Earlier this week I had a lovely conversation with a new friend on LinkedIn. She’s an expert in crisis intervention and has recently rebranded herself to be able to reach a larger audience and make better use of her time.

When I asked if she had plans to monetize any of her content online, she responded with from a position of already having too much to think about.

Completely understandable!

However, I think this is the perfect time to start creating digital content!

Here’s why…

Practice… to be a better speaker

Magicians of my generation were taught to practice in front of a mirror until we had the moves down perfectly from every angle (many of us used three-sided mirrors to get an almost 180 degree view). Most people didn’t have home video recorders back then or, if they did, they were too cumbersome to use for our purposes.

When I met my friend Eugene Burger in the late ‘90s, I learned to start audio recording my rehearsal sessions.

Your performance needs to be interesting on a purely verbal level, without any visuals to back it up.

Now we have HD cameras on our cell phones and there’s no excuse not to record every rehearsal!

I guarantee you will learn just as much (probably more) about your presentation from watching yourself as you will from being in front of a live audience. When we’re on stage, the adrenaline is flowing and we’re focused on connecting with the audience. We’re “in the moment,” not in an analytical mode (which is good). But we need to be analytical if we’re going to grow.

That’s where the camera is invaluable…

Practice… for the camera

I remember the moment I said yes to a weekly segment on our magic school’s new web TV show. It sounded like fun and I knew I was really uncomfortable in front of the camera. It was a chance for me to be bad, week after week, without anyone judging me too harshly. Want proof? Here’s a video of my segment from the very first episode (January 17, 2011):

Yeah, go head… laugh. I do! It’s horrible on more levels than I can count…

But I had to produce a 5-minute segment every week.

When we started our membership program, we really had to up our game!

Fast forward to 2013…

A funny one on Bad Taste:

A more serious one on “Acting”:

Now, I’m never going to be a newscaster or television personality, but I think you have to agree it got much better.


Certainly there are things like a professional intro and sign-off, better lighting and sound, green screen (all thanks to advice from Jordan Wright).

But, like your live talks, you get better every time you do it (even if the “audience” is just your camera).

Want to make it really easy on yourself?

We were doing “talking heads” videos and much of it LIVE. That’s the hardest way to do it!

Most online content (webinars, courses, etc.) is just a collection of slides with a voiceover.

So you don’t even need to be seen on camera!

All you need is a good microphone… and the slides you already have for your talk!

And, remember…

The more you record yourself, the better your live talks will be, as well!

Build your credibility

(enough Practice for now)

Having a published book used to be one of the major credibility markers for a speaker.

Those days are long gone, my friends!

With print-on-demand, anyone can have a published book (and even have it sold on Amazon).

The new benchmark is an online course or membership program (preferably both, with one feeding into the other).

If you want to be taken seriously, this is going to be a requirement very soon. It took me at least 50 recordings just to get comfortable recording myself.
The longer you wait, the longer it’ll take…

So start recording now!

  • It takes only seconds to set your phone in front of you and hit record
  • It will help you become a better live speaker
  • It will build your confidence, your library of material… and your credibility