For anyone just starting out on YouTube, or with video in general, comfort on camera is something that pretty much everyone struggles with (at the beginning). To get over your camera anxiety and get more comfortable and confident on camera, I am going to share with you 10 top YouTube tips and answer the burning question on how to get comfortable on camera.
As I’ve mentioned, whilst I’m speaking from a YouTubers perspective, these same principles can be transferred to just about any other platform or video praxis.
You’ll be able to put these principles into action immediately and start creating better videos now that you know how to get comfortable on Camera.
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As we’re talking about increasing your confidence and comfort on camera, these additional articles may be helpful along your YouTuber journey:
- How to start a YouTube Channel and upload your first video.
- The 5 keys to success on YouTuber.
- The best free tools every YouTubers needs.
[callout]How to get comfortable on camera – 10 Principles[/callout]
This is the obvious one, so instead of saving it for last, let’s get it out of the way immediately. The only sure-fire way I know of improving in pretty much anything is to practice. When it comes to getting more comfortable on camera, this is really no different.
The more you practice and actually put yourself in front of the camera, the less of a big deal it will become.
Practicing could mean you film videos that you don’t plan on posting online. You film shorter videos like those for Instagram, Snapchat, Stories, etc. Or you just make like Philip DeFranco and jump straight into it.
Practice, practice, practice.
2. Be Excited
One trick I find when it comes to overcoming something that causes anxiety is to tell yourself (convince yourself) that you’re really excited about doing something in particular and not nervous or worried.
This can really speed up time so that you’re not just sitting around with seconds turning to minutes and minutes turning to hours. When it comes to being comfortable on camera, by tricking your mind into thinking you’re excited (really, just tell yourself that you’re excited about being on camera) you’ll be more inclined to be your natural self, and not that anxious, nervous person anymore.
3. Get Pumped up
No, you don’t need to head off to the gym. By getting pumped, all I mean is to get your blood flowing before you step in front of the camera.
You can do this by jumping up and down, doing some push-ups, running around a bit, etc. Whatever you can to get your blood flowing.
This helps with your cognitive ability; with the added blood flow your brain should come alive and you’ll be a little bit quicker witted. If your skin tends to go pale when you’re anxious, this could also help restore that natural look.
They say those that fail to prepare, prepare to fail. I tend to agree. Preparation when it comes to filming can mean a lot of things, but for you in front of the camera, it mainly involves the topic your covering and any potential script.
If you’re pre-recording something (like a YouTube video), put together a script or jot down some main points so that if you get lost at some point, you have a map of sorts to get you back on track.
Make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the topic thoroughly. If you’re not the one writing the script, try to involve yourself so that the wording is more similar to what you would say and the flow more of your own.Those that fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
5. Pace yourself
When people are nervous, they tend to speak a lot faster. When I’m nervous, I could probably set some new Guinness World Records.
Pace yourself and slow things down. If you’re feeling nervous, then try to speak slower than you usually would and things should then level out at your normal pace. 😉
6. Don’t worry about going off topic
If you go off on a slight tangent, don’t worry about it. Try to bring things back with the points you jotted down earlier, especially if you’re filming under time constraints.
If you’re filming for your YouTube channel, you can just cut out pieces that you do not want in the final video. This means you can go off topic as much as you’d like, you could even find that these off-topic shenanigans show more of your personality and add additional value to your audience.
7. Talk to a friend
Well, a metaphorical friend. When talking to the camera, talk as if you’re talking to a friend. This comes across more comfortably for your audience and will be a more natural representation of yourself.
Avoid the death stare, statue pose, and robotic delivery. Talk as if it’s a normal conversation between yourself and a friend and your audience will surely appreciate it (and you’ll be a lot more comfortable whilst delivering it).
8. Be comfortable
How to get comfortable on camera? Be comfortable.
I mean that in a completely literal way.
If you don’t normally wear a suit, then don’t wear something you don’t feel comfortable in. Keep your wardrobe regular, but also something that’s presentable. This, of course, depends a lot on what type of video, niche, etc. you’re in, but a plain T-shirt and jeans will generally do the trick, even for the ladies.
The same goes if you’re not comfortable standing in front of the camera. Grab a seat and get to practicing. 😉
9. Watch good and bad videos
Learn from past mistakes and successes, both your own and of others. This way you can see what you should avoid doing and what you may want to incorporate in your videos.
A lot of time people will look at good videos, and find aspects they want to incorporate somehow in their videos. This can often help you find your own voice, but mistakes can often arise that could be have been avoided by watching some poorly made videos.
What not to do can sometimes be even more important.
You are your biggest critic.
Odds are, no-one is going to notice that stray hair, your mispronunciation, the mistake you made in the second sentence, or that this is one of the first times you’re on camera.
Relax and keep in mind that you will get better, cut yourself some slack.
Here are a few things you can do to help yourself relax before filming:
- Meditate or do some light yoga.
- Do something you enjoy.
- Have a warm coffee or tea.
- Get some sunshine.
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By following these 10 principles, you’ll get more comfortable on camera in no time. Not only in front of the camera though, but you will also grow in confidence off camera, whilst presenting, when public speaking and in other aspects where you thought you just didn’t have the requisite confidence to succeed.
Now I’m going to pass the question on to you. How do you get comfortable on camera?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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