Hello. If you are reading this, chances are someone has asked you to appear in a video. Maybe it’s an interview, or maybe a video presentation. Regardless, you are dreading it, am I right? With the exception of professional actors, most people seem to hate being on camera. They feel awkward talking to a machine. They also worry that they will look foolish and that foolishness will be engraved permanently as a record for all to see forever. Fear not. These simple steps will help you prepare and, hopefully, feel confident about being in front of the camera.
Prepare bullet points.
Come up with a few bullet points that you are going to talk about.
You may be tempted to write a full script. There are two reasons why I would lean away from this. First, that puts a lot of pressure to memorize. Second, the way we write is not exactly the same as the way we talk, so it may be a challenge to appear genuine. This is why I would go with a few talking points, and let your words flow naturally.
If you are going to write a script, I’d recommend reading it out loud a couple of times to make sure you sound like yourself.
Some will recommend that you practice in front of a mirror, that sounds too awkward to me. Start by practicing in front of a plant. A plant will not judge, and you can build up your confidence. If that feels good, you can try practicing in front of your dog or cat. After you feel comfortable, then feel free to practice in front of a family member. They can sometimes give valuable feedback. Finally, once you are super prepared, and only if you really want to, you can practice in front of the toughest judge of all, your mirror.
Beware apology loops
It happens often, someone might blow a couple of takes and start to feel bad. They start to look around the room and say things like: “I’m so sorry for wasting your time” or worse “Oh man, I am bad at being on camera”. The more they apologize, the worse they feel, which leads to more blown takes.
Let me let you in on a little secret of what the others in the room are thinking. They aren’t thinking about how they are wasting their afternoon. They aren’t thinking about how bad you are doing on camera. They are thinking about what a great time they are having hanging out comfortably behind the camera, and they are happy that you are the incredible, talented and brave person who is in front of it.
Trust your film crew
Remember that everyone is there to make you look and sound good. If for some reason you are having an off day and don’t present your best self, guess what? Either they will edit it in such a way that you will look better then you remember, or they will throw away the footage.
You will be filmed for many many minutes, and afterwards they will only take the very best of you to put into the final video.
In other words, you will never get a video that makes you look stupid, so don’t worry, and have fun filming!