How to Feel (and Look) Comfortable on Camera
...while also conveying a likeable personality
Let’s face it: many of us are camera-shy, and quite frankly, don’t know how to act when the camera starts rolling. We might appear nervous and shaky, meek and at a loss for words, or even sporadic and all over the place - all thanks to our lack of experience in front of the lens.
But hey... there’s hope (we promise)!
When it comes to your brand’s video marketing, whether you’re shooting an interview, explainer video, or promoting your brand, here are some tips to coax yourself out of that hyper self-aware and nervous doom and into a state of confidence and success with your on-screen delivery
1. Prepare a general script, and familiarize yourself with your message.
It’s helpful to write or type out what you’re going to say before the time of the shoot, ideally in point form.
Go over your points or script beforehand just enough to be prepared, but not too much to botch your delivery when the time comes. In other words, don’t aim to memorize what you’re going to say word-for-word - as this can easily end up sounding a tad robotic and insincere.
With that being said, ensure that you understand the target audience you’re speaking to before plotting out your dialogue. You’ll want to deliver your message using a speaking style that resonates with them best. Simply doing the research and familiarizing yourself with your particular audience will help you to feel more comfortable when it comes down to your video production and performance.
2. Smile, and don’t hold back from expressing yourself!
The more friendly, warm and inviting and less stiff and reserved you appear on camera, the better.
Think of your viewers as your friends with whom you’re sharing a friendly conversation. Get yourself into a smiley groove before the camera starts rolling, and loosen up those limbs! You want to make sure you’re communicating and expressing yourself in the way you feel most yourself, and most comfortable.
Also, remember: smiling is infectious, and even plays a fundamental role in conveying an at-ease appearance. (AKA - whatever the opposite of looking like a “deer in headlights” would be. You know the look).
3. Don’t skimp out on grooming - and wear your best (most appropriate) outfit.
It’s no myth: looking good has a lot to do with feeling good. If you present yourself on camera the way you feel most comfortable and attractive, this will do a lot for your confidence and your on-screen performance.
Also, don’t forget to ensure your background setting is neat, tidy and presentable well. One small object that shouldn’t be in the frame, or evidence of mess in the background is a standard no-no! Presentability accounts for every little detail visible to your audience when they watch your video.
4. If you mess up, just keep on pushing through.
Brief slip-ups only really become problematic when you cut your delivery and apologize for them (especially every time they happen, which just creates more stress and anxiety when others are watching). A helpful rule of thumb is to remember that mistakes happen - but when they do, try to just carry on as though they didn’t. Casually laugh it off, and then give it another go! There’s no need for dozens of tiresome re-takes.
Or, if it’s a teeny tiny blunder, work it into your delivery. Chances are, no one will even clue in that it was a mistake - and it won’t hurt in helping you come off as more relatable.
5. Practice, practice, practice!
The saying is true: practice truly does make perfect. The more time you spend in front of the camera and giving it your best, the less you’ll have to “try” to give it your best - and the more you’ll find yourself feeling confident, relaxed, and nailing it in front of the camera!