On-camera jitter is an irrational fear and a common feeling, especially if you are not used to getting on camera. However, it makes you lose your confidence and easily blow things up. These tips will help you take control of the camera and come out like a PRO online.
You’ve tried other marketing strategies to reach out to your targeted audience and you’ve now decided to put a video marketing strategy in place. Well, this is commendable! You have crafted a compelling script, and you only need to repeat them on camera. However, the moment you get on camera, you blow it up and lose your confidence. Every other word out of your mouth is “Ummm…” Or you talk too slow, or too fast; you keep fidgeting.
All though on-camera jitters is an irrational fear, it is a common feeling, especially if you are not used to getting on camera. Even Hollywood stars get nervous too before they perform. Think of a situation where you have to deliver a speech or make a presentation before a large crowd for the first time.
You tend to develop stage fright. You may forget what you should say. Your voice may waver. You may freeze in at a point and have to look at your notes. At other times, all you do is nod, nod, and nod. The same can be said about sitting in front of a camera to record a video, especially to promote your business online.
Let’s get to the reasons why you may get uncomfortable in front of the camera!
Why you Tend to Get Nervous When on Camera
People freeze up when they think of getting on camera for a number of reasons. You might be super sensitive about what comments people will make about your appearance. Probably you look kind of awkward and skinny, think you might have gained a few extra pounds? You could have seen how people on YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter could be so mean in their comments, and you don’t want to be a victim of their “savages.” Well, people will always say both positive and negative things about you. That is to show you are worth to be discussed.
The situation tends to become tenser once you remember that you are about making a video that will be for posterity’s sake. You will have your boss, friends, younger ones, and even complete strangers watching the video. What if you say something that gets misinterpreted? Or you freeze up along the way? Have you forgotten so soon that humans are not infallible?
How Do you Overcome On-camera Jilters and Fear?
As much as you have internalized a great deal of fear, you still want to do a great job. You wouldn’t want to sound stupid or get overwhelmed with fear such that your physical senses and level of confidence are at odds. Once you remember that the camera can neither hurt nor kill you, then you are on the path of getting camera-confident. Here are 5 easy tips to help you step out like a PRO online!
1) Prepare and Practice
Despite your fears, you still want to nail down your message and deliver it confidently and as concisely as possible. Believe me; this may not go well without adequate preparation and constant practice. Even if you are not a fan of writing outlines, you may have to do this for your business. Write your messages down as key points. This will help you to be able to deliver your message effectively.
If you decide to memorize a lengthy script, you will always have to over-stress your brain. And most times, you may trip over your words or forget the order you were supposed to say them. The result – losing your message and credibility – is better imagined than experienced. You may also have to be reminded that lots of the content coming out is competing for people’s attention such that they have to filter every piece of content that comes their way to pick remarkably short ones.
After you might have condensed your messages such that they are clear, concise, and represent your company’s values, then practice, practice, and practice. You can take a short video of yourself and show a family member or friend to score your performance. Definitely, you will make mistakes on your first set of trials. In fact, mistakes make your videos more natural and perfect. Nevertheless, keep adjusting until you are happy with the content.
Apart from making professional videos, you can also try out fun videos on Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram. Share the videos with your friends. The more you practice, the better you become.
2) Acknowledge your nervousness
Yes, it may sound counterintuitive to admit your fear. How can you acknowledge that you are nervous when you are trying to get over being nervous in front of the camera? I’m telling you, it works! There is a psychology behind being authentic with your feelings. Usually, you get nervous in front of the camera because you are trying to pretend not to be nervous. Trust me; you get more nervous with this.
However, when you acknowledge that you are nervous, you are able to calm your nerves a bit. The audience then comes to terms with how you really feel. Ever been in an occasion where someone is called out to give an impromptu speech, and the person admits that they are not really good at making public speeches, and then they ended up giving a relatively good speech? Their “poorly-constructed” speech may even attract approving nods and a round of applause from the audience that might have forgotten that the speaker was not supposedly good at making public speeches.
Let the audience know that, despite the fact that your nerves might have taken the best of you, you will tackle it and be fine.
3) Get comfortable
How you appear is critical to how confident you will be. The first is the position you want to assume during the presentation. Are you more comfortable when you are sitting or standing? Which of the positions tends to boost your level of confidence? Are you highly sensitive to light? If you are, you can always change your location to suit your preference. Of course, you can also get the light blocked.
Also, your outfit may contribute to your comfort. You tend to feel good if you look good. It is expected that you should have a favorite outfit that smacks of confidence and positivity, even if it is quirky. As long as it isn’t inappropriate, you are good to go. Make sure your clothes are clean and free of wrinkle.
Also, avoid certain designs and colors that do not work well on camera. Some of the designs include stripes, checks, herringbone, and small intricate designs. White, black, and red colors are out of the game. In the same manner, accessories such as dangly earrings should also be avoided as they make a lot of noise that can interfere with the audio.
An extra tip that adds up to comfort is to avoid dry lips. You may have to sip some water before starting and even have it within your reach during the process.
4) Take deep breaths
Taking deep breaths is a meditation technique that constitutes a major toolkit of speakers. Apart from helping to focus one’s mind, it also helps to distress the body. Most importantly, it tones down the voice, especially when you are a bit squeaky. With deep breaths, you are able to regulate your pace, thus making you more aware of what you are – and should – say.
To do this, inhale deeply through your nose and allow your stomach to expand naturally as your lungs fill up with air. Then gradually release the air from your lungs through your mouth. You may have to maintain the same amount of time it took you to fill them up. Some people prefer to take some counts as they inhale and exhale. Repeat the process for a minute or two or until you feel calm and relaxed.
Try out a few breaths to see the difference it can make.
5)Adjust body movements
It is true that body language is also a means of communicating ideas, feelings, and expressions. If you are the type that has the habit of talking too much with your hands or head, you may have to reduce the movements. Otherwise, they could easily distract your audience away from your message. In the same manner, you don’t want to remain static while you reel out your message to the audience as it is equally distracting. You will simply get uncomfortable with it and this will easily show on camera. As much as you are not an untamed dog, you are also not a robot.
The crux of adjusting your body movement is to tone it down if you move too much and ramp it up if you are too static. The camera exaggerates movement and you need to maintain yourself as the central focus. Let your body movements flow naturally with your message. Rather than conflict with your message, they should be able to complement it.
In all, maintain a steady gaze at your camera. However, if this feels too intense, you can try looking slightly above the camera, or at the person behind the camera. Nevertheless, looking directly into the camera projects an image of confidence on camera which is easily noticed by your audience or viewers.
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