Oh and look, I made a video for you this week: [Overcome Your Fears: Fell confident on Camera]
You have brilliance that you want to share with the world, but every time you sit in front of the camera, you either feel like you’re rambling or like you’re completely stifled. Then, when you watch the footage back, delete. Don’t worry, I totally understand, and I’m going to help you out.
I’m going to share with you my top tips for feeling totally confident in front of the camera so that you have creative content that you want to share with everyone.
Let’s break the tips up into three parts. Firstly, all the stuff that you need to do before you even get in front of the camera, and it’s a huge thing that most people skip, but it’s very, very important. The second part is what to do when you are in front of the camera, staring down that lens, and then the third part is all the stuff that comes after you do the recording.
1. Okay, the first, most important thing that you need to remember is that preparation is your bestie, and it’s all of the things that you do before you come to sit in front of the camera that is going to help you to share your message and make it strong and creative. I have worked with so many content creators and people with a really brilliant message, but because they think that they can skip all the preparation points, once they get to sit in front of the camera, they really struggle to make their message clear. So you have to promise me that you’re not going to skip these first vital steps.
To script or not to script? That is the question. Now, I have done hundreds and hundreds of videos on YouTube without a script at all. And it did really help me to find my own style and confidence, but, and this is a big but, if I have a very clear message that I need to send, let’s say for a sales page, a landing page, or a video just like this one, then I always script it out. And that might just look like a few dot points and some ideas and the things that I want to talk about, or it might be a word for word script. Now, the thing is, your words are powerful and they are important, and if you sit in front of the camera and you’re rambling or you’re missing out vital elements of your message, then not only is it going to look kind of weird, but it’s also going to mean that you might need to do a reshoot, which is going to take a whole bunch of time, and it could get really expensive. So it pays to script out your message before you sit in front of the lens.
Here are my two script tips. First of all, break your script into small chunks. You don’t have to remember a whole one minute or a huge paragraph, but if you have the script written out, you can remember a sentence or two and it will still look like it’s flowing. I find it really important to break the chunks down into a beginning, middle, and an end, remembering the questions that I really want to ask and the calls to action that I really want to make.
Secondly, there are times when you may want to use a teleprompter, and you can google free teleprompters. I like to write out my script and then paste it into these free teleprompters and put it on an iPad or maybe my laptop and set it directly behind the lens. Now, it doesn’t mean that I’m reading it word for word, but it’s there just as a prompt, as a support, and it’s actually a really great way to practise my script, particularly if it’s a really long one for, say, a landing page or a Facebook message where I really need to nail those important brilliant points. And with the teleprompter there, I can just play with the pace of it and just have it right behind the lens, and it doesn’t look like I’m reading it at all. In fact, it’s a really cool skill. You feel just like a news reader.
2. Speaking of practice, that is my second tip. Practice, practice, practice, as much as you possibly can. I think that some people skip this part and they think that they’ve got the vibes down, and they know their message, and it’s strong. And that might be true, but speaking to the camera is an absolute skill, so I highly recommend that you set up a camera and record yourself at least once a day for a week, a couple of weeks, or as long as it takes you to feel comfortable and feel like you can really give your message to your audience and to that lens.
3. Be organised. I see so many creatives come into our studio, and the ones that are the most in flow, the least flustered, and get the best results are the ones who are organised, and that goes for me, too. I’m one of those people who like to slide in at the last minute and think that I can just do everything in that very last moment, but the fact is that the more organised I am, even my clothes, my makeup, the things, the way that I want to set up the studio, everything, every little detail, if I can organise that before I get into the shoot, then I’m going to have a much smoother ride. So that is my huge tip to you. Be as organised as you possibly can before you come to sit in front of the camera.
4. Check in with your vibe. Are you feeling hydrated? Are you feeling rested? Are you feeling ready to share your message? It might pay to take a little moment or quite a long moment before you start filming, to just chill, relax, and get in the zone. Whether that means that you need to have a little dance party or do a few yoga poses or simply sit, meditate, and take a few deep breaths. And I highly recommend that you get in the zone before you press record.
