For many of you, just reading that title is enough to start your hands sweating and stomach churning. I’ve been there, which is why I know I can coach you to feel confident and calm on camera, which is crucial in today’s digital world where video communication is increasingly common.
Before we start working together, let me take you through a few common, yet proven, strategies that will help you boost your confidence on camera.
- Priority #1: prepare
Don’t try to phone it in. Know your material well. If you’re speaking on a specific topic, prepare your points in advance. This can significantly reduce anxiety and boost your confidence. Rehearse your talking points, but try not to memorize them word-for-word to avoid sounding robotic. A natural presentation always comes across more authentic, which makes you appear more knowledgeable and trustworthy from start to finish.
- Practice makes perfect
Familiarize yourself with being on camera by practicing. Record yourself speaking and watch the playback to observe your body language and tone. This practice can help you identify areas for improvement and get more comfortable with the camera.
- Curate a comfortable environment
Set up your recording or streaming area in a way that makes you feel at ease. This can include having a clean, organized background, ensuring good lighting (a must!), and reducing potential distractions.
- Dress for success
Wear clothes that make you feel confident yet comfortable. Avoid overly flashy or distracting apparel. Looking professional can significantly boost your confidence. Just dress the way you would for a dream job interview or if you were giving a presentation in person to major decision makers.
- Be aware of your body language
Your body language conveys a lot about your confidence. Maintain good posture, use natural hand gestures, and make sure your facial expressions match your message. Smiling can also make you appear more approachable and relaxed. In other words, be yourself… only a bit better.
- Go slow and breathe intentionally
People often speak quickly when nervous. This is totally natural but can be difficult for your audience to follow along and keep pace with your important points. Make a conscious effort to slow down your speech and take pauses for emphasis. Don’t forget to breathe normally – deep breaths can help reduce stress and anxiety. If you think you’re going too slow, you’re probably right on point.
- Keep eye contact with the camera
Try to look at the camera lens as much as possible, as this simulates eye contact with your audience. This can make your viewers feel more connected and engaged with what you’re saying. This is where practice comes into play. Think of your audience as being inside the camera lens in order to effectively connect with everyone.
- Engage with your audience
If live streaming or interacting in real-time, engage with your audience. Answer their questions, acknowledge their comments, and make the session interactive. This engagement can make the experience more enjoyable and less daunting. It also takes the pressure off you a bit because you’re inviting them to be a part of and take an active role in your presentation.
- Use notes only when you really need them
If you need notes, use them as a guide rather than a script. Glance at them for key points but avoid reading directly from them in order to keep your connection with your audience clear and compelling.
- Stay positive and be patient — this is a process!
Lastly, keep a positive attitude and be patient with yourself. Gaining confidence on camera is a process and it’s okay to make mistakes. Learn from them and keep improving. You’ll get there. I certainly did and I cannot wait to show you how!
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