Being confident on camera doesn’t come naturally. In fact, hitting the record button is practically an invitation for panic.
You know the feeling: as soon as you know you’re on camera, your palms get moist.
Suddenly, your chair seems incredibly uncomfortable.
You can stop shifting, and your eyes don’t know where to look.
When you play the recording back, it’s almost painful to watch.
You delete it immediately.
Turns out you’re just as vulnerable as everyone else out there: you’re not confident on camera.
If you relate to the above situation, you’re not alone.
The majority of YouTubers have struggled with confidence at one time or another, myself included.
I found it nearly impossible to be fully satisfied with any video I recorded. So, I developed a secret recipe to success, a way to boost my confidence while recording and get better results.
Would you like to be confident on camera, and win the attention of your audience?
Today, we’re going to talk about why it’s so important to be confident on camera, as well as diving in to the 5 essential steps that I use to boost my confidence before and during recording.
Why Do You Need to be Confident on Camera?
So, you’re not the most confident person. Will it make that much difference in your success on YouTube?
As of July 2015, there were 400 hours of content being uploaded to YouTube every single minute, and probably even more now.
That means that thousands of people are competing for the attention of your audience.
What do you have to offer that they don’t?
If you are not confident on camera, it will show in the way that you speak. You will be monotone, unfocused on the camera, and shifty. Nerves will make it difficult for you to find the right words, or worse, will make you ramble.
What kind of reaction will this produce in your audience?
According to a study conducted in 2015, the average person has an attention span of 8 seconds. Incredibly enough, that’s less than the attention span of a goldfish!
What does this statistic mean for you?
It means you do not have minutes to capture the attention of your audience. You have less than 10 seconds to make them sit up and listen to what you have to say.
If you do not present yourself with a confident attitude and capture people’s interest, they will not stay.
So back to my question above: What do you have that your competition does not?
In order to really succeed, your answer should be confidence.
That’s right: being confident on camera gives you an edge against your competition, and sets your videos apart from the world of other YouTubers trying to steal away your viewers.
So now that you now how important being confident on camera is, it’s time to analyze exactly how this can be accomplished.
Let’s talk about my 5-step recipe to boosting confidence.
5 Simple Steps to Get Confident on Camera Today
#1 Practice and Film Alone
Let’s talk about a YouTuber named Tim.
Like you, Tim is not confident on camera.
He wants to start a YouTube channel, but isn’t sure if he’s any good at speaking. He feels like he needs some friendly advice to put him in the right direction.
Tim decides he’s going to call a friend to help him film his first few YouTube videos and give him some feedback.
Tim’s friend Matt comes over and watches Tim nervously try to speak in front of the camera.
Matt is quick to jump in with tips and suggestions.
This turns into a disaster.
In the end, Matt’s ‘feedback’ just punches more holes in Tim’s confidence. Instead of helping him to be more confident on camera, working with a friend has only made the situation worse.
We all know Matt was just trying to be helpful, but his feedback backfired.
Tim is now even more self-conscious on camera, and may eventually give up on his dream of being a YouTuber altogether.
Tim could be any one of us. In fact, this could have even become my story.
However, before giving up altogether, I learned how much better it is to practice and film alone.
The Advantages of Practicing and Filming Alone
There are some things that just need to be learned with trial and error.
Practicing and recording your videos alone is much less awkward than doing it in front of someone else. In the comfort of your own home, by yourself, you can speak into the camera with more sincerity.
Once you’ve uploaded these videos, you’ll get plenty of feedback from the community.
This audience feedback is much more important than what a friend or family member might have to tell you.
After all, you’re trying to adapt your videos to what your audience likes, not just to fit the opinion of one single person.
Just don’t let yourself get discouraged by a couple of negative comments: simply improve, adjust, and keep going!
#2 Plan Your Content Ahead of Time
If you don’t know what you’re going to be talking about on camera, you’ll end up using filler words like ‘um’, ‘uh’, or ‘you know’, which are basically the opposite of confidence.
To be confident on camera, you need to know what you are going to say, or at least have a general idea. Then you can talk without reservation or hesitation.
While this is not exactly the same as writing a complete video script, we can use some of those principles and apply them here.
Here are some steps you can take to outline a killer YouTube video that will help you exude confidence while on camera.
Pick a Theme for Your Video
Before doing anything else, you have to figure out what your video will be about.
Many times the best ideas for video topics come from your audience’s comments.
If you’re starting from 0, you can check out the comments on your competition’s videos instead.
While you’re checking out the competition, gather ideas from the videos that they’ve posted.
See what topics your competitors are talking about, and how much engagement they’re getting on those videos.
