Even if you have done it before, staring down the barrel of a lens can be a scary position to be in. As I will be launching my social media videos package early next year (more news on that soon), I thought now would be the perfect time to give you my 7 tips that will help you feel more comfortable when in front of a camera.
1. Practise Makes Perfect
If you have to give a big speech or a presentation, you wouldn't write your script, make your slides and then turn up on the day and hope that everything goes okay. No, you would practise over and over again until what you're saying is etched in your brain. Speaking on camera is just the same.
Just because you may have multiple takes to get something right on video doesn't mean you shouldn't practise. Just like a speech, you want to practise so much that you only need a few key words to trigger the memory of what you need to say.
If you want to take things a step further, try practising in front of a mirror. You may feel silly at first but this way you will be able to see exactly what your audience are going to be seeing.
2. Read The Script Out Loud
Following on from the last point, don't just read the script in your head when you are practising. There are a couple of reasons for this, the first being that you will pace your sentences differently when speaking aloud.
Secondly, most people write in a different style to the way that they speak. There will be certain words or phrases that when spoken feel a bit strange as they are not in your usual vocabulary. Take this time to tweak the script and make it sound like you are having a conversation with someone.
3. Know Your Audience
If you are an accountant who is looking to bring in more customers from small businesses then you don't want to use complicated accounting jargon. It may sound flashy, but this will alienate your audience and drive them away.
By the same token if you are speaking to an audience in a profession that will understand the lingo then by all means use it as much as you like.
This can also extend to the type of common language you use. Your audience may be 18-30 young professionals, meaning you could talk about the different social media platforms such as Snapchat or Pintrest. Whereas if your audience are retired OAPs they are not liekly to know what the mannequin challenge is.
4. Have Fun
Being in front of a camera can be stressful so why not make it a bit lighter by injecting some fun into the situation. Everyone makes mistakes whilst recording, like stumbling over their lines or even making up new ones. Rather than getting flustered in these situations, turn them into a joke. By laughing at your mistakes, not only will it keep the general mood up but it will make you more relaxed, meaning you are more likely to make the next take better.
5. Watch Your Body Language
If you are standing or sitting with your back arched and your shoulders slumped forward, then not only will you be uncomfortable but your audience will be as well. Try standing or sitting tall with your shoulders back and your hands in a comfortable position. This is where my previous point about practising in front of a mirror really comes into play.
Body languagae can also play a huge part even before you press record. Try standing up tall with legs spread apart and hands on your waist (think of a Superman pose) for about 2 minutes. This is called power posing and has been shown to boost your confidence in a variety of situations. For more information about this, check out this fascinating TED article.
6. Talk Through The Lens
Many people talk directly into the lens. The problem with this is that although a lens is a magnificent feat of engineering, it is an inanimate object that won't give you any feedback.
Instead imagine your target viewer is on the other side of the lens. Imagine you are having a one way conversation with them and they won't respond until they have finished hearing what you have to say. This should help you feel and appear more natural on camera as, if you boil it down, you are essentially trying to talk to the person on the other side of the screen.
7. Be Yourself
Did you know that 93% of communication is nonverbal? Whether it is your body language, the way your eyes move or what you are doing with your hands. A lot of information is interpreted by what we are saying and not what we are doing.
Therefore, if you are trying to appear as someone you are not, people will see straight through it and you will come across as disingenuous.
The best advice, just be yourself.
Most times is business I have found that people make purchasing desicions based on the people they are dealing with. If you show your personality then people are going to be more likely to connect you and will want to do business with you.
With all my projects I always plan to spend plenty of time on the interview section. This allows us to take our time and get you comfortable with what you are saying. By doing this and following the tips above, you will end up with a more professional video. It may take extra time but the boost in quality will be well worth it.
I hope these tips will help you with your next appearance on screen, but if you need any further help I have a number of contacts who specialise in increasing your confidence on camera. Just get in touch and I can pass your details along.
Until next time.
Proud Business Productions