With all of this talk about the importance of video content for business, you may be wondering how to make a video if you are afraid of being on-camera. This is especially true if you are new to creating video content.
The idea of creating video content for your business may seem daunting. Not only are your competitors making sleek, professional videos, but you may not have the budget to hire an actor for your videos. You are going to have to do it yourself, which may create some anxiety if you don’t enjoy public speaking or seeing or hearing yourself in a video.
To be completely honest, these barriers are more psychological than real. Anyone can make a terrific business video—even if they start sweating when the camera starts recording. In fact, trying to be “professional” and “polished” may be one of the worst things that you can do in your video content.
At Dubb, we work with some clients who are searching for ways to get over their fears of appearing on-camera. Through these experiences, we have developed several different tactics and strategies to help creators who are experiencing these anxieties. These tactics and strategies can certainly move the needle if you want to join the video marketing revolution, yet are hesitating because of on-camera jitters.
But before we get into how you (and millions of others like you) can get over video-phobia, it helps to further diagnose what is actually happening when you are afraid of being on-camera.
The simple fact is that many people feel forced, uncomfortable, or robotic when a camera is in front of them. We get stage fright. Our palms get sweaty and our sense of fight or flight gets triggered. Even if we don’t bolt at the first sight of a camera, we try to get through the experience as quickly as possible. On the flip side, you may do take after take after take and start to feel robotic. You deliver your lines or opinions on a monotone, rushed way so that you can move on to other items on your to-do list.
I get it. For almost everyone, speaking on-camera isn’t a natural thing. It isn’t something that you are born with. Instead, as I will further discuss below, it takes deliberate, concentrated practice in order to get better. Truthfully, I’m still working on it.
But that said, because speaking on-camera can be so uncomfortable, many creators find it easier to simply avoid it. They may try to have someone else in their organization appear on-camera. If they can afford it, they may hire a professional and let him or her take on this burden.
To put it simply, at this stage of the game, fear is taking over. It is limiting us from taking the risks that will help us do our job. That said, the truth is that we can’t make everyone happy—even if that is our goal. Arguably, it shouldn’t be your goal. It’s impossible to have everyone enjoy your content or think that you are the most sophisticated communicator that they have seen on the Internet. If people want to judge, they’re going to judge.
Truthfully, not doing anything is the only thing that should scare you. It means you aren’t making progress toward your goals.
So even though you may be afraid to appear on-camera, we at Dubb highly encourage you to be the face of your video marketing campaigns. This is especially true if you are the CEO or any other leader at your company. There is a larger point, however. The reality is that if people get to know you on a more personal level, you can more easily create a genuine connection. By showing off what is quirky, fun, or authentic about you, you will inevitably become more charming on-camera. Authenticity is the name of the game here—even if you don’t think you’re as “polished” or “confident” as you should be.
How to Make a Video When You’re Anxious or Self-Conscious
While authenticity is certainly something that you should keep in mind, you may be looking for more tangible steps on how to cure some of your video-phobia. I’ve got your back.
The first tactic is extremely simple, yet there’s no getting around it. Virtually the only cure to video-phobia is a consistent practice. It is the same thing with public speaking. Unless you engage in deliberate practice and on a consistent basis, you will not see much progress. This is why public speaking organizations are so popular. By joining a public speaking organization like Toastmasters, for instance, you are signing up for an experience where you get to consistently practice public speaking in a safe, warm, and welcoming environment.
Therefore, to remove some of the anxiety and fear of appearing on-camera, you are going to need to simply create more videos. The good thing is that these videos don’t need to be broadcasted to thousands of people. The video could be for just one person. It could even be for your mom. But don’t hesitate to start small.
Along with this, it really helps to create a schedule where you are constantly appearing on-camera. While it would be nice to film a video each and every day, do what is best for you and your schedule. The bottom line, however, is that you should be regularly creating videos. Getting in the camera of speaking and explaining yourself on-camera takes practice and having a schedule can help you stay committed.
Adopt the “Click Record” Mentality
The next piece of advice to fight video-phobia is to shift your thinking. At Dubb, we call this the click record mentality. What this means is that you should think about the stories you are already telling your audience and telling those stories in video form. This can be anything from your company’s latest product release to an introduction to a new team member.
While you may have simply created a blog post or article to make these announcements, seriously consider making them in video form. Not only can you get more comfortable on-camera, but you can let your audience get a more authentic look at your organization. Even though it may take some deliberate work to adopt this mindset, you will find it to be extremely helpful in getting more comfortable on-camera.
The Power of Storytelling
Next, it helps to emphasize storytelling. Not only can telling a story ease you into appearing on-camera, but it is yet another efficient way of connecting with your audience.
This is an important, yet often overlooked point. Many beginning content creators believe that their video needs to have some crazy production value. They think it needs thrills or smoke and mirrors. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
One of the best parts of video marketing is that it lets creators leverage storytelling to connect with audiences. Humans as a whole are wired for storytelling. And yes, we can tell stories in text or audio form. There are some impressive storytellers that leverage these mediums. That said, video is just perfect for storytelling because it takes advantage of humans’ attraction to moving images.
Therefore, if you are a natural storyteller, yet are nervous about speaking on-camera, pretend the camera isn’t there and tell your story. If you aren’t a natural storyteller, still consider leveraging storytelling in your videos. Your audience will thank you.
Lower the Stakes on Your Location
Another way to be more comfortable on-camera is to lower the stakes in terms of your video’s location. New creators tend to place an inordinate focus on where they are shooting their videos. If they work from home, they may feel embarrassed to show their apartment. If they have a messy office, they may use it as an excuse to film their video “another day.”
While your video’s background isn’t entirely irrelevant, the key is to find a place that makes you comfortable. In order to mitigate your fears of appearing on-camera, record in a location where you can be honest and be yourself. At least when you’re starting out, the stakes are lower. Whether it is at home, your office, or on-the-go, pick a venue where you can communicate your best, most authentic, and honest stories.
Get Started Today
There is no better time to get started. If you have always been wondering how to make a video when you’re afraid of being on-camera, I hope that you can use the tips above to quell some of your fears.
To be honest, it is important to confront these fears head-on. At Dubb, we often talk about this concept called brand debt. Brand debt is the idea that when you do not create content to push your brand forward, your company is going to lose out to your competitors (especially if they are generating original content).
So even though you may fear what you may look like or how people will think of you when speaking on-camera, just think about what your competitors are doing. Along with this negative approach, take a positive approach. Think about all of the relationships that you can build by appearing on-camera. Don’t ignore the power of scaling yourself and reaching your audience on a mass scale.
Often, both of these things combined may be just the thing that can help you put aside your fears and start creating video content. I wish you the best of luck!
Want to learn more about getting over your fears of speaking on-camera? Feel free to contact us at Dubb.
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Dubb is a video communication platform that lets users send personalized, trackable videos. The Dubb platform simplifies video sharing with a Chrome Extension, Outlook Add-In, mobile app and website that allow users to share and track screen and camera videos. Dubb offers a free 14-day trial with no credit required.