How to Be Natural on Camera and Overcome Performance Anxiety (Especially If You’re an Absolute Beginner)
There’s nothing worse than being held back by what other people think.
Being shy and uncomfortable on camera is definitely a sticking point for many people who otherwise would have a successful online business creating courses and coaching programs.
One of the things that comes up a lot from my clients and webinar attendees is being uncomfortable on camera…which I can definitely relate to as it was a sticking point for me, early on.
So, in this post, I’m going to share 4 tips that can help you to go from scared or anxious when trying to create your videos to comfortable and feeling a sense of certainty about what you’re doing.
…instead of being a perfectionist and doing too many takes to try to get it “perfect” these tips will save you time and allow you to get your videos created more quickly and with better quality…
…to the point where you may even find that you enjoy being on camera.
Like most fears, in this case, the emperor truly has no clothes…
It’s a fear that quickly evaporates as you start taking action. I promise you.
But before we dive into the 4 tips, let’s look put some context around this in relation to where this lives in the online expert’s blueprint:
This lives in the charismatic content step of the action step and would be applicable after you done the foundational work found in the first phase of this journey.
I point this out to give you some context but also so you realize that if you were to do the first well, it’s going to lower your anxiety when being on camera because you’re going to be far more prepared.
To learn more about the first foundational steps of the online expert’s blueprint check out this free cheat sheet I created for beginner coaches and course creators.
Now, why are people afraid to be on camera?
The short answer is because they generally fear rejection.
They are worried about what they THINK others will think of them.
They are worried about looking stupid or someone noticing their imperfections.
The camera is a like a big reflection showing you to yourself….and most people are their own worst critics.
I used to watch my early videos and be concerned that my teeth looked too yellow or didn’t like how my voice sounded.
Let me give the tips that will help you get past this and start creating quality videos quickly.
#1 Remove Ego
The first thing you need to do is take the focus off yourself.
The real secret that nobody tells you when you’re getting started is that your students are more interested in your content than they are in you.
If you’re creating courses or any type of video content with the aim of helping others get results…keep your focus on them.
Think about their inconveniences, annoyances…their pains and desires…the questions and concerns they have.
When you’re delivering your content focus squarely on how you are helping them alleviate their problems and live a more enjoyable life.
..I mean, after all, isn’t that why you want to teach and coach others? To make an impact and be of value?
Then make it about that and not yourself.
When you stay focused on your audience’s needs and how you are helping them, it will come across in your videos and they will appreciate it.
It will make for far better content too.
#2 Shatter the illusion of perfection (or why being okay with good enough is surprisingly the fastest route to great quality)
Here’s another thing that I wish someone would have told me when I was getting started:
Be okay with being bad when you’re getting started.
Someone, somewhere just shrieked…
I know (believe me I know): you want to produce excellent quality videos.
You want them to be perfect.
The real truth is that in order to get good at creating videos, you need to create a lot of videos…it’s the only way.
There is no secret formula that beginners use to immediately create fantastic videos…it just doesn’t exist.
I used to waste so much time trying to create the perfect video. I would agonize over every little detail and was never satisfied with the end result…ever.
In reality, as your skills improve so does your ability to be more discerning, so, you’ll notice more and more details that you didn’t before.
It’s important to turn this off to a degree when you’re creating videos. You need to just do it and put it out there and be okay with learning and improving as you go.
One of the things that really helped me in the beginning was I became okay with mediocre quality videos.
Anyone who knows me personally, also knows that this goes against my value system in a major way, as someone who appreciates quality.
The truth is, I would never have gotten to the point of creating better quality videos without first being bad at it.
I thought everyone would hate my courses, I couldn’t stand how I looked. I knew the quality wasn’t as good as it could be….
…but something surprising happened.
Not only did I start improving very quickly, but other people liked my courses much more than I liked them.
When I first got started creating courses 3 years ago, the relationship with my girlfriend of 5 years was ending…
…I was in the emotional dumps. Big time.
…but I was also committed to my new business.
So, I started creating course after course and decided to let go of the idea of trying to be perfect and focus more on quantity…in the beginning.
This so important and something I wish I could convince all newcomers to embrace.
Let go of the illusion of perfection. Be okay with lower quality when you’re getting started.
It’s the only way you’re going to give yourself permission to keep creating which is what will ultimately lead to better quality…
#3 Relax and don’t be super polished
One of the things people tend to do when starting out is they act like they are on camera.
They try to be really polished and it just comes off awkward.
You’re not a newscaster okay, you’re a human being.
Talk in your normal voice (*except if you’re a quiet talker, you may want to speak a bit louder than normal).
Instead of trying to behave like someone that’s on camera for the first time, imagine you’re talking with a friend and deliver your content the same way you would in that situation.
To practice, you could simply describe your content to a friend…off camera.
I stumbled upon this approach by sheer accident.
What happened was that when I was describing what I did or what I was working on to a friend, I noticed that I described it in much simpler terms and things just flowed out so much better.
It was so much easier to articulate my thoughts when I was just having a conversation about it rather than trying to write a script or “create a video”.
So, you can practice by describing the idea for your video or lesson to a friend and notice the way you do it.
Your tone of voice…the words you use. How you summarize things…the metaphors or analogies you use without even thinking about it.
This is the way you want to deliver your content on video.
Then later, you can just simply imagine your talking to your friend. (don’t do this in public places – trust me 🙂
Honestly, the simplest way to be more confident on camera and deliver better content is to prepare yourself.
I didn’t say over prepare, I said to prepare.
First is to prepare your content…know what you’re going to talk about, ahead of time.
Some people like to write full-blown scripts and feed them into a teleprompter.
Others like to create a rough outline and have it next to them.
Whether you choose outline or script, what I don’t recommend is just winging it.
If you prepare yourself, you’ll be far less anxious because you’ll know what the hell you’re getting on camera to talk about.
Seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many beginners just turn on the camera and try ad-libbing off the cuff for 20 minutes and wonder why their video is all over the place or why they get nervous and panic.
No one said you can’t practice your video a few times before you actually record….
The next way to prepare is to relax before filming:
Close your eyes and take a few deep, slow breaths..exhaling about twice as long as you inhale.
This is one of the easiest techniques and will immediately start relaxing you before your turn on the camera.
So, now having read this post, you have a choice to make.
You can choose the hard way, which is to procrastinate, never putting anything out there because you’re afraid of what people will think…
…daydreaming about creating your business but never making any actual progress.
You can waste time doing tons of takes trying to get things perfect….
Or you can silence that negative voice in your head (you know the one, it’s the one that only holds you back) and instead get out there and make it happen…
Start creating your videos and be okay with the quality you’re capable of now, realizing it’s all part of a bigger process…