Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to share your story (and how you can share it in the One Professor campaign!)

I think knowing how to tell a compelling story is one of the most underrated skills.

People pay attention to stories (e.g. it's why movies are so popular). In such a fast paced society, we are really good at ignoring everything else.

Whether you realize it or not, you have compelling stories to share, and I want to specifically invite you to share a story of how a professor has changed your life, as part of Pearson's One Professor Campaign that is launching today.

This campaign was inspired by you. As I got to know many amazing community college students through the blog this year, I kept hearing the same phrase when they shared their success story: "There was this one professor..."

I consult with Pearson and am so excited about this campaign that I helped co-create. The real creation, however, starts with you - and I can't wait to see what you come up with.

You can learn how to submit a video of your story (and see my One Professor story) at

Below are strategies to help you shine when sharing your One Professor story.

  • Think first. Before you shoot your video, talk with someone about your professor or jot down a few notes about what you want to say. Consider these questions:
    • Why this professor?
    • What did this professor mean to you?
    • Did this professor do anything in class that is unique (e.g. one student shared how his professor drew the name of one of the 120 students after each class to have coffee with him).
    • Did this professor say anything to you that changed the way you think?
    • Did this professor support you in a way you didn't expect from higher education?
    • Why is this professor important to you?
    • How did what this professor did for you affect your life today?
    • Where would you be without this professor?
  •  Keep it short. Your One Professor video should be about 60 seconds. People have short attention spans, and often it's the shorter videos that have the strongest impact. Stick to the most important points.
  • Have a beginning, middle, & end.
    • Beginning: If it helps, you can start by saying "My One Professor is Professor [insert name here] and...." Then share what this professor said or did that meant something to you.
    •  Middle: Share why what this professor said or did affected you so personally.
    • End: Speak to how this professor changed your life, and end by saying "Thank you Professor [insert name here.]Get personal. In addition to telling us about your professor, don't forget to also tell us a little bit about you. Use the word "I" and give us some hints into who you are in relation to how this professor changed you. Don't be afraid to share a personal struggle if it's something your professor helped you with. People will relate to and respect your bravery in sharing your authentic self.
  • Don't judge yourself. We are our own worst critics when it comes to our own stories and videos. Silence the voice that will tell you your story isn't good enough. You are more than enough and I guarantee you that your story, even if it's very simple, will mean more to others than you realize. When you get nervous, just think about what your professor meant to you and how this is just a way to say thank you.
  •  Consider your audience. While we think your video will encourage other students to build relationships with their professors, and serve as a reminder that learning is personal, the audience you should be thinking about when shooting your video is your professor. Make it your goal to make your professor see how much his or her work makes a difference in people's lives, by sharing honestly how he or she has made a difference in yours.
  •  Camera tips: Look in the camera and smile. Film it once or twice as a practice before you shoot the final one. It's usually easier to be more natural, brief, and comfortable in the 2nd or 3rd take.
  • Creativity: Creativity is always encouraged; if you have a creative way to share your One Professor story in video form then go for it! However, this doesn't need to be complicated. Your story and a camera is all you need.
  • What to wear: Solid colors work best. Avoid patterns and logos.
  • Be yourself. Don't let these tips intimidate you. These strategies are meant to ensure we get to know the real you in your video. Most of us tend to freeze up when a camera is on, and struggle to show people our authentic selves. Your ability to honestly share your story as a part of this campaign will affect students and professors more than you know.
All you really have to do is click record on your camera and tell us how your life has changed because of One Professor. If you are your authentic self and share your true gratitude, nothing else will matter. Because just the act of being a part of this campaign will show your professors how much they mean to you. 

Click here to upload your video and join the One Professor Campaign. I cannot wait to hear your story!

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?