Rid Yourself of Fear of the Camera
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Do you hate cameras? Do get all twitchy as soon as a camera or smartphone is pointed in your direction? Well, I feel your pain. I was like you. Recently. In fact, just a few weeks ago.
I used to take some footage of myself, then play it back and be disappointed. Take two and I stumbled over some words. By take 36 I thought the return on investment of my time was not worth it. I wanted to give up. Then I realised something. It's true for me and it's true for you.
You have something important to say to the world. Don't let your fear of turning up on video get in the way of that message.
So, how do you overcome your fear of being filmed?
Actually, it's remarkably easy. Many actors suggest practicing in front of a mirror or a friend, but that's not what worked for me. (It only stressed me even more).
Instead, I focused on my attitude:
Even a few simple changes helped. Like changing the time of the day when I was recording myself or changing my posture.
This course is not written by a professional actor. It's written by someone like you. I had no video or camera experience before, and I've had no professional training. But these tips have worked for me.
The tips are:
So whether you're too nervous to look at a lens or just want to get a little bit more comfortable when you're being recorded, follow this course and Rid Yourself, once and for all, of your fear of the camera.
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|Section 1: The Journey from Nervousness to Confidence|
Video is a very powerful way of getting your message across. Images can be much easier to digest than words. But what do you do if you are overcome by nerves in front of the camera? You can do nothing about it, and then your voice will never be heard.
Or, you can take some simple steps to overcome your shyness or nervousness. Just a few weeks before I started making this course I, too, was nervous in front of the camera. I would record something, find mistakes, record it again and again. It was so frustrating.
Then I came across some simple strategies to ease my nerves. Very basic things like changing the place you are doing the recording, or trying to change my posture. It worked like a charm and that's what I want to share with you.
From One Nervous Amateur to Another
I am not a professional actor. I am someone who was nervous on video, and very recently too. Now I actually enjoy watching myself. The steps are very simple - no psychological tricks or expensive equipment involved. So why not have a look through the course and see if it will help you get your message out to the world.
I hope you enjoy it.
|Section 2: Practical steps to building camera confidence|
Probably the most important thing when dealing with nerves is this: focus on your message, not yourself. In this lecture I show you how to take the focus off yourself and turn towards the message you want to share with the world.
Many people try to overcome their camera shyness by practicing and practicing. In front of a mirror. With a friend nearby, or alone in front of the camera. This approach can help, but it could also be counter-productive. If you're practicing until you get it word perfect, you'll always find something to correct, something that is just not right in your appearance or presentation.
It's far more important to manage your expectations, so that you don't have unrealistic goals. Your video doesn't need to be perfect. It just needs to be good enough. Sure, you can always improve it but don't let perfectionism get in the way of your message.
I expect this will be your favourite lecture, because it's about taking the focus off yourself. There are a few ways of doing this: using background images or b-rolls, presenting an "interview" (even if there's no one across the table looking at you), or talking about something that you love. Whichever way you approach it, the video ends up not being about you, but about your message. And that's going to relieve a lot of the pain of being in front of the camera, feeling the focus is on you.
|Quiz 1||3 questions|
Find practical ways of getting the focus off yourself and onto your message.
If you get a little anxious in front of the camera, the one thing you're always thinking is "when can they hit the stop button?" The sooner, the better, right? Well, you can make it easy for yourself by recording very short grabs. Even a few seconds at a time is a good way to go. Then you put it all together in the editing process.
Using short takes releases a lot of the pressure of having to get everything word perfect. If there's a background noise or some other interruption, you don't have to record the whole long video again. It also makes the experience more pleasant for the viewer.
One of the most obvious ways of addressing nerves in front of the camera is to change your environment. The time of day you record can make a difference. So can where you record. A simple change of environment can make all the difference to how comfortable you are.
|Quiz 2||2 questions|
Find some fun and inventive ways to change your environment.
Who would have thought that a simple change of posture can affect your presentation? Maybe you can stand up to be more dynamic. Or perhaps your topic is more like a fireside chat, and sitting down will help.
Posture can improve your breathing, ease your nerves and make you more relaxed. This will help you focus more on your topic and worry less about how you appear on camera.
Doesn't the imagination run wild some times? Especially as regards fear and anxiety, we can imagine all kinds of reasons why our message is unimportant, or why our videos are going to be a flop. All of these things can play on our feelings and lead us to discouragement. The result? No video.
It's so important to be able to control the imagination. Well, "control" may not be a good word. "Manage" might be better, and one way of doing that is to focus on something else, something good.
Even if you do get nervous in front of the camera, you can use that for your good. Being at least a little bit nervous (but not too much) can help you focus, stop you rambling on, and even get you a little more excited about your topic.
The audience probably won't even notice your nervousness but if they do, they may think something like: "Wow! This person is speaking to me, even though it's obvious they are nervous. Must really have something important to share with me."
|Quiz 3||3 questions|
Look through these strategies to see which will help you calm your nerves better.
|Section 3: Conclusion: Focus on Your Message, not your mistakes|
Course Conclusion: Your Message Is Important
Free PDF: How to overcome your fear of the camera
I have worked in the IT field for over 20 years, and have done plenty of teaching and writing, both within IT and in much wider domains. I'm a regular author for Power IT Pro, IBM Systems Magazine and IBM developerWorks.
Having worked across many different businesses (and in government), I see a lot of very skilled IT people in jobs where they are not able to use their talents so much. Highly specialised people are frustrated, spending their time on routine, mundane tasks.
I love writing and talking about positive approaches to IT, and how to adapt to technological changes.
I myself was in a full-time role for many years, but have been a successful freelance contractor since 2008. That includes right through the Global Financial Crisis. This gives me a unique perspective on the IT world, as I'm not dependent on any single job or company. I'd like to share this with you.