Being in front of a camera tends to elicit trepidation, nervousness, and fear in the average person, much like speaking in front of a group of people. Despite the fact that there many online sources indicating that people are more afraid of speaking onstage than dying, I think most people would choose to speak in front of of a large group if they had a gun held to their head. But for many, being on camera isn't much better than public speaking.
Being on camera, whether live or recorded, is something just about anyone can not only get comfortable doing, but something at which they can gain a level of proficiency and effectiveness. For most, the fear of a video camera is driven by either not desiring to look foolish by saying something odd or act in a way that people think weird.
Watch a few of my videos, then scroll down to uncover the 11 vital preparation steps to a successful video shoot and overcome your fear.
This first video shoot I performed for Rawhide Boys Ranch was in 2013; the organization relies on car donations as a significant funding source to support residential care and outpatient counseling for troubled youth and families.
And here is another one from the summer of 2015, also for Rawhide Boys Ranch.
Video is hard work. It is a performance, much like you see from a musician, comedian, or speaker. I play viola, violin, and compose music, and my wife, Carolyn Ann Smith is a contralto singer and drama/choir teacher.
This next video is a testimonial for Joel Burns of Northern Summits and their successful work on Google AdGrant accounts for nonprofits which drive $480,000 in free web traffic to nonprofit websites.
Click "READ MORE" to See All 11 Vital Video Shoot Prep Steps...
1. Find a Video Production Company That Suits You
Don't go for the cheapest or most expensive either. Find something that won't break the bank but still delivers a polished final product. In the Green Bay/Appleton area where I live and work, I've used both internal teams and equipment as well as vendors like Craig Smoll of Webouts and Tony Reale's team at Creative Edge Productions.
2. Take It Seriously...But Not TOO Seriously
I try to laugh at my mistakes, even though it can be maddening when you just can't seem to get a line right no matter how many takes you deliver.
3. Relax & Let Your Quirkiness Shine
...as long as it fits the video and audience.
I couldn't resist; here is a blooper reel of mine. Go ahead; it's ok to have a laugh at my expense. It's funny, and I don't take myself too seriously.
4. Be Concise
As in writing, so on camera and behind the microphone; brevity is important. Clear, concise, statements make for good soundbites and much easier editing in video post-production.
5. Sip Some Warm Water or Hot Tea
I like Earl Grey tea (decaf), but most types of hot tea will do the trick. This helps prepare the vocal chords. But NO cold drinks.
6. Voice Preparation is Critical
Take at least 5 minutes to do some vocal exercises to warm up your vocal chords. Don't worry about what people will think about you vocalizing. You will sound better, and your voice will last longer.
7. Fix Your Makeup & Hair
Yes, even us guys need some powder foundation to cover up a shiny forehead (when bright lights are shone on us), pimples, scars, or other facial blemishes. You might need some lip gloss to bring out the lips. Also, consider a touch up on your hair and eyebrows, especially if you have a uni-brow.
8. Kill That Pesky Mosquito or Fly
I seriously had to do this once on the set of a video shoot; the point isn't so much to get rid of only mosquitoes but to make sure there aren't any visual distractions in the foreground or background of the video shot.
9. Prepare Scripted Answers to Odd Interviewer Questions
Keep in mind that the some reporters will ask odd ball or even inflammatory questions to see how you will respond under duress or shock. You can't anticipate all weird questions, but it helps to think like a reporter and be as prepared as you can be. Remember to remain calm, even if they try to get under your skin.
10. Take a Deep Breath
Relax, it's going to be ok; you will make a mistake and have retakes of many shots. Don't worry; be happy! Being uptight and nervous will work against you when you are under pressure to perform.
11. Look Directly Into The Camera & Go For It
Let go of your fear of the camera; it won't bite. I promise. Don't hold anything back!
Here is a video shoot from 2013 with the Executive Director of Rawhide Boys Ranch John Solberg.
I would enjoy hearing your feedback on my post in the comment section below!