9 steps I took to get over the fear of being in front of the camera
Let’s face it – most of us are not meant to have a career in front of the lens, but that doesn’t mean you should never step in front of the camera.
When I launched ChicFlicks, I was pissed off. I was tired of my fellow female business owners feeling inadequate and afraid to get in front of the camera.
Without fail, every one of them worried about their weight, or hair, or makeup, or sounding stupid.
Without fail, every one of them launched a business that was successful, that created income, that helped other people. This was a huge disconnect. And I was just as guilty.
Here I was, telling women they had something of value to share, that they should just get themselves in front of the lens and forget about all the insecurities, but I was reluctant to heed my own advice.
I too, had fear. I had to get over it.
I picked a day, scheduled my own shoot, and made my commitment to follow through. For weeks before the shoot, I had to talk myself into a state of confidence. I had to deal with the feeling of dread that was bloating inside my stomach. I had to find the power to look confident in front of the camera.
Here’s what I did to get over myself and what you can do too.
- Start telling your brain that this is going to happen. This is not like maybe winning the lottery, this is you telling your conscious mind that this is a sure thing. Shooting your first video has to happen, so your brain might as well give in.
- Write your script. Don’t try to sound like someone else, but make the script as close to a conversation as possible. Rehearse what you are going to say, but don’t memorize it.
- Give yourself permission to go off script. Once the camera is rolling, you will forget everything beyond your own name. For the first few tries, acknowledge that you are just getting over the jitters and no one ever has to see this footage.
- Admit to yourself that you are not a video pro. This is not how you generate income and you are not going to go viral. Acknowledge that your first series of videos are going to suck and be transparent with your viewers about that suckage.
- Give yourself plenty of time to fix your hair and makeup and initiate wardrobe changes. Allow time for a second shower to wash off the nerves and start all over again. Trust me when I say you are the only one who notices the fly-aways and pimples.
- Phone a friend. You might think “NO WAY AM I HAVING AN AUDIENCE!”, but having a trusted and supportive friend with you will keep you accountable and on task. And you won’t have to drink your wine alone when you are done.
- Expect to start, stop, continue. Take the pressure off yourself to deliver your whole speech in one go. When you edit, you can use the trick of zooming in between shots. Or just leave the odd cuts – that’s okay too.
- Use only what you need to get your message across. Don’t feel you have to use all your footage, but save it for later use (think outtakes!). Be objective when you are editing: close your eyes and LISTEN to what you are saying and decide if it has relevance. When you are not watching, you are not thinking about all the things you perceive are wrong.
- Hit publish. Don’t be a chicken. Throw your video out to the world and sit back. You’ll be shaking for the first few minutes, but then you’ll discover that people really do think you are awesome. I guarantee you will inspire someone else to jump into the video realm.
I may not have pulled off my first video as professionally as I wanted to, but I got it done. It was extremely uncomfortable and I required a lot of takes. Now, after seeing myself on video so many times, I will show up fresh out of the shower, without makeup because I am so eager to share whatever pops into my brain.
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