Facebook Live, YouTube videos, Instagram Stories — we’ve officially entered the age of video as king!
Video is nothing new on the digital stage, but the growing popularity and impact of mediums like Facebook Live have businesses paying attention. While those that despise writing are jumping for joy, the introverts of the world are retreating into their shells.
Being in front of a camera can be intimidating at first, but with the right amount skills (or coping mechanisms for some), you will not only look like a natural, but you’ll also connect with your audience more effectively than ever.
Here are my top seven tips for getting comfortable in front of a camera.
1. Talk to yourself.
In the car on your way to work, in the shower, while at home, maybe even at the grocery store if you don’t mind a few funny looks, pick a topic and just talk. The more you get used to hearing yourself speak, without interruption or input, the easier and more natural it will feel when it comes time to get the cameras rolling.
One of my favorite exercises comes from my college speech teacher: Choose a random topic (or better yet, let someone else pick the topic) and talk for two whole minutes, even if it’s nonsense or completely made up.
2. Practice. Practice. Practice.
I know, not exactly rocket science, but practice really does make perfect. Set your camera up, get the lighting right and start recording.
You can practice with a script or simply have a conversation with a friend or yourself. The point is, just talk! Then watch your recording with a kind eye; it’s not easy being in the spotlight. Look for things to improve upon, such as body language and expression. These are easy fixes that go a long way.
3. Find a familiar space.
Finding a comfortable place to film in can make a world of difference! How often do you walk into a new building and feel 100% confident? Never! So pick a space that you spend a lot of time in and refer back to number 2.
You’ll want to make sure that this space has proper lighting, acoustics, all those good things, but don’t pick a studio just because it has the best of everything!
4. Have a plan, but not a teleprompter.
Having a script may help you organize your thoughts, but don’t let that be the end all, be all of your video.
Know your topic and the points you want to touch on, but don’t worry about repeating the same thing every time. If you focus on a script and mess up even a single word, it could throw your whole game off. Instead, have fun, be natural and let the words flow.
5. Dress for success.
Again, not rocket science. Pick an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. Do your hair, makeup and maybe trim those nose hairs — that camera can get up close and personal. Whatever makes you walk out of the house and feel like a million bucks, do that! Confidence is always key.
6. It’s not about you. It’s about what you have to say.
Let me just burst your bubble — it’s not all about you. Well, kind of anyway.
We all get self-conscious about our appearance, but the people tuning in want to hear what you have to say. Their primary concern isn’t what you look like; rather, it’s the information and knowledge you have to share. Focus on the value of the message and information you are providing and so will everyone else.
7. It’s OK if you mess up.
The beauty of video formats like Facebook Live is that nobody expects it to be perfect. We are all human; nobody knocks it out of the park every single time and nobody expects you to either.
In fact, the authenticity and sincere nature of live videos help endear your audience to you. They want to see you and feel like they can connect and relate to you. So let your true self shine!
At the end of the day, just have fun! Everybody has something to share, so go spread your message.
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