Are You Camera or Microphone Shy – My Top Tips To Overcome and Master This Fear

Do you get nervous or even freeze up at the thought of recording a video or stepping in front of your webcam?

Would you believe I used to be the exact same…

You might not, but in fact I froze up, stammered, stuttered and tripped over my words.

I would get knots in my stomach when I hit the record button.

I knew what I wanted to say, but as soon as I hit that record button, I would get nervous, make mistakes and never get anything done in the first take (or first five for that matter)

Then once I had finished recording, I would fuss and edit for HOURS!

Yet today that is different for me.

People now say to me:

‘Chris, you sound confident in front of the camera’

‘Chris, your videos sound and look good quality’

‘Chris, can you help me with my videos?’

So what changed for my videos?

I guess I didn’t give up, I worked through all of the barriers I faced (and still face) to get to the point where I am today.

…and this got me thinking.

Are YOU Camera Shy?

Maybe you have put off or outright refused to get in front of the camera due to this fear.

The thing is, if you are here reading this blog post, then you would like to get better at recording and creating videos.

Now I do understand there are issues others may have that may be a bigger problem (for them) than I faced (think speech impediments…) …and this may take a lot more than my top tips, but again you may still have that desire to start recording and my advice is to keep going on your journey.

Today I want to try and help you by revealing my top tips for getting over Camera Shyness or Fear of the Camera

Before we set out my top tips I want to say that this is a skill you can learn over time. Simply follow my tips, apply, learn, grow and keep pushing forward and eventually you will feel better with your videos and stepping in front of a recording camera.

Practice Makes Good Enough – notice I didn’t say perfect!

My advice is to never strive for perfection as that in itself brings it’s own issues. Instead simply look to make them as good as you can make them and understand that you will get better over time. The more you practice, your fear will go (or reduce), your production levels will get better and the shyness will reduce.

If you learn by doing, you will actually be able to refer back to your early videos and see how far you have actually progressed with all of the practicing you have been doing.

It is normal to feel like this

Think about it… It is not normal to step in front of a camera and feel relaxed and fully at home. It actually feels unnatural, not normal as you are talking to a camera or a lens rather than a person, remember this is the same for everybody else (not just you). If you remember this and accept it for what it is, not normal and feeling unnatural, and remember someone will be viewing your videos through the lens, then you can try to focus on your audience instead.

Get over yourself and your hangups

This has to be one of my BIGGEST tips. Many people are too self critical, they analyse and fuss on how they look, sound, come across and will appear to others. I guess this is where the biggest proportion of fear and shyness for the camera stems from.

People worry about all of this and this in turn leaves them making mistakes and getting apprehensive whenever it comes to stepping in front of the camera and recording your videos. If you can get to the point (like I did), where you know, understand and accept that not everybody will like you. In fact you may find that people may even dislike you, but this is okay as this is THEIR problem and not your problem…

Because while we do have those people who may be like this, there will also be others who are going to LOVE your work, want to follow you, interact with you and become loyal trusting fans of your work.

THIS is your core audience, and these are the people who matter most and need to hear from you!

Learn to focus on delivering content to your core audience and you can maybe win over others, as for the rest… Forget them!

Have one Key Message for your content

If you create your content with a plan or goal in mind to deliver one key message, then all you have to do is ensure you deliver and cover this within your video. If you try to cram too much into a video, then you may get confused, stumble and even forget some key items you wanted to cover.

Instead make shorter videos with one key message and ensure you cover all of the points relating to this within your video. This will help you to focus and know exactly what it is you are there recording.

Be yourself – Bring YOUR Personality into your content

Nobody likes boring or monotone. Likewise in sales, people buy from people. So look to bring YOU into your videos. At the end of the day, this is your video, your message and your voice. So make sure and say it how YOU like and not how you think others need to hear something.

There are far too many ‘ME TOO’ marketers and video makers out there who simply copy others and try to be like each other. This means nobody is really standing out and there are no real personalities coming through. This means the videos are less engaging and more formal or boring, and this is not the reason why people watch videos.

No – they watch videos to be educated and entertained. So look to bring as much of your personality into your videos and this will go a long way to winning over viewers and followers.

Make it fun

Nobody likes monotone or boring dry videos or presentations. Try your best to make even the driest of subjects more interesting by injecting a little bit of fun into them (where possible). If you can use engaging images, questions and even make them interactive or pose questions. This is where your personality and the content go hand in hand, look to bring more of you into your content and the videos will naturally be more engaging.

Likewise, if you are interested or enthusiastic about a subject, this will shine though in all of your content and you can’t help but let your personality show through in these videos. Additionally,  you have to make it fun for yourself as well. There is no point in creating a video (or content) if it is not fun for you. If you are someone who laughs a lot, then look to use this within your videos as it also helps to engage people.

Understand your videos/audio may not be perfect from the outset

If you are understand that perfect is something you may never achieve, you can only do your best, in my world done is better than not done and being planned. Nobody gets to watch your videos, learn from you or hear your message is you never get it recorded and out there for people to enjoy.

My advice is that you have to grow in experience, standards and you won’t gain this if you don’t hit record and publish your videos and grow as you progress with your videos.

Plan out your content in advance

If you have taken a few moments to plan out what it is you wanted to talk about, then it makes the recording a lot easier.

As in the next point, my recommendation is to bullet point your main items and that way you will ensure you cover the items you wanted to and in the correct sequence you intended.

