The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term “anal-retentive” as this:

anal-re·​ten·​tive | \ ˈā-nᵊl-ri-ˈten-tiv

variants:  or anal retentive

often used in nontechnical contexts to describe someone as extremely or excessively neat, careful, or precise.

Well… that sounds like a pretty good description of me, particularly when it comes to house cleanliness… and now transferred into the realm of video editing. I suppose that anal retentiveness does lend itself well to tasks like editing in general, whether it is text (school journalism in my past life) or in video (current outside of work life). It also serves people well who need precision, and people who like to bake require precision. Yep, it actually does fit me now in more ways than I really want to admit.

What I did not actively think about when I started shooting my food videos is that I would inadvertently be schooling and critiquing myself on my public speaking abilities. Granted, speaking in front of a lens or camera is very, very different than speaking in front of an audience or in front of friends, but I started noticing all these annoying little things I would do that I never would have thought about unless I watched myself speak: the way I move my eyes to the side (which could potentially make someone doubt how credible I am); the excessive “so….” and “um” filler words. I actually do not say “like” as a filler word almost at all, which I was quite self-satisfied about, if I had to be fully honest. It completely makes sense why in every public speaking workshop I’ve either heard of or done myself, they strongly encourage or even require you to film yourself speaking, then to watch yourself, critique yourself, and try to improve on your little ticks.

So what did I actually do the last few days in my editing that probably was a wee bit too anal retentive? I went through my entire series of clips for each video I shot and removed nearly every “um” that I could comfortably take out without making it seem awkward. That was super anal, super retentive, but quite comforting in the end. And to prevent myself from having to torture myself in that way again, instead of saying “um” in current and future videos I will shoot, I will pause or take a breath every time I feel an urge to say “um.” I need to remember to speak slower and to space out my words more. That also helps with editing.

I think that sounds like a good plan.

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