Learn from Will Smith's Past Experience

Will Smith is a movie star,

musician and well-known

face around the world.

He was involved in TV series

like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,

had record-setting music albums

and as a actor was involved

in box office hit movies like

Independence Day

Bad Boys

Men In Black

and I Am Legend.

Whatever you may

think of him personally,

there's no denying

that we can learn some lessons

from his experiences.

Lessons that you and I

can apply to YouTube,

Twitch and other
content creation.

Thinking back to just before

the release of his movie

Men in Black,

Will Smith shared

an important lesson

that he learned on

the movie’s promotional tours...

Men in Black was slated

for release on July 2nd, 1997.

This was the same weekend

that Independence Day

had hit cinemas (previous year).

In Hollywood,

all weekends are not equal.

The 4th of July was the most

coveted slot of the year.

When the studios put your movie

on that date, they are

betting the farm on you.

I decided

I wanted to publicly

lean into the pressure.

In all of my press interviews,

I began referring

to the 4th of July

as “Big Willy Weekend”.

They ate it up.

It made headlines everywhere!

In the UK,

it had an added (though unintended) media benefit,

because "Willie" is slang

for the male reproductive organ,

and big

means BIG.

On YouTube & Twitch,

your audience is global.

You aren't just reaching out

to people in your local town.

They're not even restricted

just to those

who speak the same language

because Google's translation

services are able

to create subtitles for your videos


Sometimes in real time,

those subtitles

are being translated

and generated as the viewers

are watching!

Because of this, there are

two very important things

to keep in mind for all content

that you create.

The first

and most obvious lesson

we can learn from

Will's experience

is that words

don't mean the same thing

in all parts of the world.


Choose the words that you use


"Willie" was a nickname

that Will Smith was referred to

by some of his friends

and peers.

He didn't know

until he went on that tour

that it was slang

for something else in the UK.


there are words like "thong"

that mean a different thing,

depending on where you live.

In Australia,

where I am,

it's a type of sandal

that you can wear on your feet.

In other parts of the world,

well... let's just say

you don't wear it on your feet!

Your commentary on a stream,

the jokes that you make in videos,

and other references you make,

they may have unintended


Best case scenario,

people laugh because it's funny.

Another scenario is

that you might say something

and it means absolutely nothing

to the viewer.

The viewer might not get

the reference.

They may lose interest

and they may click away

or disconnect

from what you're saying

because they have no idea

what you're talking about.

As someone

living in South Australia,

I might refer to a "stobie pole".

Not only would you not know

what it is internationally,

even in other Australian states,

including neighboring states,

you wouldn't know what

a "stobie pole" is.

It's local to my specific area.

So using that

in an illustration,

you as the viewer

won't have a clue

what I'm referring to.

You won't get the point

And the worst case scenario,

is that what you say

may be offensive to people

in certain parts of the world.

You can't go around

walking on eggshells constantly

questioning everything you say.

But it is worth at least

thinking about this

and keeping it in mind.

And it's worth showing

respect and understanding

when a viewer comes to you

and starts complaining...

but you don't understand

what they're complaining about

or why they're concerned

because of a

cultural difference.

What's the second lesson

that we can learn?


the second lesson is to speak

clearly with simple language

so that you can be understood.

Those are understand

your language

may not be native speakers.

By using simple words,

speaking clearly into microphone,

and removing background noise

and distractions,

you are setting up your viewer

to get as much value

out of your content

as possible.

Speaking clearly

also has a few other added

benefits that

you probably haven't considered.

One of those is that

it makes it easier for Google's

auto translation software

to detect what you're saying,

and then convert that

into other languages.

Translation is difficult as it is.

Let's not make it harder

by giving YouTube dodgy audio.

Another benefit

is that if

Google knows what you said,

it's able

to accurately

index your content

and know what you're

talking about at each moment.

That means

better recommendations

to viewers, and the people that

are recommended to watch your

video will watch,

and are more interested

and stick around, which in turn

gives you more views,

gives you more subscribers

and potentially,

if you monetize,

gives you more money.

gives you more money.

So the lessons are...

As a content creator,

you should be aware

of cultural differences.

And simple, clear

commentary has many benefits.

What else do you think

we can learn from movie stars,

Will Smith or otherwise?

You can comment on the YouTube

version of this episode

with your thoughts.

Creators and Guests

I make stuff, and love every moment • LeigerGaming.com
Learn from Will Smith's Past Experience
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