Tips for Being Comfortable on Camera
You might be feeling like videos are hogging the spotlight right now — they are everywhere, and audiences can’t seem to get enough of ‘em. And you’re right. But if you think this internet darling is a passing fad, you’re very wrong. They are absolutely not going away — in fact, video is quickly becoming (if not already) the most popular form of content. If your business isn’t putting out video content, you’re missing out on more sales, failing to capture the attention of your mobile users, and overlooking opportunities for engagement.
Okay, say you already know that, yes, your business does need video…maybe you’re uncomfortable, nervous or just plain terrified of being in the limelight. We get it, it can be very intimidating. But you can get over that fear and shoot a video that’s cool, clear, and confident.
Here are the secrets to getting you from camera-shy to camera? hi! #sorrynotsorry
Getting Camera Ready:
Chances are you’ve had to give a speech or a presentation at some point. You’re in luck! Being on a camera is a lot like giving a speech. Start preparing as soon as possible, and by the time filming rolls around you’ll be ready for your closeup.
Rehearse what you want to say. Most of us aren’t that good at winging it. So, if you wouldn’t wing a speech, don’t wing it on film. Yes, editing is a thing, but being already prepared will make sure you get through everything you want to say, make you feel confident about what you’re saying, and make it go as smoothly as possible. It could save time the day of the shoot, giving you extra wiggle room to delve deeper into a particular subject or answer additional questions.
Hands up! Some people are #blessed with knowing what to do with their arms while speaking to an audience or a camera. But if you’re one of the many that suffer from awkward arms — whether it’s robotic movements or lashing around like the wacky waving flailing arm inflatable tube man — practicing beforehand can do wonders.
Why should you use your hands? People are more likely to view you as energetic, warm and agreeable. But, if you really aren’t getting it, don’t force it. Obviously, fake gesturing is worse than no arm movement.
Ways to practice:
Going over it in your head will only get you so far. You’ll have to do it aloud at least a couple of times to make sure you sound comfortable and natural. It will also help you with any words or phrases you might stumble over.
Look in a mirror. Who doesn’t love looking at themselves in a mirror? *Sarcasm* Sit with you and your beautiful self and rehearse. This is great for getting a feel for what you look like when you communicate and what you need to work on.
Practice with a friend. Not only will it help you practice with a person, but you’ll be able to interact, and get feedback! Pick your brutally honest friend, not the one who is scared to tell you that you shouldn’t go out in that outfit.
Film yourself. This is a big one! We know you probably don’t want to be on film any more than you have to, but this will seriously help you. You’ll be able to see what you like and what you dislike. Take notes, look for nervous tics (like playing with your hair or clearing your throat excessively), and keep at it until you are (mostly) happy.
Get a good night’s sleep. You don’t want dark circles or errant yawns trying to upstage you!
Wardrobe & Makeup:
Obviously, you want to wear something that will make a good impression. That doesn’t mean you must dress to the nines, though. The first rule is to wear something that you are comfortable in. If you’re already nervous, adding something you aren’t sure about will just add more stress and take away your focus. The second rule is to wear something that makes you feel confident. Confidence will shine through in video and when you’re confident you don’t have time to be terrified. Third rule? Breathable is good…very good.
That said, here are some standard don’ts:
- Avoid bright, vivid colors – especially yellows and reds.
- Stay away from crazy patterns.
- Put down the shiny! Flashy, shiny and glossy fabrics are a big no.
- Minimalism is great when it comes to jewelry — don’t wear large, distracting pieces of jewelry and be wary of noisy pieces.
Don’t think you need to go heavy on makeup to compensate for lighting. What you normally wear is probably fine. However:
- Matte Matters. Pearl, luminescent and glittery makeup is very bad on camera — your shine will be all over the place! Stick with matte, and be sure to focus on areas of your face that are prone to shine.
- Skip the SPF. Normally we would never advise not using SPF protection, but if you use it on your face, it has the nasty habit of appearing white-ish, which can add unwanted shine or wash you out.
- The perfect shade of lipstick — tread cautiously when it comes to lip color. Darker colors not only make smudges more noticeable, they tend to age you on camera. As for lighter shades? They can drastically wash you out (especially nudes!)
Before Your Closeup:
Drink! (Water). Getting ready to go on camera is just another reason you should be keeping hydrated! Not only will this keep your throat coated which will fight against coughs and hoarseness, but it also makes you feel better in general.
Make yourself comfortable. Don’t go in front of the camera stiff and sweaty — it will show. Whatever is it you do to calm yourself down, do it!
Power Pose! If you haven’t heard about the “Super-Hero” pose then you’re in for a treat! Basically, it’s posing in a way that increases your testosterone which can boost enthusiasm and confidence! How do you do it? Just make yourself “big” — so, stretching, putting your feet up on a desk (if you are at a place that it’s okay). If you can’t find a place to be alone and stretch out like crazy, just mimic Superman! Stand up straight, place your hands on your hips (or you can place them straight out like you’re flying), and feet spread apart. Hold that pose for a few minutes.
Exercise = Endorphins = Happy. Do some light exercise to release those sweet, sweet endorphins. They’ll make you feel happy and calm. Consider taking a 15-minute walk around before you are set to film, or if you have time, hit the gym early in the morning on a day of (erhm just don’t come straight from the gym, please).
Tips from the experts:
- Don’t stress about messing up! Unless you are live, edits can be made! Knowing that will make you a lot more comfortable.
- No one likes the way they look on camera — okay maybe not no one — but, generally, most of us do not like the way we look or sound on film. Knowing you aren’t alone in your distaste for your video-captured-self should make you take comfort. You are your own worst critic and no one (seriously no one) will be judging you by the level of scrutiny you are.
Now go out there and break a leg!