“Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused. But on a higher level.”
– Enrico Fermi (created the world’s first nuclear reactor)
As part of our contemporary issues module, myself and four other students signed up to present a workshop titled “YouTube – creating new career paths and influences over celebrity appearances at events”.
52 million subscribers to the worlds most watched gaming YouTube channel “PewDiePie”, that’s more than the population of South Korea. That’s what intrigued me into signing up for this specific topic.
This subject had never been touched upon within lectures, so although I had used YouTube before, the sheer enormity of this video sharing platform and how people use it to create a career was intriguing, (Abramovich, 2015). As an upcoming event manager, I felt this was something I should broaden my knowledge on for my future career, (Hendle, 2015).
However, this workshop had to be more than just a factual presentation but an interactive and stimulating performance something which at first, made me apprehensive.
Firstly, we created a Facebook group chat and began to brain storm ideas. Our first meeting was productive and we decided what avenue we wanted to take within the workshop as YouTube is such a broad topic, we began to note down ideas for activities.
For our next meeting, we read into vlogging and blogging and tried to gain more academic knowledge behind YouTube alongside finding fact and statistic websites, (SocialBlade.com). This lead us to change the title of our workshop to fit with the path we wanted to take. Contents of the workshop was decided and everyone chose a section they wanted to research, create the slides for and present.
If one of our group found something useful we would post it into the group chat and before presenting we practiced many times and helped each other along the process to perfect our delivery, (Firmin, 2016).
Presenting the Workshop
I chose to introduce the workshop including our objectives and then define what YouTube is and the difference between a blogger and vlogger. Unfortunately, some of my text within my slides had disappeared, however I tried not to let this affect my presentation. My part didn’t have an activity incorporated, so to keep the audience engaged I asked many questions throughout and showed a one minute video, (Namhata, 2011).
Our first activity split the room into groups of 6 and they answered 4 short questions regarding famous YouTubers and how many subscribers they had, as well as how much they thought they earned from YouTube. This activity proved to be successful as many people were shocked at the facts and figures and it began to show them just how much of an influence YouTubers have.
We then spoke about other business avenues YouTubers have taken, events they have attended and boycotted and to engage the audience into thinking about how this topic might implicate their future careers, we proposed a debate regarding the pros and cons of having YouTubers at an event, (Maya, 2016).
Other activities included a poll asking which YouTuber they thought would be most appropriate at certain events and finally to conclude a short quiz to ensure people were listening and recap the workshop.
I was extremely happy with the audience participation and felt they really engaged with each activity as well as voice their own opinions, (Berkun, 2013). A weakness of our workshop was time keeping, although beforehand we did set out timings, our first activity did overrun causing us to cut short some other activities and speeches. However, this showed me that people like to debate so I should allow more time for discussion in the future.
Overall, I was very pleased with our workshop feedback, our lecturers enjoyed the topic and the different activities. We were praised for keeping control of the room and I feel the workshop showed me how a larger audience needs to be kept involved to avoid disengagement (Hoppenfeld, 2012), this can be done through inter-actives and rewards – we used doughnuts!
One comment we received was regarding uploading readings for the students, I was disappointed to learn this as a member of our group had failed to upload them on behalf of us all, however from this I have learned to double check all work myself. Upon reflection, I also agree that we could have gone into more depth regarding the celebrity phenomenon which also would have been useful for the audience. Our presentation was said to be professional and we were commended for giving an enthusiastic delivery, (Whyte, 2009).
I had worked in a group with two of the other students before but had never met Rebecca or Sophie, however immediately we all clicked and began working efficiently together. We kept in constant contact and everyone made the effort for the meetings even if that was via Skype.
Each of us researched well into our own area whilst also informing each other of interesting facts we had found. We helped each other to identify weaknesses in our work such as slight inaccurate data or better ways to word a sentence, but also praised one another along the process, these are transferable skills in which I believe I can now carry into my future career, (Hu and Liden, 2015).
In conclusion, our team worked well together to create and explore a form of presentation none of us had ever produced before. I feel I have now gained confidence to create a future workshop whilst also learning a lot about the subject of YouTube and its influence within the industry.
From this experience, I noticed that I tried to avoid leading an activity due to lack of confidence in front of such a large audience, however should I do a similar task again I will put myself forward to lead an interactive activity as I now see how effective and engaging it can be.