Adapting to this ‘new normal’ we keep hearing about means spending a lot more time on camera. Whether it’s Zoom meetings for work; developing social content for your brand; or perhaps hosting a webinar.
While the camera-hogging professionals out there are loving life, the rest of us are cringing at the thought of all these videos. It’s completely normal to feel a bit awkward and unnatural in front of the camera, whether you’re pre-recording or on a live stream. So what can you do to feel a little more comfortable on camera? Here are 5 tips to improve your video confidence.
First thing, it’s far better to be prepared, so if you know that you’ve got an important video conference, do enough prep to help you feel at ease. You might want to write yourself a script and learn it, or have a few talking prompts and improvise the rest. When you’re new to being on camera, a script can be useful. Even if you don’t end up using the script, it’s a real ‘nice-to-have’ to help you feel less nervous.
Perhaps you’re using a new video streaming or conferencing platform? The worst thing you can do is assume it will be self-explanatory and not bother learning the ropes. Of course, many software platforms are easy to use, but the last thing you want are some embarrassing tech difficulties to knock your confidence. Spend a little time learning how to use the platform in advance of a presentation or conference call.
Remember, above all, people value authenticity. If you trip up on your words, or your child comes in the background and makes a scene, don’t panic! No matter how important a client, meeting or sale, we are all just people trying to do our jobs, and no one is going to hold you to impossible standards. Oberlo recently reported that ‘86% of consumers say that authenticity is a crucial factor when deciding what brands they like and support.’ With this in mind, don’t worry airbrushing your personal brand too much!
If you’re looking to improve the quality of your video content, try asking for feedback. You can ask your colleagues, clients, customers, or even a friend. Make a list of your strengths and your weaknesses, and create a roadmap to help you improve your performance. With the right feedback you’ll be able to perfect your video conferencing skills.
Perhaps you have to create a series of pre-recorded videos? You’re addressing your audience, but they aren’t actually there listening. To help you get into the zone, it can be helpful to pretend that you’re live. Imagining that you are live can help you act like you’re on stage rather than your living room. Video content sometimes needs a little bit of a performance, and of course plenty of personality.
Most importantly, try to relax, taking yourself too seriously is bound to end up with you feeling even more awkward on camera.