Thursday, 4 February 2010

Media training

I went on a media training day,a full day session organised and run by Janet Sumner in the Open Broadcast Unit (OBU) in Milton Keynes. Its purpose was to develop skills for on-line delivery of courses and research, such as podcasts and youtube videos.

It was the best training day I've been on for ages!

They started fast, within half an hour having us in front of a camera and asking us:
  • Tell us about your research?
  • What are your findings?
  • How might we use your findings?
There were four trainees and three trainers, so one trainee would be in front of the camera man and the interviewer, while the third trainer briefed and rehearsed the other trainees. By coffee time we were back viewing the rushes (Rushes are the raw material which are cut down into show reels or final TV programmes) and assessing our performances.
  1. we watched the rushes of each trainee in turn.
  2. the trainers asked for the trainee's assessment,
  3. each trainer gave their assessment
So we got a lot of feedback:
Avoid lists and jargon. Give examples - crowbar in your stories. Practise telling the stories you want to share. Make the point. Know what point you want to make. Pitch it at an intelligent fourteen year old. Weight the special words. Practise your one-minute piece to camera (PTC). Learn your script by heart.

Over the interviews in the morning we stumbled and stuttered, some more than others. By the end of the afternoon we'd worked with props, done a PTC and self shoots. The self shoots revealed how relaxed we could be when interviewing each other. So we'd got something to aim for.

I was fascinated by my fellow trainees' work who told us about:
I'm not expecting to be on television any time soon, though, if you want to see me, you should soon be able to find the edited clips on the Open University youtube channel. This training can help prepare for questions at the viva though, and I need every opportunity I can get to practise communicating verbally.

If anyone offers you the chance to do this training, grab it. It's brilliant.

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