Posted: Mon 14th Mar 2022
Through my business webinars, I am often asked an array of questions that I simply don't have the time to answer. One such question is how to grow your confidence on camera.
This was a tricky one for me - as for most small business owners - at the start of their video marketing journey, so I have put together this guide to hopefully address the question and provide some helpful insights.
I would be dishonest if I said every time I jump in front of the camera today that I feel great, have no nerves, and everything runs smoothly - it just doesn't happen! However, I have learnt a few ways to override the nerves and increase my confidence, and these are the things I will share with you in this post.
Firstly, let's look at what is stopping us from feeling confident in front of the camera.
Change your thought process today
The things stopping us from creating videos are thoughts within our own heads and being criticised & judged for how we appear on screen.
Whether it's laughter lines, crow’s feet, blemishes, grey hair, imperfect teeth, or the sound of your own voice (which nobody likes listening back to!), what I can tell you with conviction is that these things matter normally only to you.
All consumers care about is finding a resolution to their problem; your skin tone, wrinkles, lazy eye are all irrelevant. Consumers have started to view your video to learn from you, which doesn't mean you have to be a professor in your field - just that you can communicate your expertise.
Talk about what you know about, from a place of passion, and this is how you will set yourself up for success. Effective video is all about connecting with people and being authentic.
I genuinely believe that consumers are well over the flawless, filtered look of many of today's influencers (you know, the ones who endorse weight loss tablets and diets they don't know anything about). Your audience is far more interested in your knowledge; any blemishes, lines, or wrinkles, well, they just make you human.
Five top tips for feeling comfortable on camera
Sitting in front of a camera is intimidating, especially at first. But, with the right amount of practise, you will hopefully start to feel and appear more natural on-screen - which will coincide with connecting with your audience more effectively.
Here are my top tips for increasing your confidence on camera:
1) Talk to yourself
If it's good enough for Prince Charles and his plants, it's good enough for us. Start to normalise listening to the sound of your own voice and expressing your thoughts out loud. It could be in the car, the shower, while cooking dinner, or anywhere you feel comfortable.
The more you get used to hearing yourself speak, the more natural it will feel when the camera is turned on.
2) Practise often
Doing test shoots is good for a whole manner of things, such as checking the camera settings, angle, lighting, seeing how the background looks, and of course, studying yourself.
Be your own strongest critic, which isn't difficult to do when confidence is lacking, but be realistic with yourself.
Watch how you come across on screen. Are the hand movements all necessary? Are you appearing a little flat-faced and could do with working on some facial expressions? Do you appear a little too stiff? Are you even properly in the shot?
Just like with any venture, from driving a car to hosting a meeting, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel until, in the end, it all just becomes second nature.
3) Have a script
I don't mean a full script that you cannot divert from - you're not an audiobook. But a few pointers written down, or a general plan of what you want to discuss, will help you to fill in any gaps during the filming.
You could number the points you want to address and tick them as you go on to ensure nothing important is left out. It is so easy to go off on a tangent, especially about a subject you're passionate about, but a simple script should be enough to ensure your entire message gets across.
4) Dress to impress
I'm no psychologist, but I believe it to be true that when you look good, you feel good. Now, we're not all going to be blessed with Hollywood looks, and nobody is expecting this, but as long as you feel comfortable in your attire, this will shine through.
Trim those nose hairs, tidy the eyebrows, and ensure the shirt is coffee-stain-free! The camera can be quite unforgiving, and especially with the high-resolution technology of today, there's nothing that will be missed!
5) Don't worry if you mess up
If you mess up, carry on! Life isn't perfect; people respond to human nature, we all make mistakes, and they're not a huge deal. So, you fluff your lines, stammer, lose your trail of thought - so what?! As a wise man once said, it isn't about how many times you fall down, it's about how many times you get back up.
Making mistakes can even go in your favour and make you appear more trustworthy, more human, and more relatable than a stony-faced, flawless production.
The first thing to remember is that it really isn't all about you. It is highly unlikely anyone will watch your new broadcast because they want to see what colour tie you have on or how tidy your hair is.
Nobody is here for this. Consumers are coming to you for an answer - a solution to their problem - and as long as you can deliver this, that is all that matters.
Practise, practise, practise. Talk to yourself, your plants, your pets (any kind of captive audience is great) until you're well used to hearing the sound of your own voice.
Do as many test shoots as you can, to ensure that everything is 'on fleek.' Having a script to hand is a valuable resource, but don't be afraid to divert from it.
Finally, if you make a mistake, get over it. It really doesn't matter. As they say, anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new!
Good luck with your video marketing journey - and get practicing on camera!