Videos are quickly becoming the number-one form of content that people consume online. That means that businesses and brands need to incorporate video into their marketing strategy. However, most people like to see other people in videos, which is why video podcasts, vlogs, and testimonial videos do so well. So, what do you do if you’re not comfortable appearing on camera? You don’t have to be a model or actor. Follow these simple tips to make shooting your videos a breeze.
- Confidence is key to great-looking videos, but practice makes perfect.
- Good lighting and sound, along with easy prompting, make the shooting process easier.
- To look and feel more confident, control your breath and don’t forget to smile!
Check your lighting and sound.
Many people hate the way they look on camera — until they see themselves with professional lighting and sound. Just as a good photographer can help you look good, a proper video-shoot setup can help you look great on video. Once you know that you’re not going to be washed out or silhouetted, you’ll likely feel more confident while shooting.
Bonus Tip: Don’t have the light behind you, and make sure that your face is fully lit. Consider investing in a high-quality microphone to make your voice sound better.
Take a breath every few sentences.
You’d be amazed by how many people forget to breathe while they’re being recorded. This leads to tight lips, hunched shoulders, caved-in chests, and other features that don’t look good on video! Our natural speaking patterns allow for regular breaths. Make sure that when you’re speaking on camera, you’re taking time to breathe. This helps avoid rambling speech or running out of breath. Remember, what seems like a long pause to you is mere milliseconds to a viewer. Pause and breathe: you’ll come off as more relaxed, natural, and confident.
Practice, practice, practice.
With recording equipment as cheap and easy as it is, there’s no reason you can’t shoot multiple takes. Eventually, you may want to get into livestreams, so it’s a good idea to refine your on-camera presence with lots of practice. Experiment with your angles, intonation, and words to find your groove, then choose the best take for the finished video.
You can also get your feet wet with short videos on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. If you mess up, you can easily delete the post — or it will vanish in 24 hours if you do a “Story” on Facebook or Instagram.
Use cue cards or a teleprompter.
When in doubt, use a script. You can also draft your key talking points and improvise the rest. Post your cues just above the recording device; you don’t ever want to shoot video staring down at a table or below the camera.
Then, do several takes reading the script. Vary your inflection and tone to see what works best on camera. Note that your eyes tend to move back and forth as they scan the text, which can be obvious to viewers, so aim to memorize as much as possible and just use the script as a reference. Remember to breathe!
Be authentic yet polished.
No one likes ultra-formal, stilted speech, especially not online. Try to keep your tone even, natural, and friendly — and don’t forget to smile! Watch yourself for common nervous tics such as raising your eyebrows, licking your lips, or saying “um” a lot.
If you’re struggling to feel confident on camera, take a breath and revisit your script. Try writing/speaking from the heart rather than saying what you think people want to hear. This approach tends to produce more natural, engaging videos.
Shooting great videos requires confidence — but don’t worry, if you’re not confident on screen yet, you can fake it until you make it! Use a combination of practice, scripts, and proper breathing to help yourself feel better. Remember, the more natural and relaxed you look, the more engaging people will find your video to be. (Good lighting helps, too.) Once you get used to being on camera, you’ll find that you shoot fewer takes and feel better about the results. It all comes down to practice, so don’t be afraid to turn that camera on and start shooting!