It’s no secret that video marketing is here to stay and businesses that turn a blind eye are going to miss out. At this point in time, video is still a disruptive and affordable medium relatively unutilized by SMBs. However there is one thing holding a number of businesses back — fear.
Not a lot of people naturally feel like they are made to speak on camera. Not dissimilar to attitudes towards public speaking, a lot of people have fear around speaking to a camera and then consequently being put on display as a representative of their company.
Sometimes though, we don’t have the ‘perfect’ person to put on camera and the job is up to us, the individual, or somebody else who might need a bit of encouragement to feel more confident on camera. With that in mind, here are four recommendations that will allow anybody to be on camera while avoiding epic failure.
Keep It Conversational
Anytime you have a great interaction with another human it is highly likely that you weren’t lecturing or even teaching them. It is far more likely that you were having a great conversation one on one, coffee in hand. So, if you are finding it difficult to loosen up while the camera is rolling, consider having somebody you know and trust in the room with you to prompt you with questions. Have them sit down with you and ask you as if it was just you two in a coffee shop.
Will a conversation distract you from looking at the camera? Yes. This is potentially a good thing. You don’t have to look directly down the camera all of the time. In fact, I’m seeing more and more that the interesting talking head videos popping up are not the person speaking directly into the camera the whole time. It intentionally feels like there is someone else in the room and when they speak with that person it allows us the onlooker, to feel like we are a fly on the wall as opposed to a student in a classroom.
Keep it conversational but do two or more takes. Remember that it can all be edited together later with different viewpoints. The onus is not solely on you to make it engaging and interesting. Your main job is to deliver the necessary content in a way that is understandable and true to your personality. This will deliver the best result irrespective of the final edit.
Play To Your Strengths
All too often in business we can get off track and speak on things that we don’t really have much experience in or understanding of. If you don’t feel particularly confident on camera, it is best that you only stick to subject matter that you are completely familiar with.
As with anything, we tend to articulate ourselves better when we are very knowledgeable and passionate about a topic. By nature, it is easier to convey a message when we don’t have to overthink or try and remember topical points. This can only happen when we are truly familiar with what we are speaking about.
Map Out Where You Want To Go
One of the biggest fears when it comes to talking on camera is that people feel like they have memorize a script or at least remember exactly every point they want to hit. The problem with a script is that often times you do forget parts of it and that messes with your flow more than if you didn’t script it.
To avoid too much heartache, grab a small whiteboard or piece of paper and map out the main points you want to hit or any bigger stories you would like to tell. Often times, you know the subject matter around these so well that a few keywords will help you stay on point without too much interruption. Avoid writing lengthy sentences or too much detail, as it will interfere with your cadence.
Remember That Perfection Is A Myth
If you are expecting to have a perfect take the first time you jump on camera then you are in for a wild ride. If you expect to have a perfect take the four hundred and sixty third time you’re on camera, you are going to be extremely disappointed. If you remember anything from this article, make sure it’s this; perfection is a myth.
Few people can rarely ever do a perfect take and even perfectly scripted Hollywood movies are heavily edited in postproduction. Don’t put that kind of unnecessary pressure on yourself to have it perfect. I’ll add that perfection really shouldn’t be the goal as there is a world of editing that can be applied afterwards to ensure that the final video runs smoother than the recording of it.
As well as this, it is okay to get things wrong. Sometimes by pausing, taking stock and repeating our core ideas we actually become more articulate, more succinct and more natural in our delivery. Look at your mistakes as a chance to improve.
Practice Makes Pro
As stated above, we are not aiming for perfection but we are always endeavouring to improve. Like anything else, practice will be the quickest way to improve on camera. Whether you practice off camera or just use the opportunity of the live shoot to improve you will find that over time a consistent effort will see you grow a lot more confident and natural when the spotlight is on you.
One final note on this is to remember that as with anything in business, we try, fail, iterate and so forth until we achieve the desired result. It is no small feat to put one’s face on camera and broadcast to the world however, it is entirely achievable and possible for anyone to do so — no matter how camera shy. Don’t miss out on connecting with your audience through video simply because you have fear around the method.