I think it's safe to say that there are a lot more people who are pretty comfortable being on camera than there was 10 or 15 years ago. Being filmed or filming yourself doing something or saying something has become part of everyday life for a lot of us. Certainly Generation Z and anyone who started learning TikTok dances during lockdown are no strangers to the lens.
So what about the rest of us? Those of us who haven't caught the the bug and learned to break that fourth wall yet. Well if you are running a customer or client facing business it would be a good idea to give it a go, considering the amount of leverage video has on generating business.
Before I get into some tips and tricks in getting used to the camera let me tell you a little about me and my experience.
I have had training in TV and Radio presenting. This was at University and part of my degree. I have also been the front woman of a cover band that played to hundreds of (albeit fairly drunk) people every weekend. This meant being the one on the microphone speaking and interacting with the crowd.
You would think with this kind of experience that I would be a natural at picking up my phone and chatting away on Instagram Stories or IGTV.
Not so much... it doesn't matter how much training or previous experience you have. You need to be actively showing up and being on camera on a regular basis to feel like you know what you're doing. And remember no one actually starts out feeling like they know what they're doing!
Have a good idea of the main points you want to bring up in your video. Try not to over script it and learn it off word for word. Not only will it sound scripted but it will take you forever to get it "right".
Of course coming up with ideas of what to talk about is a challenge in itself. It's a lot easier show up when you have an event to promote or a special offer on one of your courses. But consistently showing up on video streams will allow your audience to get to know you and your personality, and chances are they will like you better if you are willing to show up and educate or entertain as well as sell.
Look at the rest of your content for that week. Can you discuss it further, or offer answers to questions on the topic? Can you share a story from what's going on for your business that week that relates to your content?
Rehearsing is always a good idea, but again learning something word for word is not what I mean here. Rehearse casually, by imagining the conversation, or saying it out loud while you're driving or in the shower. Get used to speaking about whatever it is before your turn the camera on. Imagine you're speaking to someone in particular. Someone you enjoy conversing with.
If you are really nervous and unsure about it rehearse in front of the camera too. Record yourself without the pressure of putting it online. Watch and review and take notes of how you can improve. But be kind to yourself.
Don't rehearse to perfection, welcome mistakes. When recording (for practice and for publishing) don't start again every time you stumble over a word or make a mistake. This is different to TV, social media videos are best in the moment and natural. Your audience isn't expecting perfection and will like to see the real you.
Avoid multiple takes and welcome the fact that you are perfectly imperfect.
There's a difference to feeling confident on camera to appearing confident on camera. Feeling confident only comes with time and practice. But there's a couple of things you can do to appear as though you are confident from the start.
A smile is the best way to appear confident. Your warmth and energy will come through your authentic smile and will say more about you than you ever could. Remember this is all about allowing people to get to know you and like you.
Smiling also lifts your voice and intonation which is pleasing to listen to!
And best of all smiling will naturally make you feel happier and more at ease and therefore, confident!
When you're speaking to someone in person, maintaining eye contact is important for appearing confident and at ease. You wouldn't speak to the ground when meeting someone in person for your business.
It's the same when speaking on camera.
Now it's a lot easier to look down the lens of a proper video camera than it in on phone because with a phone we have our faces distracting us. It's important to look at the camera lens on your phone and not at your own eyes or mouth as you're speaking.
It's okay to look off camera a little but bring your line of vision back to the lens every time. Record yourself doing both and notice the difference!
This leads me nicely into the last step of getting started...
From speaking with clients, it's alarming how many people allow how they "think" they look to hold them back from getting themselves online. Trust me I get it. I have had my own fights with what the camera sees. But beyond doing some inner healing work on self love and acceptance the best way to feel comfortable in your own skin and become content with how you look on camera is to find good lighting!
Natural light is your friend. It will brighten and blend out your skin and make your eyes shine. When you're filming pick a spot to sit or stand near a window, or go outside position yourself with the sun on your face.
You can also use a ring light. If you don't already have one they are easy to use and very affordable. You can get one on amazon here. Artificial lights are great, I would suggest to use it in its natural light setting in conjunction with real natural light.
Other than lighting another thing to help you become comfortable with how you look on camera is to avoid unflattering angles.
There is nothing worse than an unflattering angle. I don't know about you but unflattering angles love to follow me around and mess with my confidence!
If you're using a tripod or even if you are holding your phone try keeping the lens slightly above eye level.
Try out different set ups with lighting and angles and find what works for you!
There is really only one way to get confident on camera and that is to get on camera. Just do it. The more you do it and better you will get and it will eventually become second nature. The best way to learn is by doing. Release the need to be perfect (that doesn't exist) and just start. You can thank me later.
You can successfully run a business without speaking to camera on social media.
But depending on the business it can be a fantastic method for connecting with your audience and positioning your brand.
If you want to show up for your brand and get comfortable being the face of your business, now is the perfect time! Don't put it off any longer and get out there.
If you would like to discuss this further or receive extra support on this you can always book a FREE call by clicking here.
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