse telephone as part of that segment.
- I used a range of props that would extend and lighten up the content, including a large fabric Dice to show the need for random connections in social collaboration. And, a film strip from 1960 to talk about the history of evolving learning technology.

* Style: Once I had the content defined for the programs, the final element was to add a style and time dimension. My responses and content were in 3 minute segments with the ability to add humor and stories throughout. My “speaker” style was to provide a mixture of content, context, stories from the field, references to research and evolving corporate learning practices. I was more of an analyst and “curator” than a directive lecturer and the questions in both settings allowed me to be relaxed within a highly structured setting.

* Risks: During each program, I took a design risk to make the sessions different:
- Talk to Your Neighbors: I asked the learners in London to turn to the other people at their table, at the end of my presentation, and process the design. It was something that one might do normally in a face-to-face setting, but most video presentations become low risk!
- Brainstorm on the Webinar: I asked the webinar folks to brainstorm the answer to a question and have them type their answers into a chat board. Over 500 did and it actually crashed the board for a minute, but it gave me real-time content and engagement.

I deeply enjoyed the video keynotes. I have watched the full webinar as part of my debrief, as well as reviewing emails and Tweets from dozens of London participants.

Designing for Video Presentations? Exciting, different and challenging! We need to develop new design models and increase presenter and learner choices.

Thanks to my hosts for these presentations. They allowed me to connect with thousands of learning colleagues - and do it all while wearing a pair of shorts. Thanks!

Yours in learning,

Elliott Masie

MASIE Center Seminars, Events and Services:
* Learning 2012 - Oct 21 - 24, 2012 - Orlando, Florida.
* Membership in The Learning CONSORTIUM
Info and Registration: - twitter: emasie