Being in front of the camera can be anxiety-inducing. But there are certain things you can do to get rid of that anxiety and feel stress-free and confident when you’re on camera.
The first step to being comfortable on camera is to practise, and this is something that everybody will tell you about everything. The more comfortable you want to get doing a certain task, the more you need to practise it.
So take time to practise before you go on camera, whether you’re practising in front of the mirror, your friends, or family. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
When the nerves hit you just before you go on camera, take five minutes to do some breathing exercise, and get your mind under control.
The next thing that kind of makes people uncomfortable in front of the camera is not knowing where to look.
Should look into the lens, look at the audience, look at the interviewer?
This is something that can bring a lot of confusion.
Typically, if you’re being filmed by a professional crew, they will tell you where to look.
A general rule of thumb is, if you’re talking directly to the camera, you need to be looking into the camera’s lens.
If you’re talking in front of a live audience, then it makes more sense to look at that audience than look at the camera, and talk directly to them.
If you’re in a sit-down interview situation, then it’s usually the case, you’ll be looking at the interviewer.
That is the question…
So quite often, you will have a script of everything you need to say, but one of the worst things you can do is try and memorise that, line by line.
What I always recommend people do is to break down each of the talking points within a script, into bullet points.
Then you practise saying things in your natural voice, in your natural cadence, all around those bullet points.
Using your natural language helps you to come across more conversational, and more confident, and don’t worry if you make a mistake.
If the video isn’t going to be live-streamed, then we can always edit that out, and redo that part, but if it is live-streamed, own up to your mistake, and correct yourself.
Even then, if it has to be word-perfect you’ll typically have a teleprompter in front of the camera and can read the script from that.
While you’re on camera, don’t be afraid to think things over.
Take a pause.
Take a breath.
Let your brain think over the question that you have been asked or the talking point you want to bring up.
Pausing for thought is super important, as it prevents you from waffling on.
Think about what you’re going to say, then keep it concise and to the point.
So this last one is a bit of a curveball.
It’s not about confidence, but it’s about the attire you should be wearing on camera.
In terms of the clothing, wear whatever you usually wear, whatever you feel comfortable in.
If you usually wear a suit to work, then wear a suit. If you usually wear jeans and a t-shirt, then wear that.
No matter what you choose to wear, there’s a couple of things you need to avoid.
The first is the colour green.
A lot of interviews, especially those on TV, are going to be done in front of a green screen. So if you wear the colour green, then part of your body is going to disappear into the background.
Also, try to avoid chequered or pinstripe patterns on your clothing.
The reason for this is, those patterns can create an issue with the camera’s sensor, and make things look all funky and weird.