So you may have read our previous article; How to look natural in front of the camera. If you haven’t, in it we talk about how best to look relaxed and engaging in your video. But what about those gremlins in your head, telling you how bad you look before you even hit record?
Firstly, everyone has those feelings. It’s natural, and there’s only one cure. It’s not a gremlin hunter (they are really hard to find). No, it’s actually getting in front of a camera and filming something! Even after recording literally hundreds of videos, I still contend with the negative feedback in my own head and frequently tell my team that we have to re-shoot! Fortunately for me, they rarely let me!
In my experience, the only way to start to overcome this is by getting in front of that camera and just talking. Practice practice practice!
By practicing being on camera, you will quickly begin to feel more comfortable of the fact that it’s going to become a staple of your business. So here are a few tips that we’ve either used ourselves, or had our clients carry out to become ice cool in front of the camera.
1. Empty Room – Many people are uncomfortable with the combination of BOTH a camera pointed at them, and someone else in the room watching the camera. Get comfortable with the camera first. Set up your camera in a quiet space or office, and leave it there. Encourage both yourselves and team to film themselves, with just themselves in the room.
It doesn’t matter what they do. They can sing, dance, or cry at the thought of being on camera. Once they are done, they can just delete the video. They don’t even have to watch it, but it’s another step to getting comfortable ‘on cam’.
2. Team Challenge – Another way to get comfortable with being recorded is to have fun with it, to debunk the myth in your head of how bad it looks. A simple concept involves breaking your team into groups of two. Pick an object in the office, and have each group prepare a 60 second commercial on why the object is the leading brand of blah blah blah…, and why you should buy it.
Having people engage in an activity will remove their fear of being in front of the camera because they won’t be thinking about it! Also, the results will be hilarious, buy some pizzas for the team and play it on a big screen somewhere (preferably in public) and have a laugh.
3. The ‘Ramble’ – Quick and simple to organize. Set up your camera, sit down in front of it. And hit record. Now talk about something. Anything! Do a book review, a movie review, a recap of your day, and then watch it back.
You’ll see that because you are talking about something tangible, something you know, something you experience, you will appear really natural in front of the camera.
4. The ‘Doco’ – This requires two people. One films the other during their daily tasks, exactly how you would film a documentary subject. Checking e-mails, talking to clients on the phone, it doesn’t matter. Just by ‘being there’, you become more comfortable with the fact that you are being recorded. Once you’ve done say half an hour, or an hour of this, swap over. Who knows, you may even see a spike in productivity!
So these are just a few examples of how you and your team can become comfortable with the idea of appearing on camera. All of the examples have one thing in common. They are about getting up and doing it! The more you put off the fact that you will have to record something, the longer it will take to become a pro on screen.
So why not have some fun with video before worrying about the one you’ve got to deliver for a client? I can say hand on heart that they will absolutely thank you for it!