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How to feel comfortable in front of a camera : Top tips for teachers & creators

How to feel comfortable in front of a camera

by Deanne Love

Notice that I didn’t title this blog “how to be confident” in front of a camera.

I truly believe confidence comes from repetition. Doing something over and over again, learning, tweaking, making it better will bring confidence.

What you truly need is courage.

The courage to get started. The courage to keep creating.

So let’s do this!

I have been sharing videos online regularly for about a decade. But truly making videos since the 80s. My Mum has some epic mini series on VHS starring my Barbie and the dog.

These days I mostly upload to YouTube and Instagram, with some regular Facebook live action. But I “make a living” from teaching online. Online video courses have become an absolute passion of mine and I love learning how we can transcend the screen and share fully connected teachings with students all over the globe.

Cameras truly are the bridges between worlds, they facilitate connection and support learning. But they also bring terror and palpitations to the hearts of many who are not used to speaking in front of them.

Here are my top tips for having the courage to start teaching and sharing through the lens. Ways to make your videos stand out and most importantly keep your students or audience watching so that your message is heard and your students can grow and improve.

Imagine that you are talking to a friend. 

A friend who really wants to learn something from you, wants to feel loved, respected and entertained like all friends do, but hasn’t got all day for you to get to the point.

Have the courage to speak directly in a sincere and friendly way.

How do you do this? Imagine your best friend, your sweetest friend, your most considerate friend is sitting right behind the camera. Talk to them.

In many of my early instructional videos this was my entire focus. It gave me a lot of courage to teach in front of a camera even if I wasn’t feeling entirely confident. Every time I switched on the camera I imagined I was talking directly to a student or a friend right in front of me. Keeping it simple, direct, friendly, and giving “them” lots of love.

Here is an example of a video I shared many years ago. I simply stood in front of the camera and gave instructions as if I was showing a friend some new ideas.

Write yourself some notes or use a script

I used to think that this would mess up my flow and make things seem unnatural but writing out some notes before hand or a complete script is going to help you in several ways. 1. You will know exactly what you want to say and your delivery will be well considered. No rambling. 2. You will have to do less takes and less edits. Time saving. 3. You won’t forget important parts that are really helpful to your message and your audience.

Here is an example of of a video that I made to share the new Hoop Love Coach training course. I knew there were a lot of things that I had to share in a short video, I didn’t want to leave anything out and I wanted to make sure that I could courageously speak with fluid pace to the camera. So I wrote out the script, added it to a free online teleprompter, set my lap top up right behind the camera lens, practiced 3 times so I didn’t look like I was reading then delivered my script courageously to the camera.

Without a script I surely would have left many valuable points out and the video shoot would have taken hours and hours instead of about 30 minutes. It also made editing the video super easy because there were no mistakes.

Timing is everything

When it comes to feeling courageous in front of a camera, timing is a huge consideration.

  1. The time of day is important. Unless you have invested in some great lights for video shoots then you will want to use natural light. You will want to make the most of the daylight hours and set yourself up in a location where the Sun is mostly behind the camera. If you are filming indoors you may need to consider the best time of day to get the ultimate lighting.
  2. Timing your delivery is key. Practice your video a few times on camera and watch it (even if it makes you cringe) if you are rushing through because you are nervous then try taking some breaths and natural pauses throughout. If you are too drawn out and thinking too much while you are talking, slowing your delivery down too much, then think about writing a script or having a outline that you have practiced.
  3. Timing your video shoots around hair appointments, op shop/shopping hauls and your moon cycle (for the ladies) Your appearance, your vibrancy and your energy have a lot to do with the courage and clarity you will bring to the camera. If you are feeling low, your hair is flopping in your face, your clothes are getting in the way or clashing with the background colours or you are in a painful part of your cycle that will all impact on how you feel on camera. Plan your video shoots so that you can really shine and feel ease when you are in front of the camera.
Build up with smaller projects

Jumping straight into teaching online courses, sharing weekly tutorials or launching a new YouTube channel requires some planning and consideration, especially if you want to keep it consistent. Try smaller projects to build your courage and become comfortable with your voice on camera, your delivery, the tech side of things. Start by sharing daily or weekly Insta Stories. Maybe play around on SnapChat. Share some Facebook live tutorials. Shoot a few practice tutorials and share them in private groups.

By starting out with smaller projects you can build confidence through repetition, you can learn more by doing but you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the demands of consistent content creation and a brutal uploading schedule.

Action is the key

Action takes courage, but courage is all you need. Confidence will come from action but you have to take little steps. If you have lessons, messages, tips, tutorials that you really want to share with your students then start now. Start small but start now. Make a plan. Decide where you want to video, what camera you will use, where you will upload the videos so that your students have the best chance of seeing them, what you will teach/discuss/share. Make some notes, pick a time of day for good lighting, pick out an outfit that makes you feel courageous, grab a hoop that doesn’t clash with the background colour (a mistake I still make!!), do a few practice tutorials and then make a commitment to share with courage.

 

What 3 actions can you take this month to help you feel more courageous in front of a camera? Declare your actions in the comments below. Let us cheer you on!

 

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