Video marketing is awesome. There is so much evidence to prove it that it’s almost redundant to go over all the reasons why you need to do it – but despite having all the facts and stats, you’re still having trouble getting started. 

Could it be that you’re camera shy? Aw, shucks! Well, you’re not alone, by any means. Heck, it’s even got a name – entertainment professionals call it “red light fever,” that sweaty, thick-tongued feeling you get when you know the camera is recording. It’s a quaint way of saying – it happens to the best of them! 

The truth is, being in front of the camera doesn’t come easily to everyone. But here’s another truism: not everyone who is brilliant on camera started out that way. Just like learning how to match your socks to the rest of your outfit, getting comfortable in front of the camera can be learned. To help you get past that initial lump in your throat, we’ve got a few tips that might help. 

Top Five Tips for Getting Comfortable in Front of The Camera

Whether you’re giving a video presentation, leading a webinar, or making marketing videos to send to your customers, here are a few simple hacks to help you feel more confident and relaxed in front of the camera. 

1. Confront Your Fear

The first step is to understand where your fear is coming from. Are you afraid of public speaking? Is it about how you look on camera? Or do you feel under pressure to perform?

When you understand your fears, it’s easier to get past them, or at least come to terms. 

If public speaking is your fear, be sure you take a few moments to relax before you start. Keep in mind that you can start again – you’re not going live, and you get as many do-overs as you like. Know what you’re going to say, focus on talking about what you know best, and don’t drink a lot of coffee because it’s just going to amplify the situation. 

To really get a handle on what’s going on, do a few test runs and view them back. You might find that it’s not nearly as bad as you thought – or you might notice a few nervous tics that you can work on. The more you practice, the more you’ll improve, and pretty soon it’ll be old hat. 

2. Be Prepared

It’s easy to get tongue-tied when you don’t have at least a basic script to follow. A script doesn’t have to be followed word-for-word, but it should cover the high points of what you want to say or show. Don’t stress over finding the exact words or reading from a script – it’s far more authentic if you speak naturally. Just focus on relaying the message and try to talk more slowly than you typically would. That way, you won’t stumble over your words or come across too stiff. 

3. Set Up Your Shot

There are a lot of little details that go into making a great-looking (and sounding) video. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment, but you should think about a few things:

  • Lighting. Whether you’re indoors or out, lighting makes a huge difference in the quality of your video. Good lighting will flatter you, and it won’t cast shadows. If you’re inside, pick a spot where you’ll face a window. If you are using ambient light, be sure the primary light source is not coming from above. If you are using the webcam on your computer, set up a lamp just above or beside your screen. Light rings are flattering, inexpensive, and great if you just need to light yourself up. 
  • What’s in the background? Do a test shot to see what’s going on behind you. You don’t want the background to be too distracting, cluttered, or embarrassing. Tidy up your room, straighten the pictures on the wall, and if you have kids or animals that like to get in on the action when they can, close your office door—or as they say in Hollywood, “Lock it up!” 
  • Camera angles. It might sound cliché, but everybody has one side that’s more photogenic than the other. Test shots are an excellent opportunity to find out about yours. Try a few different angles to find the one that works for you. People tend to look their best when the camera is just above their eye level. If you’re using your phone as a camera, invest in a tripod so you can move it around easily. you might be surprised at how your fear of being on camera disappears when you realize how AMAZING you look!

4. Dress Well

Treat your video as you would a business meeting. Dress to impress, the way you would typically do when meeting a client for the first time. Once you’ve sent your video out, the last thing you’ll want to do is regret your choice of wardrobe. Again, test shots are a good idea. It gives you a chance to be objective about how you come across. Don’t be afraid to enlist the advice of friends and colleagues whose opinions you trust. 

5. Edit Your Own Videos

One reason people tend to get so nervous about making videos is that they are deathly afraid of what other people might think of their mistakes. If you edit your own videos, that problem goes out the window. Use free editors like iMovie in a snap, or pay for one that’s a bit more feature-rich. As your own editor, you are 100 percent in control; plus, you will quickly get used to seeing yourself on video, so pretty soon, “the fear” will be a thing of the past. 

Final Thoughts 

While video fear is a real thing that many of us grapple with, when you approach it with calm, cool logic and a bit of know-how under your belt, you’ll be a pro in no time. One day soon, you might actually look back on your fear with a nostalgic smile, but until then, keep these handy tips in your back pocket and keep on being you. 

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