Learning the Tools

by | Jan 17, 2017 | Technology, Video, VO Business | 2 comments


‘So guilty of my failure to take the time to read the manual, go to the FAQ, utilize the help files.

I’m arrogant enough to expect every device, all software, and most online platforms to be so intuitive that I really don’t have to “waste” time to learn all it can do.

Because of this, I’m an authority on the subject of learning abuse, and feel fully certified to write this blog.

My summary of advice to avoid my mistake:  Do the time (learn the product).

Here’s a great example:  I’ve owned and upgraded Camtasia by Techsmith for years.  At least six.  Camtasia is screen-capture software, but it’s grown into a monument of incredible screencasting capabilities over the years.  I can fumble my way around it, curse at the program, and come up with something kinda sorta resembling what I want, but I always walk away from the experience suspecting that I could do a lot more IF I took the time to learn the ins and outs.

Same with Adobe Audition.  I’m now using the latest version CC 2017.  Have I taken the time to tweak it? Nah.  Only when I want it to do something I don’t yet understand do I delve deeper.  Again, I come away thinking “…one of these days…I’m gonna figure out what all this program does…”!

I could go on…the Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB.  Complicated.  George Whittam…can you please set this up for me?  

Evernote, Telestream, Xero, Microsoft Office 365…heck…Google Chrome even! 

Bottom line:  I’m cheating myself.  I’m wasting money.  I’m bereft of the advantages these tools could bring to my voiceover business.

You could say “…It’s impossible to be an expert at all those things, Dave…don’t be so hard on yourself…”  –or–  “…when you hire George Whittam or a software developer, or a social media expert, you’re saving time to do the things you know HOW to do, and paying an expert to do what THEY do best…”

All true…but I hunger to know more about the amazing technology and code that I’ve purchased. Just think how much more productive I could be if I — over time — taught myself a little more; by degrees.  Wouldn’t that be worth it?

Case in point.  Since the holidays, I’ve been burying myself in learning the newest Camtasia version 9.0.  OMG…the things this program can do!  Far beyond being perhaps the best screen capture software out there, it has grown into the most incredible video editing software!  You can gussy-up just about any so-so video to now make it more engaging.

Below is a case in point. Something I hope to use to my marketing advantage.

Hey, this is what I CAN do while J Michael Collins is grabbing away all the jobs on V123!  At least I’m working towards more success in my VO business.

What opportunities are you missing with the devices, hardware/software, programs, and online platforms you are neglecting to learn better?

Do the time.




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  1. Charlie

    Wow. Ya, WOW.

    We do this, all of us. I use Pinnacle Studio to edit video. It is a prosumer product, yes. I know to further make my skill the best, I should bite the bullet and pay for a CC Adobe subscription to learn Premiere Pro and After Effects…have I done that yet? Certainly not. After all, I have a perfectly good stand alone editing software buuuuut no professional business/ production outlet uses Pinnacle Studio. Ya, I get it…no pain, no gain. Buying that subscription soon and jumping into Adobe head first…scary, a little however at 54, I am not getting any younger. If I plan to produce catchy marketing videos, now is the time!

  2. John Kuehne

    Dave, this rings true for many of us who are working to create multiple streams of income. The key for me was to determine whether or not my skill level would ever be that of the people who are in the software 8 hours a day in such a way to make my services competitive. I recently switched from Adobe Premiere Pro to Final Cut Pro X and found the learning curve a little daunting. Hours and hours being spent watching everything available on Lynda.com.

    Hang in there. Your passion will drive the level of understanding needed to achieve the level of success you are looking for.


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