Barbara May - Speaker Demo Reel

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

If you get back up, anything is possible.

It's always interesting to look back at a project and think about the stumbling blocks you had to get past and the skills you needed to learn to complete it.

In my case, when creating my speaker demo reel, there were many stumbling blocks I had to get past. Here are my top four:

1. Getting Good Quality Video Footage

There are so many things that can go wrong when shooting video: bad lighting, bad sound, distracting backgrounds, communication fumbles and walking out of frame in the middle of a great shot. I have encountered them all. Fortunately, after shooting lots of video in a variety of venues we were able to find some great footage to use for the demo reel.

2. Presentation Time vs Video Time

In my experience, time is perceived differently when you are watching a live presentation vs when you are watching a video. In a live presentation, the speaker can take their time, pause to let people reflect and engage the audience at a deeper level with questions, interaction and activities. In a video, things need to move along more quickly and a few seconds of silence can feel like an eternity. This perception of time made it difficult to edit and I had to learn how to perceive my ideas, stories and audience interactions in video time.

3. Dealing with My Inner Critic

It doesn't matter how good I feel about a motivational speech or team building seminar, when I watch the replay on video, my inner critic attacks and criticizes everything I say and do. Learning how to put this criticism aside, and move forward, was one of the biggest challenges I had to face when creating my speaker demo reel.

4. Do it Yourself vs Transcription Service

After several failed attempts to transcribe my speaker demo myself, I gave up and checked out an online transcription service that a business colleague recommended. The prices were reasonable, the results professional and the turn around time only a few hours. I was so happy with the results I called my brother to brag about my new found business resource.

Before I could finish my sentence he said, let me guess... Rev? It turns out he's been using their online services to transcribe his security reports. It's humbling to know that my brother has mastered the art of working smarter not harder and that I could learn a thing or two about doing this too. lol


Below is a copy of my speaker demo reel transcription from with a few additions for title sequence, client testimonials and closing sequence:


I was hanging upside down in a cartwheel, getting ready to do my dismount when I heard the bell ring.



(upbeat music)

[Title Sequence]

Get Past Your Stumbling Blocks

With Barbara May

Music by Chris Ayries

Stumbling Blocks Team Building Seminars


And I said, "I fell off the beam five times."