When fear of being on camera and fear of public speaking meet, the results are… not great.
The reality is though that online presentations are here to stay. Increasingly, we’re being asked not just to conduct meetings virtually but to also share presentations and keynotes online. These will include virtual town halls and board meetings if you are a CEO, as well as pitches, team meetings, and interviews if you are a leader.
It’s one thing when this happens live, but another when you have to record yourself speaking.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing a few quick tips to help you record yourself with confidence, followed by some technical tips to help you create the best video you can!
Before you start
Give yourself plenty of time
Unless you’re a pro, you’ll probably need several takes before you get it right. Knowing you only have 20 minutes to produce a video will make you panic, and even more likely to make mistakes. Instead, allocate a decent chunk of time so you can relax into it and film as many times as you need to.
You’re allowed a script
Not everyone is blessed with an incredible memory, especially if you’re nervous! Prepare what you have to say, practise it and, if necessary, use autocue. Practise is critical. I always say to my coachees – practise like mad and appear as though it’s all spontaneous. There are several apps that offer an autocue/teleprompter service for your phone or computer. Otherwise, if you have a willing assistant you could do it the old school way and ask them to hold up cards to keep you on task!
Get your energy up
You will get better results if you are high energy. Everyone has that “one song” that makes them get up at a party and have a little dance around. Find it, put it on, and get your body moving. Be as silly as you want to be, jump around, and shake all those nerves out of your body. P.s dancing skills are not necessary for this one!
Some people can’t concentrate if they see their own face as they speak. If you’re using your phone to film, you probably have it in selfie mode. If this is bothering you, stick a post-it note on the screen of your phone. There, problem solved!
If you think you’re speaking slowly enough, you probably aren’t speaking slowly enough! Nerves often make us talk at lightning speed. You need vocal variety and always start and finish slowly.
Stop beating yourself up
Mistakes happen. Getting everything right on the first, second, or third take is probably not going to happen. It doesn’t matter how many takes it needs. You know your stuff. You can do this.
If you feel your body shaking, or your mind going into a panic mode, it’s probably because you’ve forgotten to breathe.
Stop recording and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes. Place your hands on your stomach and breathe in evenly through your nose, letting your stomach expand for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 4 counts, then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Keep your breath in mind when you turn your camera back on.
I’ve got more great tips on overcoming your fear of public presenting here.
Concentrate on the technical aspects
Filming yourself doesn’t necessarily have to be highly technical or expensive. You just need a phone with a camera to make it work. There is much talk of authenticity right now, so you do not need a camera crew. Often a smart phone and you talking is sufficient.
If you are going to be doing many of these videos, there are a few things you can invest in which will make your videos look and sound more professional. The side benefits are that this will help with your confidence too!
Your first priority should be to get a tripod for your phone, or camera.
This means you don’t have to hold your phone with one hand or find an awkward shelf to balance it on.
Having a tripod gives you flexibility – you can choose where you are sitting or standing.
If you are filming on the move and need to give your video an action feel, then a selfie stick is your best bet!
Pay attention to the light sources in the room you’re filming in. Does it come from a ceiling light? A window on your right? Depending on the angle, this can cast strange shadows on your face and make you feel self-conscious when you re-watch yourself.
Where possible, aim for even and front-facing lighting.
The easiest way to achieve this is through a ring light.
Ring lights cast a daylight-like glow evenly across your face, with minimal shadows.
Some of these come with tripods so you can consider it as a 2-in-1 investment.
Sound is incredibly important in video, even more than visuals. Having sound that is garbled, fuzzy, and hard to hear is a quick way to lose viewers.
Most phones have decent inbuilt microphones, so this might not be necessary for you. But if you intend to film somewhere with background noise (whether it’s children, traffic, animals, crowds…) then having a lapel mic will ensure the right noises are the focus.
A lapel mic, also known as a lavalier microphone, is a small hands-free microphone you can clip on your clothes, near the base of your neck.
The mic can plug in directly into your phone if the cable is long enough, some are also wireless. I would recommend choosing wire for a more reliable sound quality.
Over to you
Do you need help with an upcoming presentation, whether recorded or live? I can coach you through the process and help you develop your authentic voice. Get in touch now.