In this blog post we’ll discuss the following:
- Your on-screen energy matters (smile, be confident)
- Be yourself
- Be prepared
- Limit distractions
- Forget about being perfect
- Practice makes perfect…
When it comes to filming yourself and getting comfortable on camera, you can quickly fall into the trap of thinking it’s easy, right? Watching your favorite YouTubers strolling around in public vlogging, and talking to the camera with the ease and comfort of an elite athlete in their prime makes you think “how hard can it really be?”
And then you pick up the camera.
The truth is that being comfortable filming yourself takes a long time to achieve. When you first hit record, more often than not, it’s a bit of a car crash. There are stutters, countless retakes, moments of self-doubt, hair adjustments and plenty of quitting. But it doesn’t have to be so bad. Utilizing these 6 golden rules, you can turn this daunting challenge into something that’s enjoyable and fun. With a little practice, you can own your camera with confidence and comfort.
Your on-screen energy matters
What we mean by “on-screen energy” is how you present yourself on camera. Are you fun to watch? Do you dominate the frame and demand the attention of your audience? If you think about all of your favorite YouTubers, you’ll realize that they all tick this important box. They all bring their A-game when they’re on camera. They’re fun to watch, right?
Before you hit record, make sure you’re warmed up and ready for action. You need to remember to smile, be confident and happy. This energy rubs off on the viewers and makes the video a more enjoyable experience to watch.
Some tips that can help facilitate this include thinking about your posture. If you can stand or sit with your shoulders back and chin up, that presents a more confident, outgoing feeling. Similarly, project your voice and feel free to move around and use your hands as you talk (just try not to overdo it). Nobody will want to watch if you’re slouched, rigid and timid.
If you want to get comfortable filming yourself, it’s best to cut out the crap and not try to force anything. Just be your true, authentic self. People’s BS detectors are finely tuned in 2022 and if you’re trying to be somebody or something you’re not—it will quickly show. You will also make your job twice as hard because you’re acting and putting on a show the whole time.
You’ll find that it’s much easier to record when you’re just being your natural self. You’ll feel more comfortable in your skin, and viewers will enjoy watching it too. Remember, at the end of day people are going to return to watch more of your YouTube videos because of who you are as a person. It’s all about personality and authenticity.
There’s that age-old saying “failure to prepare is preparing to fail” and it rings so true when it comes to turning the camera on yourself. While some of you may genuinely be quite good at talking off the cuff, more often than not it’s better to have a bit of a plan before you start filming.
So many mistakes, stumbles and stutters come from not knowing what we’re saying next. If you prepare a script and know your main talking points, it can help to settle the nerves and guide you through the recording. In some ways, it’s a little like being a keynote speaker, right? You have to get up there on stage in front of all those people and talk. Make sure you’ve got some slides and pointers to keep you on track!
As a word of warning, you also don’t want to be reading word-for-word off a teleprompter like a robot. That’s a huge turn off for viewers!
Limit your distractions
Another reason you may stumble over your words, lose your train of thought, or have to do a million retakes is because you’re distracted. If you can limit your distractions, your focus remains on the primary task at hand, enabling you to deliver your piece to camera with far less mistakes and hiccups.
One common distraction is glancing at yourself in the flip-screen. Big no-no. Once the image looks good and focus is set, turn that flip-screen away so you can’t see yourself. Trust me on this.
I also tend to put my phone in flight-mode. Text messages, social media, and calls can all break your concentration in the ding of a notification.
Additionally, think about the location where you choose to film. When just getting used to filming yourself, hitting record in a busy public place such as a train station or shopping mall may not be the wisest move. All those factors outside of your control and all those strangers looking at you in public can be very off-putting. Find a familiar space where you can control the environment—it’ll make a world of difference.
Forget about being perfect
The irony is that our favorite YouTubers are never perfect either. This is precisely why we adore them so much. Making mistakes and messing up on camera is bound to happen. It shows that you’re raw, relatable, and real—you’re viewers are more likely to connect with you when they see themselves in you.
So stop worrying about being perfect. It’s not going to happen! And nobody cares. Just be your real, authentic word-stumbling self.
Practice makes better
It really does. The best piece of advice we can offer when it comes to delivering a great video content is practice. The more you do it, the more familiar the process will be. The only reason your favorite YouTuber is so good at talking to camera is because they’ve been doing it consistently for years already.
It’s going to feel weird at first and you’re bound to make mistakes, but that’s okay. The sooner you pick up the camera and hit record, the sooner you can move past all that and really start to own the frame.
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