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12 Tips to Tackle Your Nerves and Step into the Spotlight

A man wearing a jacket and standing between pieces of lighting equipment, looking down at his feet

As someone who used to struggle with the fear of being on camera, I recognize that no amount of stats or facts about the importance of video marketing will ever matter if your nerves are running the show. 

So, in today’s blog post, I’m offering you some advice — 12 tips, actually — on how to overcome your discomfort with stepping into the spotlight so that you can reap the benefits of video marketing. 

Big inhale! 

Let’s do this

12 tips to tackle your nerves 

Overcoming nerves during a video presentation is a common challenge, but with the right strategies, you can boost your confidence and deliver a compelling performance. Trust me, you can

Preparation is key

As with most things in life, the more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel. You know your stuff, you just need to rehearse what you don’t know, which in this case is how to feel at ease on screen. Please see tip #2.

Practice builds confidence  

While there is no such thing as perfect, practicing can certainly boost your confidence. Evaluate your presentation in front of a mirror to observe your body language, gestures, and facial expressions. This not only helps you refine your delivery but also allows you to become more comfortable with seeing yourself on camera. If you find that too distracting at the beginning, practice in front of an imaginary audience instead. Don’t fret: no underwear visualizations required. 

Record yourself

Record a practice session or two using the same equipment you’ll use for the actual presentation. Watching the recording can provide valuable insights into areas that need improvement. It also helps desensitize you to the sight and sound of yourself on video. This kind of dry run recording also allows you to catch any technical glitches and ensure everything is operating properly. 

Visualize success

Before the presentation, take some time to visualize yourself succeeding. Picture the positive reactions from your audience and imagine yourself confidently delivering your message. Visualization can help shift your mindset from anxiety to empowerment. Focus on feeling in control and you’ll start to convince your nerves that you really are. 

Take a breath (the deeper the better!)

In any anxiety-inducing situation, you can help combat nerves with deep breathing exercises. Practice slow, deep breaths to calm your nervous system. Isolate your breath before, during, and after the presentation to maintain a sense of calm and control. I’m here to tell you this really works. 

Affirm your efforts with positive praise

Negativity gets you nowhere. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations, like. reminders of your strengths and past successes. Building a positive mindset can help boost your confidence and reduce anxiety, which will come through on camera. 

Lead with a strong opening

Begin your presentation with a strong and rehearsed opening. A confident start can set the tone for the entire presentation and help you gain control of your nerves. Think of yourself like a pilot. A strong take off is the best way to begin a smooth, safe journey. 

Connect with your audience

Remember that your audience is made up of individuals who are interested in what you have to say. They are there for a reason. Instead of focusing on your nerves, concentrate on connecting with your audience. Think about how your message can benefit or interest them. Make their presence matter by delivering the information they need to solve their problem. 

Accept imperfection

Perfection doesn’t exist, and yet we still set up unrealistic expectations for ourselves. This is a particularly bad idea when we’re attempting something we’re not completely comfortable with. Understand that it’s okay to make minor mistakes or stumble over words. Audiences are often forgiving, and imperfections can make you more relatable. You’re not a robot and the audience doesn’t want to listen to one, anyway. Give yourself some grace and get back to the task at hand. 

Focus on the message, not the messenger

Not to sound harsh, but no one is thinking about you as much as you are when you’re giving a presentation. Shift your focus away from how you are perceived and concentrate on delivering your message. When you are passionate about the content, it can help redirect nervous energy into enthusiasm and that’s contagious in the best sense of the word.

Seek support

If possible, share your presentation with a trusted friend or colleague for feedback. Their encouragement and constructive input can boost your confidence and help you identify areas for improvement. Better yet, take advantage of professional coaching sessions with me. 

Learn from each experience

Each presentation is an opportunity to learn and grow. Instead of dwelling on mistakes or perceived shortcomings, view them as valuable experiences that contribute to your development as a presenter.

Overcoming nerves and feeling empowered on camera is a gradual process. With consistent practice and by trying a few of these strategies, you’ll become more confident in your ability to give effective video presentations.

You don’t have to go it alone. I’m standing by to help you level up your on camera performance. 

Let’s go! 

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