Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Lynda.com Experience

One word: "wow"

More words: "Helping shy people get up and do what needs to be done."

Yes, that's Garrison Keillor's tag line for one of the "sponsors" of "A Prairie Home Companion": the Powdermilk Biscuits company.  (Heavens. they're tasty and expeditious.)

The folks at Lynda are truly great at shepherding folks through the process of preparing and recording their material.

Recording is hard. The point is to say each thing perfectly. But, the things have to fit into a larger narrative of a section that fits into the larger sequence of chapters that makes up the course.'

Giving essentially the same content in a presentation at a conference is almost unrelated. Talking at a conference has a live audience. It's one-time-only, and you can ad-lib.

Doing this takes patience. And skilled editing both at a content level and at a technical level. Lynda has it all.

The thing that made me the most comfortable was having my presentation material ready. Each section is a 5-minute lightning talk. I was had all of my slides ready. I'd been through them enough times to be sure that I could handle the 5-minute format. And when there are editorial changes, they tended to be relatively minor.

I may try it again. It's a lot of work. Certainly more work than writing a chapter in a book. A chapter can go deep. A presentation has to stick to the high points: this means that the supporting depth must be there, but you're not going to wallow around in it. Essentially, you're making the "elevator pitch" for each one of your points.

The recording and live action studio space were fun. I've never been recorded or taped like that before. They eased me into it, coached me through it, and made sure all of the content was there in a way that could be edited into a high quality final product.