This is the second post in a four-part series on taking the leap to go on camera to market your business.
It’s an old, cruel joke we remember from our days in the media. Someone would be derisively described as having ‘a face for radio’. That is to suggest that a person isn’t quite suitable for appearing on camera. But then, many of us today have those feelings of inadequacy don’t we?
Am I good looking enough for the camera? Will people find me attractive and watch my videos?
Many of our insecurities about appearing on camera revolve around our looks or perceptions of them. It’s a rarely spoken, inward whisper that affects us even though we may not want to admit it.
As insecurities go, fears about shortcomings in the looks department are quite common. Even for those who’ve made a life in front of the camera!
We’ve been on television and making videos for years. Believe it or not, we occasionally catch bouts of doubts. Let’s just say we are not as young and fresh-faced as we once were! It’s no fun looking in the mirror and seeing more lines than a five act play.
It’s only human to have pangs of insecurity when we see others appearing in videos with their flawless complexions, full heads of hair and the glaring absence of wrinkles. So yeah, self-doubts burrow into our minds every now and then.
Thankfully, they don’t last very long. We always remind ourselves of our considerable experience using video and coaching clients how to incorporate the medium into their professional lives.
There will be few times in your life when it feels good to be wrong. This is one of those times. If you’re convinced you aren’t attractive enough for the camera then…congratulations, you are wrong.
We’ll explode that narrative that’s playing in your mind – the same false belief that’s keeping you from facing the camera.
There’s no audition for your own videos
If you’re going to face the insecurities about your face, it helps to have an understanding of where they come from. These self doubts have origins deeper than the reflection we see in the mirror.
Many people automatically disqualify themselves from appearing on camera because of what they see every day on television and movies. Movie starlets and leading men with high cheekbones, chiseled features and impossible hair fill our minds with standards that are impossible to live up to.
There are also young, beautiful people on the YouTube gifted with arresting looks. We see these images and convince ourselves that their beauty is the main qualification for being in films, on television and videos.
Online video platforms, however, are perhaps the most democratic environment there is. Unlike film and television, you don’t need to audition to create a video and post it to YouTube, Facebook or Instagram.
You don’t need permission to star in your own video. Success through online video platforms has little to do with looks and more to do with what you can bring to the lives of viewers.
If you provide valuable content, whether it’s entertaining or educational and informative videos, that’s what will be interesting to viewers. It won’t matter if you aren’t drop dead gorgeous.
Online browsers aren’t fishing for dates
For folks who are camera shy on account of how they see themselves, there is a crucial point to note: Most people who visit online video platforms on the daily aren’t skulking through people’s social media profiles. They aren’t looking for someone to crush on or to rustle up a date. This ain’t Tiger Beat!
Sure, some online browsers are just whittling away the hours on social media sites. A great many of them, though, have a specific mission in mind when searching for video content. If you are creating video content for your business, you are doing so to meet a specific need viewers have.
A browser searching for a hack on how to repair a software flaw on a laptop, for example will not care what you look like. That viewer’s number one goal is to find someone who has advice to help them out of a jam, and fast.
People are searching for video content to fill a need. You are creating content to fill that need. It’s a fair trade and looks don’t enter into that transaction.
A personality that’s attractive
This next bit is going to read as corny, but it’s really true: It’s not about your beauty, but your personality. Even the most breathtaking sirens of the silver screen must, at some point, either be cast in a well written screenplay or have decent acting chops. If all someone has to go on is good looks, that can wear thin rather quickly with audiences.
The same is true with video. Your success as an on camera presenter rests not just with the value of the content you’re bringing to the audiences. It’s the personality that completes the package. Sincerity, openness, authenticity – these are just a few of the personality traits that click with viewers.
Among video presenters with the greatest followings are those who willingly share their stories with viewers. Honesty and a bit of vulnerability go a long way towards establishing that trust factor with viewers.
Ultimately it is the various strands that make up an engaging and engaged personality that will bring the audience in and hold their interest.
People connect every day with video personalities on the basis of their character, not their appearance.
There is beauty in diversity
Your audience will be made up of a wide spectrum of people. In the real world of the high street or on the bus or subway it doesn’t look like a catwalk teeming with statuesque models who all look like they walked out of the same cloning facility.
People come in different shapes, sizes, colours and yes, looks. Your viewers aren’t going to all be spectacularly beautiful. Some of us are just good looking or average and it doesn’t really matter.
Consequently, if you aren’t wildly glamorous but just look like the guy or gal next door (which is the majority of us) you will come across as more relatable. So you don’t have to worry about not being handsome or pretty enough for the camera.
That not to say you’d go on camera with a sweatshirt and your hair undone. Additionally, we’re not saying you’d be too intimidating for general audiences if you happen to be stunning. There is, though an every day glamour and beauty that anyone can achieve in their videos.
Men and women, both young and old are putting on their make up, getting their hair done and sitting in front of the camera. They are reaching out through video to people who similar them in many ways.
The takeaway here is your audience is a mixed bunch so you don’t have to worry about being judged for your looks.
If you are neat, presentable and personable that’s more than enough to be step in front of the camera and create your own opportunities.
Video is a democracy
Every day thousands of ordinary people all over the world who aren’t Angelina Jolie or Zac Effron are preparing their scripts or talking points and going in front of their cameras.
They are using the medium of video through social media platforms or their websites to promote their careers, grow their businesses and establish loyal followings. None of them is waiting on permission from an audition panel to tell them they’ve got the right look for video.
That is, perhaps, one of the most powerful aspects of the medium. It takes a privilege once available only to those lucky enough to find their way onto television and into films and gives it to everyone who has something to say or a vision they want to bring to life.
So the question “do I have a face for radio” doesn’t come up at all. If you have something of value to share with audiences, if there’s a business concept that can benefit from video then you owe it to yourself to face the camera and seize your opportunities.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Start by being your best self and go from their. With the right mindset we guarantee the camera will love you along with the audience on the other side of it.
Read the Other Blogs in This Series:
Part One: Can You Learn to be a Good On-Camera Presenter?
Part Three: How to Muster the Courage to Step in Front of the Camera
Part Four: Is an Accent A Liability in Video?