Taking Landlord 101 (a live class) to the web via video – challenges and next steps

I, another real estate agent, and a mortgage broker friend, teach a series of adult education classes.  In the last few sessions, I’ve taken to recording the classes using a digital video camera, in hopes of posting the classes to the internet.

After a couple of recordings, I’ve spotted some challenges that I need to overcome.

The first challenge is technical… sound.  I have a decent quality camera, but setting it up in the back of the room means the sound recording isn’t great.  I’ll probably need to get a good stationary microphone, or wearable microphone, set up.

Another issue is dealing with the class format.  I teach the class using slides, but viewing slides on the video isn’t easy.  I really want/need to transition back and forth from the slides to the video.  I’ve been using Windows Movie Maker for editing… its free and easy to use. (Note that I like Movie Maker 2.6 much better than Live Movie Maker… it allows more detailed control). For simple editing, the latter is fine, and maybe even better, but I needed to insert the slides and have more control over transitions) But, it doesn’t separate out the sound from the video, so I can’t show the slides while using the videos sound… which means that if I insert the slides into the movie, the sound stops.    In the short video below, about 15 minutes of the class, covering marketing of renta properties, I overcome this somewhat by using transitions that overlap the video and the slides.

A better solution is related to the first problem… I probably just need to record the sound separately so I can run the soundtrack on its own, and then show the slides while talking… transitioning to the video just to keep things interesting (viewing slides while someone talks is BORING! I know, I’ve done it a lot while viewing a variety of ‘webinars’.)  So, before the next class I’ll be taking a trip to the electronics store to check out the options.

I’ve also learned that my own presentation is a problem.  I need to work on my delivery, not just for the video… but in general.  So, recording the classes sould make for better classes in the long run, no matter what.  The videos also increase my motivation to lose weight… wow I look fat (oh wait, I am fat). I also should wear my jacket, it would look better.  Beyond that, the video points out some bad habits I have (typical um, uh, etc. while talking) and the challenge of ‘what do I do with my hands’ is obvious.  Some parts of the class could flow better also, and the video has helped me see that. So to summarize: keep in mind the bad habits next time, and don’t do them, and work on my appearance.

Another challenge is video length.. most sites require the video be kept to a short length.  My class is over 2 hours long, so I have to break the video down to manageable portions.  This is a good requirement, actually, and I think it will force me to be better organized in the class also.  In the video below, I managed to keep it at just around 15 minutes while covering 1 complete subject… the marketing of a rental to prospective renters. I’ll have to check the rest of the video and adjust the class to even it out into predictable chunks of time for each section… preferably 15 minute sections.

I’d love feedback from folks with more experience at presenting and recording video.  What are some other ways to improve the class to make it more video friendly?

Here are the results of this effort:



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