How to Zoom with Style, Thanksgiving Mockumentary

Do NOT infuse coffee beans in Tequila

:::Issue #18. Why are you receiving this? You’re friends with Cam Houser or you just joined the MVV waitlist. This is where I share atypical stories of creativity, entrepreneurship, and the ups and downs of Actionworks:::

🎟 Welcome Iqbal, Ovid, Meriem, Goodv, J, David, Rakhi, Cristal, Noah, Dr B., Molly, Kadidja, Vis, Sebastian, Parin, M, Unwind, Aida, James, J, Freffy, Tricia, Cheong, Sha, Insert, Will, MJ, Rich, D, A 🎟

Greetings, Rulebreakers!

What I’ve been up to:

🚀 One week into Minimum Viable Video and we’re already having breakthroughs. “This is FUN!” one student said about being on camera, which is something he couldn’t imagine saying before the course. Students are gaining confidence and all-around kicking ass. You love to see it.

🧑‍⚕️ Teaching health workers innovation mindsets. Dr. Janet Walkow, Dr. Nishi Vishwanathan and I spent the fall leading teaching future health workers innovative approaches to navigating complexity, focusing on what matters, and solving problems.

📛 Forgetting to apply to speak at SXSW again. Ugh. Two years in a row!!! Hugh Forrest himself personally encouraged me to apply and I still forgot. Nothing like accumulating expertise and stories from hundreds of hours leading Zoom sessions and dropping the ball to share that knowledge at the world’s biggest technology conference. And this is the first time the conference goes virtual, no less. Ugh. If you recently dropped the ball on something, feel free to respond and we can commiserate about it haha...sigh.

☕ Infusing Tequila, Part 10: What happens when you infuse tequila with coffee beans? It’s NOT GOOD. The first experiment was a failure. But there was a hint of something interesting in there so I’m going to keep at it. And I’m having fun. Reminder: failures are less annoying when you’re having fun.

How to Zoom with Style Workshop

Here’s the recording of a webinar I ran a few weeks ago for the Livestrong Foundation. It covers:

  • How to create goodwill and connection in virtual sessions (mainly through chat storms and gratitude attacks)

  • Brief demo of mmhmm (dynamic presentation software)

  • Brainstorming techniques in Zoom

  • Why group brainstorming doesn’t work

  • “Zoom zombie face” (your audience will always look less interested in Zoom than they will in person)

Thanksgiving Mockumentary about my Family’s Pie Baking Competition

Because of the plague, my lady and I are staying home for Thanksgiving. If you’re staying home and you miss your family, maybe this will brighten your day a bit.

For reasons too dumb to mention, I thought my family was boring when I was a teenager.

My idea to remedy that situation was to start a holiday tradition around competitive pie baking. The concept seemed weird enough that it might lead to some fun. My family members were good sports about it so we gave it a go.

And thus began a delightful holiday activity. It’s evolved over the years to such memorable events as the “great protein brick fiasco of 2008” (I was really into protein powder at the time. Protein powder doesn’t work in pies) and the introduction of prestigious “prizes” such as dental floss, toothpaste, and toilet paper for good entries to the competition.

Four years ago, I thought what better way to learn video than to make a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary about the Pie Olympics.

The highlights: wacky stuff that happened organically
The lowlights: me trying to be funny

Enjoy, and happy Thanksgiving:

See you in gallery view,
Cam

Web: actionworks.co
Twitter: @cahouser
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For professional grade virtual courses and workshops, email cam@actionworks.co

Just for fun: slow motion bird footage from my balcony to your inbox…