Does the mere thought of being on camera scare you?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. Fear of video is well-nigh universal. Lots of people are really afraid of… actually, what?
What is so scary about being on video?
After all, a camera is just a small plastic box with bits of glass, metal and some very low-voltage circuitry that could not hurt anyone. Nothing will jump out at you. It is not a sable tooth tiger ready to pounce.
So, what is it then?
You don’t like yourself on camera?
No one does.
This is also universal because we don’t see and hear ourselves the way everyone else does.
We think of ourselves from the perspective that is inside our own heads. We hear ourselves with the resonances of our skull and see ourselves only in the mirror, which swaps left with right.
This is the reason for the divergence. The rest of the world does not do this, and the same is true for video cameras and voice recorders.
The truth is that others still like to be with us, talk to us, buy form us. They don’t have a problem with us live or on video. Yet we do.
Why should we have this problem when the rest of humanity does not?
Isn’t it time to come to terms with the fact that, if others don’t recoil in horror when they see and hear us, we could conceivably do the same?
There is a very simple, three-word remedy, which definitely helps. It worked for me: GET OVER IT!
Initially, I didn’t like myself on camera. I seriously disliked the sound of my voice.
How did I get over it?
I’ll tell you how I did it: with holistic desensitisation therapy through full immersion. I gathered all my courage and exposed myself to voice recordings and video images of myself. After the initial numbness subsided, distance manifested. I am now able to look at my videos and edit them without pain or prejudice. I dismiss my performance if it is below par and simply delete inadequate voice recordings, and all this without any harm to the very core of my being.
On a slightly more serious note, why should something like that stop you from using the most powerful online medium for your business, service or project and leave the field wide open to your competition? Would you tolerate such an attitude in an employee?
“What if they don’t like me?”
This is another frequently expressed fear by those who don’t want to be on camera.
‘If they don’t like me on video, will this destroy my business?’
No! On the contrary! When this happens it is time to celebrate. Congratulations!
The reason is straight forward: If they don’t like you on camera, do you think would like you in person?
And if they still contacted you and for whatever reason became your clients, chances are that they would become Clients from Hell.
On the other hand, people who like you on camera, connect with you and contact you because they find you trustworthy, and then proceed to buy your services, they would be more likely to become your Ideal Clients.
The bottom line is: Video helps you keep away those who don’t like you and attract those who connect with you. It, therefore, automatically increases the share of ideal clients among those who contact you. What better outcome than working with your ideal clients and reduce the potential of acquiring clients from hell?
Finally, let me give you some tips that will help you feel confident and comfortable on camera.
How to prepare for the shoot:
Start hydrating at least 2 hours before you go on camera so that you are there fully energised. And keep hydrating during your shoot to keep your energy up.
Exercise beforehand, jump up and down, go for a run if you need to but don’t over-exercise. This helps you get your energy levels up and talk to camera full of energy.
During the shoot, stretch your body and stretch your mouth. The latter will help your sounds come out the way you want them to.
Before the shoot, listen to your favourite music. It will give you energy, pick you up and make you smile.
And here are some tips for when you are on camera.
- Be your very best self.
Don’t just be yourself. Be your very best self. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
- Talk to your viewer.
During a video shoot with clients, I stand behind the camera and tell them to talk to me. Rather than talking into a lens, they talk to a person, which helps them connect with their audience.
Use the same principle when you video yourself. Take a photo of somebody who you love the most and put it just behind the camera.
When I record myself, I put a photo of my daughter right behind the camera and talk to her. Her photo puts a smile on my face, and that makes all the difference.
Gesticulate a little more than usual, speak a little louder, and speak more clearly. The camera needs that. And dress confidently but do not wear small checked patterns and thin pin stripes. The camera does not like those.
- Don’t use
If you need to have anything in front of you to jog your memory, use bullet points, and then speak about the bullet points.
If you use scripts, you will most likely read your text and sound very stilted and artificial. It will drain your energy. That’s why I discourage the use of teleprompters. Speaking about bullet points will help you relate personally to your audience.
And, finally, practice, practice, practice. Create as many videos as possible until you feel really comfortable in front of the camera.
Do you have any further questions, technical ones included? I’ll be delighted to hear from you. Just click here and get in touch.
This is at the core of my A-Z of Video for Professional Services:
Providing you with the information that empowers you to connect and build trust with your online audience; that helps you get your message right and get it out there with the most powerful online tools available; that helps you come across as a Trusted Advisor on your website and on your social media properties.
My aim is to empower by helping you to get it right: create, present and distribute effective videos. You can see all of my the A-Z of Video for Professional Services on my blog.
This article was first published on the VideoMagnets.co.uk blog.