How to Muster the Courage to Step in Front of the Camera

How to Muster the Courage to Step in Front of the Camera

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This is the third post in a four-part series on taking the leap to go on camera to market your business.

The jury is in. We’re practically drowning in statistics and data going on about the unstoppable rise of video in the online realm.

Ordinary folks, among them people who thought they’d never go near a camera, are using simplified video technology to broadcast themselves all over the world.

Research suggests 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. There’s no shortage of compelling figures boasting about the growing role of video online. It’s only natural that entrepreneurs and small business owners have sniffed out the trend and are chasing the scent. Video marketing is great way to reach out to customers and drum up new prospects.

That’s not all. The medium isn’t just for video marketers. Lots of companies today are actively searching out employees who can competently deliver presentations or product launches on camera.

With all of the positives associated with video, you’d think it’s a no-brainer for anyone trying to get ahead. Well fear is a powerful, primal instinct.

“Fear can be an indiscriminate defense mechanism, shielding us against danger but also holding us back from opportunity.”

Our fears are there to protect us from harm, both physical and psychological. Unfortunately, sometimes our brains don’t do very well at distinguishing between real threats and imagined risks.

Facing the camera for your job or your business definitely qualifies as an imagined risk. You can, however, sidestep the false fears of appearing on camera and join the video revolution.

All it takes is a few simple techniques to disarm the camera and arm yourself with confidence to take on the world through video.

Paolo talking to video camera

Replace fear with potential

So we’ve talked about the false fears the camera can inspire. That’s exactly what they are – false. A fear of scorpions in your shoe or the Ebola virus…now that stuff is real. Standing in front of a camera, on the face of it, shouldn’t be a source of dread.

The mind, though, tricks us into believing that appearing in videos can be embarrassing or harm our reputations in some way should we mess up. Well two can play at those mind games.

“Success comes not just from hard work, but from a mind that believes success is merely a question of time and effort.”

So you have to reprogram your mind with an image or vision of what the camera can do to help you. The concept here is to displace fears about the camera with the optimism of hope.

Let’s try something with a simple calculation. Add up the exact value of what clinging to your on camera fears will do for your career or business. We’re willing to bet the number you come up with is zero.

On the other hand the number of things video can do for you is infinite. Going on camera can help you achieve the success you need for the sort of lifestyle you want. It’s all about financial freedom isn’t it? Quality time with the family, longer vacations, maturing like a fine wine instead of withering on the vine – that’s what career or business success is all about really.

Program your mind with those goals. Imagine yourself in sunny vacation wear, hiking boots or barefoot on the beach. Your fears about the camera will easily be overwritten by this positive mental programming.

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Choose a passion topic

A great way to ease into video and make yourself more comfortable on camera is to first focus on what you’re passionate about. You can warm up to the camera by speaking about something you find interesting and stimulating.

If you own a business or you need to face the camera periodically for the purposes of your job, focus your mind on subjects you would discuss confidently with friends or colleagues. Or you can just talk about a hobby you love. Your first video does not even have to be work-related.

Start your on-camera adventures with something you feel strongly about.This technique can neutralise the anxieties which tend to paralyse people in front of the lens.

“Think of a topic or pet subject that gets you fired up in conversations with friends of relatives. Let that be the seed for your on camera confidence.”

Focus on your story

As business owner and an absolute novice to video you can use your most valuable asset to steel your nerves to face the lens: a deep understanding of your ideal customer.

Think about it, there are few folks who know your business and target market quite like you do. That insight is the seed for your story, and the story is the foundation of any effective video.

For those worried they aren’t blessed with the charm or charisma to click with audiences, lean in for an important point here: The best marketing videos aren’t about you, they’re about the viewer.

People watch video content online for two simple reasons: entertainment and information. If they’re watching your marketing videos, they’re probably on the lookout for solutions to a problem or a need they have.

Focus on catering to your audience using your expertise and market knowledge; these are important building blocks for on camera confidence

“When it comes to appearing on camera, you don’t have to be a natural performer or a seductive personality. Let the story of your video do the heavy lifting.”

Write a script to organise your thoughts

As mentioned earlier, one of the fears which causes some people to freeze on camera is the dread of not knowing what to say. Some folks know what to say but get instant amnesia when they face the camera. Well not to worry, there are ways to combat the ‘deer in the headlights’ video syndrome.

You just read about focusing on the story for your video. That’s step one in creating a coherent pattern for your message. More importantly, it’s part of a strategy to build a structure that will prevent you from drawing a blank in front of the camera.

“Knowing what you want to say and saying it effectively can be two completely different things. A script is another tool in reducing brain fog which is one source of on-camera jitters.”

When you commit your video story to a script or script outline you are taking a conscious action to douse fears that you’ll forget what you have to say or flub your message.

A script is helps arrange thoughts which would otherwise become like bits of paper in a hurricane when you step in front of the lens. Also, when you are more prepared to speak in a video, armed with guiding points, you are far less likely to give into the paralysis of fear.

Just remember to carefully plan your script, filming schedule and logistics of the filming process, so you have nothing to worry about.

Narrisa talking to video camera

Looking past the fear

Far be it from us to tell you quit being a coward and get in front of the camera already. Here’s the funny thing about on-camera fears: they are both real and false. They are real enough to keep many people from stepping in front of the camera, but they are false because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by sidestepping those fears and jumping into video.

People who face the camera and record their messages are driven to achieve more for themselves. Well ain’t that a coincidence – so are you! You’ve got the drive, you just need to put down the handbrake, which is your fears, and take off.

There is absolutely no doubt you can learn to be a natural on camera. You know your business and understand your ideal customer. If you’re a career professional you have enough insights on your field to fill countless hours of videos. Knowledge and insight are the raw materials of on-camera confidence.

Additionally, the more videos you do, the more at ease you will become in front of the lens. Speaking into the camera will eventually become so second nature to you, the past dread of the lens will seem almost like a former life.

When it comes to facing the camera with courage, you don’t have to do it all at once. Like the man says, big have small beginnings. Keep your eyes fixed on the reasons you speaking on camera; financial freedom, a flexible lifestyle, interplanetary travel – the normal goals most folks have.

Try to obsess about the rewards not your fears. Look at the camera lens as the door way into the life you envision for yourself and you’ll get there far sooner than you could have imagined.

Read the Other Blogs in This Series:
Part One: Can You Learn to be a Good On-Camera Presenter?
Part Two: Do I Have a Face for Radio?
Part Four: Is an Accent A Liability in Video?

Give your voice the power to connect with customers in a way that makes them sit up and take notice.

Check Out Our Camera Confidence Course below!

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Summon the Courage to Face the Video Camera

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