GUEST BLOG - You Say Video, I Say ‘Hide’
Posted on 19th April 2020 at 18:43
If the thought of appearing on film fills you with dread, trust me you are not alone. Public speaking and presenting to camera are at the top of the list of fears for a huge percentage of people. If this is you, there are some practical things you can do to prepare yourself, despite your nerves, to get ‘camera ready’.
Only you will know what the reasons are for feeling camera shy; some of the common ones are feeling unattractive, lacking presenting experience, appearing unintelligent and not sure what to talk about. Unless you have a deep-rooted phobia, most of these can be addressed without too much effort, and they will no longer be a hindrance. The path to confidence on camera is actually quite simple.
No big secrets here; confidence will come from three key areas; knowledge, preparation and practice.
When thinking about content, a great disabler is thinking that you need to try and be someone else. Research your topic, copy down some statistics and learn about different delivery styles. However, do not try to emulate someone else. Think of your video persona as you, but on a really, really good day.
Your experiences and authenticity are your USP.
Other people may do similar jobs or provide similar services, but nobody has your exact training, skills and personality combination.
Preparation - Content
Plan what you want to discuss.
The temptation is often to try and talk about everything you do, all in one go. Not only does this make the video too long for our audience, it also gives you a much bigger task. To make it more manageable at the beginning, choose one topical subject.
Are you trying to speak to a specific customer?
Or perhaps you are providing a solution to a particular problem.
By focusing on one customer or one problem you will find the information is more valuable to your audience, and you are less likely to ‘waffle’. Use that topic as your anchor. Make a list of bullet points of everything you wish to cover, making sure they are all relevant to the topic.
Preparation – Appearance
Appearance matters but not as much as you think.
The proliferation of video means that we have a more realistic expectation of what people look like! Even celebrities are challenging the practice of ‘airbrushing’ and retouching of images to remove so-called ‘imperfections’. So there is no need to aim for perfection. But, you should do what you need to do, to make you feel comfortable.
For example, I put a bit of colour on my cheeks and usually tie my hair back because otherwise I fidget too much. I also wear loose fitted clothing because I don’t want to be concerned with how my physique appears.
With practice I have identified the things that ‘bother’ me and I eliminate them. If I didn’t, I would be thinking about my ‘imperfections’ and it would show on camera. Alternatively, there are plenty of good therapists you could talk to in order to be kinder to yourself, but you might not have the time for that right now!
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Presenting is a skill like any other that can be learned. Sure, some people are naturals, but you do not need to be Ant or Dec to talk about your business. I suggest you get comfortable with looking at yourself on video. Or, if that is unappealing, get a trusted friend to critique you.
Looking at your footage is the only way you can improve.
Film some test footage to begin with. Don’t worry about the technical aspect.
Learn your content, speak directly into the camera lens and press record. Then watch it back. Were you talking too fast? Do you 'um' too much or did your eyes move away from the lens for long periods?
Practice really does make perfect.
Work on your delivery technique and if you know your content well enough, no one will ever know that you were nervous in the first place.
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