5. My final tip for all the stuff that you need to do before you get in front of the camera is kind of in front of the camera. It’s doing some test shoots. I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to feel confident with what it looks like. When you watch it back you want to make sure that it’s your vibe and that everything in that shoot is really supporting your message. So set things up the way you like them and do a few test shoots. Check the lighting, check your outfit, check how everything is working for you. Check the angles, make sure they’re right. And if you don’t love them, then change the location, change it up, rather than filming everything and having to do a reshoot.
Okay, so now you are all set. You are prepped, you’re looking fine, you’re feeling fine, and you are on set. Now, set could be anywhere, it doesn’t have to be a gorgeous studio. It could be your bedroom or your kitchen or your bathtub, or somewhere without distractions. But let’s say you have prepped, prepped, and prepped a little bit more, and now you are ready to speak to the camera.
6. The camera your best friend, or better yet, think that the camera is your best friend. I really like to think that it’s one of my students or that I’m sharing with a beautiful audience that I truly love. That way I can fully open my heart and my voice and share my message clearly. One big no-no, if you’re using that little screen finder flip camera thing, is to be tempted to check your style, hair, or glow, or look at that in any way. Can you see the difference when I look at you and then when I’m constantly looking at myself in that viewfinder-y thing? I know it’s tempting, but keep your eyes on your audience.
7. Let’s talk about mistakes. We all make them, you’re going to make them, and it’s totally fine. Try not to get flustered. But one thing that I would say that’s going to make it easy for you if you’re editing, or if you’re passing the footage off to an editor, is to make sure that your mistakes are clear-cut. If you make a mistake or stumble over a word in the middle of a sentence, then just go back to the start of that sentence, or the start of that complete thought, and start again so that you can stay in the flow and stay in the vibe. And when you edit it, it’s not going to be missing words or look too jump-cut-y. If that’s a word.
8. You want to be really conscious of how you hold your body and how it might change as you feel tension or pressure, or as you start to relax. Again, it’s really great to do a few test shoots and see how things are set up and where your best angles are, and how it’s going to be best for you to convey your message through your body and not just your voice.
9. Keep it simple. If you feel like you’re rambling, chances are you probably are. And if you feel like the thoughts and the words are just not connecting, then it’s probably going to look like you’re fishing for your ideas in your head. The most important thing is that you’re conveying your message confidently, so if you need to stop and start again because things are getting way too messed up, then don’t feel bad about that. This is all about being clear and simple, and directing your powerful message to your audience.
10. Don’t be afraid to stop. If things are feeling overwhelming or they’re just not really feeling like you, and you can tell that when you watch this back, then you’re just not going to be happy, then stop. Take a break, take a look at your script, maybe have a little dance party, do some yoga poses, get rehydrated and come back in with a fresh mind and back in the zone. It’s okay to take a break.
11. My final tip for you, and maybe this is one of the hardest ones, and this is going to happen after you’ve done all of the preparation, all of the filming, you’ve got it all done, and you are ready to watch it back and edit. My tip is, you’re either going to have to completely love and accept yourself, or get over yourself. And I am speaking from total experience. One way that I helped myself to get over myself was to be consistent. So I made a declaration, a pledge to myself and to all of my amazing students on youtube, that I would upload every single week. And not only did that help me to get around those cringey moments where I totally hated the video, but it also gave me accountability. It made me show up each week and get better and better and better. Sure, I have a tonne of videos online that I’m not really in love with, but at least I did them.
You want to know what the craziest part of all of this is? That when I look back over all of my hundreds of YouTube videos, some of the ones that I can barely even look at, like I cannot watch through the first couple of seconds, they have made the most impact and helped the most people. So if it was up to me and I just did the big delete, then I wouldn’t have been able to share that message and teach so many students all around the world. The most important thing is that you share your brilliance, you shine your message, and you really step into your creativity. Even if it feels a little bit cringey.
Okay, so now it is time for you to put my top tips into practise. I cannot wait to see your videos and your confidence soar. And if you do hang out on Instagram, and I’m going to see you there as well, @deannelovexo. All right, tag me in your videos, I can’t wait to see your brilliant message.