Once you find out which topics are really hot, use those ideas to create videos that are even better than your competitors’.
Another great tool to come up with topic ideas is AnswerthePublic.com. Just search your main topic keyword, and you’ll find questions that people are asking with that keyword.
Then, you can base your topic around answering some of these questions.
For example, when I search the keyword ‘marketing’, the website churns out questions like ‘what marketing strategies are effective’, ‘can marketing be automated’, ‘how marketing is different from selling’, and so forth.
List Your Main Points
Once you’ve chosen your video’s main topic, it’s time to list the points you want to make in that video.
I usually write out 3-5 bullet points that guide me in what I want to cover within the entire video.
When you do this, you can be confident on camera, knowing exactly where your video is going and what direction you’re going to take.
Write a Catchy Introduction
Like we said above, people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. You need to capture their attention within the first few seconds of your video, or you’ve already lost them.
What this means for you: Your introduction should be planned ahead of time so as to be executed perfectly.
Some of Kare Anderson’s ideas for capturing people’s attention during a public speech can be adapted to the world of YouTube videos as well:
- Start with something interesting and relevant
- Connect your ideas to the human experience
- Keep track of what works for your audience and adjust accordingly
Of course, you don’t want to simply read what you’ve written out, but planning an attention-grabbing introduction sets your audience up to continue watching your video.
Add Ideas Under Your Main Points
Have some specific phrases you like or statistics you want to include in your video?
Sometimes it’s better to write these things down, that way you won’t forget any particular points that you wanted to mention.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you have to write out your entire YouTube video and recite it off a piece of paper.
That would be boring.
Think of these points as just friendly reminders of things that you wanted to say.
Flesh Out a Worthy Conclusion
You’ve grabbed your audience’s attention with a catchy intro, you’ve gone through all of your main points, and now it’s time to end.
So, what are you supposed to say in closing?
That awkward wave to the camera might not be quite enough (although we’ve all done it).
However, the question should not be ‘what to say?’.
Instead, the question you should be asking is:
Where exactly do you want your viewers to go from here?
For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell a product or service using video marketing.
After they finish watching your video, you probably want them to go to a specific landing page on your website in order to see more details of the product or to buy it.
This is just one example of the type of call to action (CTA) you might place at the end of a video.
Other CTAs include:
- Subscribing to your channel
- Commenting with their opinion on a question or point you raised
- Viewing a related video of yours
- Following a link in the video description
Determining your goals and what action you want your viewers to take will help you decide how to end your video.
Test the Flow
Once you have these main parts in place, it’s a good idea to test how well the whole video flows.
You know what this means: practice, practice, practice!
Go through your video once or twice, adjust where necessary, and you’ll be much happier with the end result.
#3 Be Overly Animated
Sometimes people tell me that I’m too animated in my videos.
But the analytics don’t lie: being animated works.
Have you ever watched a YouTube video where the person wasn’t animated?
It happens sometimes: you’ll be listening to someone drone on in monotone about something they obviously care nothing about, and you’re thinking, ‘Why am I even watching this?’.
That’s not the reaction we want your audience to have.
When you speak animatedly, you exude confidence.
People who are animated are passionate and excited about it! And when you’re passionate about your topic, your audience will be too.
But what if you’re not a naturally animated person?
Put simply: fake it.
Yes, this may sound like somewhat strange advice.
I mean, can’t people tell the difference between fake excitement and true excitement?
Depending on the degree of your fake excitement, yes. So don’t be infomercial-guy excited, just practice being more animated than you might normally feel comfortable with.
Most times, even though it may feel somewhat unnatural to you, your audience won’t see the difference.
The more you practice being animated on camera, the more natural it will feel.
And the more animated you act on camera, the more confident you will be on camera.
#4 Get into the Right State of Mind
You know what the problem is with those monotone YouTubers who seem to just drone on with no interest?
Many times, they’re far too serious when they start their videos.
People aren’t attracted to people who are too serious.
However, the conundrum of making videos is that many times, we feel nervous from the moment we hit record, which makes us put on that serious face and speak in monotone.
It’s time to put a stop to this bad habit.
So, what makes you relaxed?
Is it blasting some classic Michael Jackson (like I do)?
What about singing at the top of your lungs?
Do you need to go for a run to unwind? (If so, I do suggest you hit the shower in between running and recording.)
Whatever it is that you need to do to relax and lighten up, do so.
Why is this so important?
Because you want to be in the right state of mind before you start recording.
That state of mind is not serious or nervous.
The right state of mind for recording is fun, excited, relaxed, or even a bit silly!
When you are relaxed and having fun, you’ll come off as more confident on camera.
