Spoiler alert: by the end of this article, you are going to be much more comfortable and excited about creating videos to boost your biz. While there are different reasons why so many people dread getting in front of a camera, when you confront what’s behind your fear and combine that with a few simple tricks that I’ll teach you today, you’ll soon find yourself looking better and feeling more confident—on camera and off.
You Do You
Even though I’m in front of a camera almost every single day, believe it or not, I haven’t always been so comfortable in that role. I had been told by “experts” that my bald head was too shiny so I should not light the top of my head, my delivery was way too fast and I needed to slow down. Neither of these pieces of advice was very helpful to me. I rather like my bald head and my delivery is never going to slow down (ask anyone who knows me.) But here’s the thing: I could have let these things diminish my confidence, but I didn’t. Instead, I focused on what works for me, and what makes me feel my best.
Have a plan – Just as you might feel nervous when walking into a party full of people you don’t know, getting comfortable in front of the camera requires some preparation. Trying to “wing it” can sometimes actually increase anxiety. Instead, think about your opening lines, and how you can keep the conversation going after that. This is especially helpful when you’re interviewing someone on-camera or filming a webinar, instructional video, etc. Plan at least five questions or topics ahead of time, along with follow-up questions or sub-topics.
Find common ground – Because you have already planned out questions or topics, you have some control in the conversation. Find common ground with people and try to stick to topics that interest you. By doing so, your passion will shine through naturally.
Focus on the feeling – Maya Angelou once said that “People will forget what you said or did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” So, don’t focus so much on your words, but instead, how you make people feel when you’re speaking with them (bonus: people will buy from people who make them feel good.)
Use creative visualization – Before you get in front of the camera, imagine yourself doing so in a calm, assertive and confident way. Many competitive athletes use creative visualization as a regular practice.
Have a recovery secret – Rather than telling yourself “I can’t mess up,” accept in advance that you probably will (‘cause nobody’s perfect … and that’s okay!) So, when you get flustered or forgetful, say something like, “Whoops, I’m getting ahead of myself here – let me try again!” Cut yourself off mid-sentence and keep going. Everyone can relate to goofs, and acknowledging them will put not only you at ease, but your viewers, too.
Like many things in life, getting comfortable in front of a camera requires practice, practice, practice. Start small — for example, send a “miss you” video to a few clients you haven’t seen in a while. Gradually work your way up to longer content that is more organized and informational. Keep going and I promise, you’ll get there!
Louis “The Laser Guy’s” Three Additional Tips to Conquer On-Camera Fear:
- Review videos as you go and make tweaks to determine which camera angles work best for you, what type of lighting is most flattering, which microphones sound clearest and which topics you enjoy discussing most.
- Many online video platforms (Zoom, Loom, etc.) have a “mirror image” feature, which allows you to view yourself as you do in your bathroom mirror (versus a camera, which is the opposite.) This feature may help put you at ease.
- Have fun! Fear and fun are typically in opposition to each other, so shoot for fun.