Make Your Introductory Video | It’s Easier With Help

If an English person attempts a foreign language it may get applause. Not because it’s done well, but because it is done at all, as when a dog walks on two legs.

When I had more hair, fewer wrinkles and a less sensational camera phone, I published a book in several languages.

I was thrilled and grateful to the various publishers, and wanted to support the publication by introducing myself to readers in their own languages.

So I wrote a very short speech and asked friends who are native speakers to translate it. Additionally, I asked them to record themselves speaking it so that I would know what the words should sound like.

And then I practised a lot.

Despite all the practice, I still had moments (pictured) while recording the video when my mind briefly went blank.

This screenshot suggests that, despite all the progress Google has made in translating captions over the subsequent more than a decade it struggles to recognise the language I’m attempting in this particular video (Dutch).

I’m not trying to run down my efforts – or indeed make big claims for them. It was exhausting but gratifying to make those videos. I think if someone else did it I’d applaud them.

I had a good reason to make an introductory video, for a particular audience at a particular time.

The feedback I received led me to believe it was worthwhile.

For that, I must thank my friends. But don’t stop reading. This isn’t an Academy Awards acceptance speech.

I could have done it without them.

I could have found some kind of workaround. But it would have taken me SO long. And I doubt I’d have had the guts to post the videos without their ongoing encouragement.

As it happens, one of the most important points in that book, which rejoiced in the title How To Change The World, was that nobody achieves very much on their own.

We all need a bit of help sometimes.

I know lots of people who do wonderful things and post about it here and there, quite brilliantly in many cases, but don’t seem willing to appear on video.

None of my business, of course, but I for one would like to see them.

Just one video introducing themselves.

I think they might, if they had a bit of help. (Or as they say in Dutch, als ze een beetje hulp hadden.)


Help is at hand

See: Show Yourself With One Great Video

If this could be for you, or someone else you know – well, you know where I am.