#5 Avoid Perfectionism Like a Mean Dog
The more research that is done on perfectionism, the more its dangerous side effects are revealed.
Of course, that’s when perfectionism invades all parts of your life. But when it comes to your videos, is perfectionism actually that harmful?
Think about this: research has shown that true perfectionists are ultimately held back in life because they’re too anxious about the mistakes they might make to actually do anything.
This means that if you’re too anxious about whether or not you’ll succeed, you’ll never take the steps necessary to succeed.
Think about the last time you recorded a video.
Did you rewatch that video in agony, picking out every little mistake that you made?
How many takes did you delete?
If you find yourself constantly deleting and retaking videos, you need to stop this habit now.
Here are some steps you can take to beat perfectionism when recording videos for YouTube:
Take a Step Back
Whenever you find yourself being overly critical of your videos, it’s time to take a step back.
Think about the little things that are bothering you, whether it’s a filler word you let escape, a moment when your voice cracked, a hesitation that felt a little too long, etc.
However, instead of focusing on those small moments in and of themselves, think of them in the scope of your entire video.
- Is this really that noticeable?
- Does it affect the flow of the video?
- Will this detract from my message?
If you’re having a hard time cutting through your negativity, try showing the video to a trusted friend or family member.
Let them watch the entire video through, and then ask them the same questions above regarding the things that bother you.
In the end, you may be surprised to find that they didn’t even notice those small errors.
Even if they did notice any errors, they’ll probably agree that these small points don’t detract from the video as a whole.
Focus on the Positive
If you really struggle to produce a video that you’re satisfied with, it’s time for some radical positivity.
Watch the video that you just recorded, but don’t allow yourself to pick out any negative points.
Instead, force yourself to pick out at least 5 things that you like about the video.
Maybe it’s the way you introduced the video, an attention-grabbing question you used, a specific phrase that flows well into the next topic, a killer conclusion, or great lighting.
For at least the first run, find the things that you like (or even love!) about the video you just made. That will put you in the right frame of mind
Another great positivity trick is looking at your past videos.
If you’ve built up a few videos already, it’s great to see the good responses you’ve gotten. How many new subscribers do you have since you posted your last video? How many comments or likes have you gotten?
Your YouTube analytics help you measure your accomplishments and encourage you to view your latest videos in a more positive light.
Reduce the Pressure You Put on Yourself
Many times we face disappointment with our accomplishments because our expectations were too high in the first place.
‘Going viral‘ is the goal of almost every person posting content online, but relatively few actually achieve that.
Of course, there are some very effective ways to grow your exposure and reach a viral-like status.
However, if you’re expecting to see thousands of new subscribers and hundreds of comments in a short period of time, you just be setting yourself up for disappointment.
For example, let’s say you’ve just started your YouTube channel, and you’re going to post your first few videos.
Unless you’ve bought subscribers, we’ll assume you’re starting with 0.
In your first week, you post three new videos and promote them on social media.
What do you expect your results to be?
In most cases, you won’t have hundreds of new subscribers in the first week, and you might only see a few comments.
If you’re expecting more than that, you’re probably expecting too much.
Lowering your expectations does not mean changing your goals or admitting failure. All it means is accepting the hard work that it actually takes to be successful.
Success takes time, but it will happen if you follow proven techniques to boost your YouTube channel.
By following these steps, you can beat perfectionism and be truly happy with the videos that you’re posting.
In turn, when you’re happy with the videos you’re creating, you’ll be even more confident on camera.
Conclusion: Banish Nervousness and Be Confident on Camera
Being confident on camera is not always easy.
We all know that feeling of panic that comes with pressing the record button.
That feeling can come from different sources, which is why the 5-step system that I use covers almost all aspects of what causes us to be nervous or uncomfortable on camera.
To recap, make sure that you always do these 5 things:
- Practice and record your videos alone
- Plan your videos ahead of time, including your theme, main points, introduction and conclusion
- Be extra animated, even when it feels slightly unnatural
- Get into the right state of mind before recording by doing something fun or relaxing
- Avoid perfectionism by taking a step back, focusing on the positive, and setting reasonable goals
This secret 5-step recipe is not foolproof, but it has absolutely helped me to be more confident on camera, and it can help you too.
But that’s not all.
Of course, being confident on camera is just one step towards YouTube success.
If you really want to see your YouTube channel become as profitable as you’ve dreamed it could be, there are some very specific techniques that you should be using from day 1.
Check out this FREE training to see how to improve your videos, grow your audience, build new revenue streams, and save money!
Are you ready to take your YouTube channel to the top of its potential?
Kamuzu Erick says
awesome piece of info….thanks a lot though you’ve helped address my issues of being nervous in-front of a camera.