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Conquering your fear of getting in front of the camera

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Wouldn’t you rather write your own obituary?

Putting yourself on camera, talking about your business or industry, exposing your flabby bits and pimples -it’s damn scary.

What if you stuff up? Maybe people won’t like you. Will it ruin your reputation?

Whatever monster thoughts are racing through your head, there’s no doubting that thinking about a video with you as the focus makes you feel so damn vulnerable.

But park that thought for a thirty seconds whilst we explore why creating your own video makes SO much sense for your brand.

People are your business

More and more customers are looking for brands they can connect with. Businesses that share a similar ethos or beliefs, that care about them and that have awesome people working for them.

In life, we form connections with people on this basis, so it’s understandable that customers expect similar relationships. I’m not thinking you’ll actually got the extra mile to your customers a morning cuppa in bed every morning (like my bestie does) but being able to see a “real” person as the face of a brand will certainly help people get to know you and develop these connections.

Ultimately it’s about building the know, like and trust factor that works to turn people into customers and ultimately brand fans.

Being you, warts and all, shows customers the human side of your brand. It shows them the person or people behind the business, it deliverers authenticity and helps strengthen that connection.

So yes it’s a no brainer. Sorry.

Ask for help

If you’re feeling nervous about jumping in front of the camera, ask for what you need.

Maybe you need someone to film you, help you write your script, brainstorm ideas, do your make up. The more comfortable you feel, the better the shoot will go.

If you want to fly solo do it. But being part of a team – team you plus one – can make a big difference to your confidence.  It can  help you go from thinking about being on camera to doing it.

Preparation

Aside from the professionals, there are very few of us who are able to just stand in front of a camera and wing it. Do the sensible thing and prepare what you are going to say before your in front of the camera and your brain has nothing to offer.

If it makes it easier write a full script.  And then read it aloud a couple of times. Then sub edit it down;  loose superfluous words and waffle and cut to the chase.  Read it aloud again. Then make bullet points. And really think about what you’re going to say rather than the specific words.

Only then can you say with confidence that you’re ready to start filming.

Look the part

If you’re recording tips on surfing, then sure stand in front of the camera in boardies with a towel over your shoulder. If you’re appealing to solicitors or financiers, you may prefer to wear a suit. There are no hard and fast rules about what to wear, but know your audience. Casual or smart, either works.

The most important thing is to actual be presentable – no matter what that means for your business or your audience. Oh and please check yourself in the mirror at least once before you record and remove that lettuce from between your teeth and flatten down that fly-away hair.

Rehearse

I’ll eat my hat if you get your video recorded in one take.

No chance, nada, never. But that is fine. The more times you practice, refining your delivery, adjusting your script and improving your performance, the more likely you are to nail it. Seriously. Stop that inner critic berating you for stuffing up time and time again. Thanks to digital technology, there’s no tape being wasted while you slip and stumble your way to perfection.

And heck you might be able to turn your stuff-ups into a hilarious out takes video so it wont be a wasted effort!

Performance

There’s much debate in video making-circles about whether you read a script from an autocue or learn your lines. Unless you’re an experienced presenter, I’m a strong advocate of the latter. Reading lines from an autocue will ultimately look like you are reading lines from an autocue. But with practice you can make it look more natural, that I’ll concede.

Without a teleprompter, you have to really think about what you’re saying.  Imagine you’re chatting to just one person on the other side of the camera lens. Be conversational rather than presentery. Be real. Be you (albeit in smart clothes with your hair brushed)

Avoid standing stiff as a board and robot like too. Sure stand up straight and stick out your boobs. And use your hands to emphasise points and sparkle your eyes with a smile.

Smiling is important. And even more so on camera – it lights up your face and lifts your voice.

Nothing beats a relaxed and natural delivery of information.

Recording

Record your whole script in one go?  It might work for you, but who’s really going to nail a five minute spiel in one take?

The best approach is to chunk your script into segments.

Nailing your words is far easier if you have less to remember

Re-frame between segments when you edit or add an effect. It’s easier on the eye too.

Damn you inner critic

Absolutely everyone is critical of themselves on camera. At the start.

We’re not raised to be egotistical narcissists and our default mechanism is to be critical about the way we look, act, sound and even dress.

It’s your brain using fear as a way to understand the world and getting it wrong.

You’re okay, you’ve got this, ignore that inner critic.

And stop saying sorry, there’s nothing to apologise for.

Refocus

Your heart is racing, your sweating, your brain’s gone to mush.  Maybe you’ve learnt this script off by heart but it just ain’t coming out right.

People are staring at you, there’s a distracting noise outside, your shirt is so damn irritating.

Hello irrational fear!  You’re actually getting in the way of a half-decent performance in front of the camera.

Instead refocus your attention away from the camera and the stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable. Concentrate on what you’re saying, the value you’re offering your audience, the amazing things you’re saying that will help their lives easier.

Take a deep breath and smile.

People don’t care 

Well people do care but in a good way.

They don’t care about the bad stuff.

Rather than judging you on what you look or sound like, most likely they’ll admire your actions. Your fears around bad performance, negative self-image – hello, they ‘re in your head. So forget what people think and give it your best shot.

 

When it comes to video, it doesn’t have to be this overwhelmingly hard, impossible, scary beast. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Plus it’s good for business.  And if giving it a go shows you’re serious about sharing what makes your business shine.

Good luck people; you’ve got this.

Want help?

 If you don’t want to go it alone we love training folk like you to master your nerves and confidently present on camera.

Or set up a video production shoot with us and we can make you look and sound amazing.

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