Know the outline rather than every word

If you know the outline of what you want to cover rather than trying to memorise each and every word, then you can be more natural with your videos. People get nervous, make mistakes when they memorise each and every word. Memorising or even reading from a teleprompter is a very hard skill to learn, and if you are not comfortable with your videos you may find these useful, but you may also sound robotic or find it harder to bring your personality into your videos.

My recommendation would be to bullet point the main points you need to cover and then this will give you the freedom to cover the points, but making it more natural and making it sound more like you know your subject. You will also find that It will also help to introduce your personality into your content.

Learn to Pace and Speak clearly

I have the issue of having a strong, fast talking local accent, and you may be the same. Or you may be speaking a second language in your videos. You have to remember that your viewers also may be listening to you in their second language.

As there are many variations you have to clearly pronounce your words to help others follow you. That said, do not change things to make it sound like either you or your viewers are idiots. There is a balance here and it is something similar to having a ‘Telephone voice’ instead you may have a ‘presentation voice’.

I actually have this and flip into this mode whenever I hit record with my videos. It is still me, my personality, but I also speak clearer that I would if I was chatting with a friend locally with a similar accent. This is a skill you can learn, it may take time but most definitely something you can learn and get better at over time.

Get used to listening to your own voice

Many people hate to hear their own voice in audio or video. I say get used to this. Once you get used to this and comfortable listening to this, then you can stop being too self critical and look at how you may sound to others, and even where you may improve in your delivery.

When you can listen to your own voice, then you can begin to enjoy the content and even begin to experience the video and content as if you were a viewer or consumer of the content. This will give you a better understanding of your content.

Understand your personality type

You may not believe this, but I am an Introvert. You may find other may be an extroverts. There are so many personality types and by understanding this, you may be able to see strengths and weaknesses and play to these or even work on areas you feel need improving or even reign in areas that you may feel are excessive.

It always helps to know your personality type as this also help to understand how you may come across and even the people who may ultimately follow and like your content.

Don’t chase perfection 

This is like looking for gold in a pot at the end of a rainbow. You will NEVER achieve perfection as the more you strive and push for it, the more you will push your limits and demands on what is classed as perfect.

Simply go for the done and as good as you can is best. We are not perfect, we can make mistakes, it is not the end of the world and to many you levels of skill and expertise, plus the actual content will mean that to others the videos are awesome.

Watch Other People for Inspiration – Learn from Others

Watch how others within your industry do their videos. Watch how people present in television. What are they doing, how do others do this.

What do you like or dislike?

Learn from this, try to bring the elements you do like into your videos, but be careful you do not become a parrot to someone else and look and sound like them. Make sure at ALL times to keep your own personality but learn from others where you can.

Tell Stories within your content

If you can craft a good story, then you will have people hooked and waiting to listen to you. This is a fantastic skill to have and if you can bring this into your presentations and videos, then you are golden. People will be hooked, they will want to listen and fully engage with you and your stories.

So much so, many people will feel like they know, like and trust you. Once you have this, you are in an amazing position where even if you did make a mistake, they won’t even notice it, or care for that matter.

Understand EVERYBODY Has Imperfections

Nobody is perfect, we all have imperfections. We all self critique and are quite often our own worst enemies. We put ourselves down, talk inwards to ourselves saying things may not be good enough or up to a standard and this is true even with top celebrities.

If you know and understand this is only your inner voice and fear, and learn to ignore this and just step up to the camera and record, then you will be fine. Your audience will enjoy your content and nobody will ever know.

Dont over-think it

Many people over analyse, over-think and this in turn leaves them either abandoning the video, or procrastinating. It can also leave you jamming up when you come to the actual recording of your video.

Learn to step back, not over think things and just go with it. It is what it is and if people don’t like so be it…

Your Personality Wins Every Time

You may have noticed that I heavily referenced bringing your own personality into your videos and audios and this is for good reason.

if you can successfully do this, then you are in YOUR zone where no other person can touch you and people will look up to you. If you do this well enough you will have people seeing you as someone to follow, someone who is different, someone who has a voice and ultimately they will respect this and you.

So there you have it. My Top tips for getting over camera shyness or fear of video when you step in front of the lens.

My Advice after 8+ years of improving: Simply try to relax and apply as many of my top tips and keep pushing forward and you WILL begin to see improvements with your videos. First and foremost it is your personality that draws people and keeps them watching your videos. If you don’t bring this into your videos, then do you expect your audience to be there either..?

Here is my list again for you to reference:

  1. Practice Makes Good Enough – notice I didn’t say perfect!
  2. It is normal to feel like this
  3. Get over yourself and your hangups
  4. Have one Key Message for your content
  5. Be yourself – Bring YOUR Personality into your content
  6. Make it fun
  7. Understand your videos/audio may not be perfect from the outset
  8. Plan out your content in advance
  9. Know the outline rather than every word
  10. Learn to Pace and Speak clearly
  11. Get used to listening to your own voice
  12. Understand your personality type
  13. Don’t chase perfection
  14. Watch Other People for Inspiration – Learn from Others
  15. Tell Stories within your content
  16. Understand EVERYBODY Has Imperfections
  17. Dont over-think it

As always I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. If you do have any, then please reach out to me or leave your comments below and if I can help you, I will certainly try.

About The Author

chris

Chris Cole is passionate about online technology, video and audio. He is from Northern Ireland and has been working online since 2009. He likes to write about his marketing journey online and is also a lover of all thing Video and Podcast related. Follow Chris' journey and while you're here - Watch out for the new Broadcast Geeks Podcast that is coming soon. If you like this site, then why not come and join Chris over inside the Broadcast Geeks Facebook Group (Click Here) https://www.facebook.com/groups/broadcastgeeks

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