The first time speaking in public can be intimidating, and the same goes for being on camera.
I remember the first time I had to stand up in front of a crowd. I stuttered, got red, and forgot most of what I had to say. I completely failed.
But over the years, I got better and better. Every time I got in front of a crowd was nerve-wracking, but I learned a lot every time.
What happened was that I got more confident for every speech I gave and for every video I recorded.
So, today I want to share 11 tips that helped me get more confident on camera. It isn't rocket science, but very hands-on tips that have been imprinted into my head over the years.
And best of all, you can start using them today!
To smile is so important on camera, and to nail it, you can practice in front of the mirror. In the beginning, it may feel unnatural, but keep practicing. A gentle, comfortable smile will also help you pass on bad news to people. Think about meeting someone in person; it's always nicer to meet people smiling than someone with a blank face. The same goes for being on camera!
2. Focus on one spot
Remember to focus on one spot when you're recording, and depending on the setup, your focal point can vary. For instance, when I'm recording a podcast, I'm looking into the camera lens, whereas for Instagram Stories, I focus on the lens or somewhere on the screen. Most important is that you focus on ONE spot.
Maybe you're also interested in this: HOW TO START BEFORE YOU’RE READY & Build Unstoppable Confidence.
3. Pay attention to facial expressions
Body language, including facial expressions, is hugely important for everything you say and can help convey your message better. Use intonation and expressions to make videos more exciting and fun for the viewers to watch. And even if you're only recording audio, facial expressions matter, too. It's easy to hear through the voice if someone is smiling or not.
4. Use hand gestures
Next to facial expressions, hand gestures are extremely powerful, but be mindful that you don't overdo it with too much movement.
Whether you're standing or sitting when being on camera, make sure to find a safe spot for your hands. If you're standing, your safe spot could be next to your body. On the other hand, if you sit at a table recording, find a natural position for your hands on the table.
However, when you do use your hands, it's crucial to disconnect them. Not everything you do with your hands has to be together, and instead of randomly throwing your hands around, use specific gestures to aid the story or message you want to convey. For instance, position your hands in one place when you talk about one thing and reposition them again to the same position when you come back to the same topic later.
5. Avoid too much jewelry
Whether you're recording in a studio or with your phone, avoid wearing too much jewelry as you risk making unwanted noise that's picked up by the microphone. You want to make sure you're the center of attention and not a bracelet banging against the table!
Remember to pause…in between ideas. For most people, pausing in conversations doesn't come naturally, so practice this when you speak. Yes, it can be super uncomfortable, but adding in a pause now and then gives your audience time to let the points sink in.
7. Sit still (no wiggling)
Like you should avoid too much movement with your hands, you should avoid shuffling around when you record. To sit still, lock your feet to the floor and stay there. You may think it looks awkward, but you're the only person thinking this.
8. Prepare your open and close
Whenever you go on camera, make sure you've prepared your open and close upfront and know these by heart. When I don't do this for Instagram Stories or podcast recordings, I know I'll mess up the end. Once your intro and outro are clear, you can go in different directions in between.
9. Be spontaneous, don't memorize every word
Your open and close must be clear to you, but in between, you want to be spontaneous, too. Write down a few bullets or talking points that can guide you through the video so you stick to the overall message. Like this, you can still show emotions and add spontaneity if you suddenly want to add something—it's going to make you even more interesting to listen to. Go all in, and even when you think you're over the top, you're not. Dare to go overboard.
10. Focus on content clarity
You can smile, use hand gestures and facial expressions to captivate people, but if your message isn't clear and easy to understand, your audience will tune out. Therefore, focus on content clarity. In other words, don't get too specific and keep it simple so everyone can follow along. I like to use metaphors to help people get a visual they can lock into and aid understanding.
Remember, you know a lot more than your audience needs to know, so it's up to you to make your content simple and pick out the specific points you want to pass along to your audience.
11. Keep an open posture
Whenever you get on camera, use an open posture instead of a closed one. The same goes for any conversations. Don't be defensive but invite people into your world and avoid any props that create a wall between you and your audience.
Now, let's recap. These were a lot of tips to help you get more confident on camera.
- Focus on one spot
- Pay attention to facial expressions
- Use hand gestures
- Avoid too much jewelry
- Sit still (no wiggling)
- Prepare your open and close
- Be spontaneous
- Focus on content clarity
- Keep an open posture
Dive in and give them a go. You're going to rock it on camera!
If you want to learn how to create great Instagram Stories, I've created a free training, Spot On Stories. I will share practical tips on how to:
- Captivate your audience.
- Get confident enough to get on Instagram Stories and start talking.
- Create amazing stories in the Instagram app.
Let me know what you think by tagging me in your Instagram stories with @fastforwardamy.
PS. The Business Freedom Elevator™ early bird doors are opening on January 7th to celebrate one year of the FastForwardAmy Show! Mark your calendar to be the first to sign up and grab a €200 discount and epic bonuses.
Register on the waitlist here: www.fastforwardamy.com/elevator
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