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How To Feel Comfortable In Front Of A Camera: Part 1

August 5, 2019

At Ginger Video, we work with a lot of business owners who are amazing at what they do. They can explain their business and its benefits perfectly clearly in normal conversation, but as soon as you put them in front of a camera to do the same thing, they become a bundle of nerves. They say things like ‘I’m not good in front of a camera’, and worry about every little aspect of their performance, even when they have no need to. But looking good in front of a camera is all about confidence in yourself – and not what you look like. Often, we find that the first few takes of a video aren’t the best, but once the person talking has warmed up and got more comfortable with us and the camera, everything runs smoothly and we get some really great content.

Because we know this is such a big concern for so many people, we wanted to share some of our tips for feeling confident in front of the camera in a little series.

Write A Script (But Don’t Stick To It)

Scripts are a really, really useful thing. Writing one out helps you get all of the key points straight in your head, put them in order and make sure you’ve included everything you need to in your video.  But it takes a lot of practice to be able to read from a script and not sound like you’re reading from a script – stiff and monotone. So instead, write your script and make sure you practise it before the shoot. But during filming, cover the points in a way that feels natural to you. This will remove some of the stilted nature of the script and make your video more relatable. The only exception is for animated videos and voiceovers, which can be read from a script by voiceover artists, or by yourself, fairly successfully.

Here at GingerVideo we also use an autocue to help you. We load the script onto it and you can use it as a prompt when you’re talking.

Be Natural

Human beings are very good at picking up on social cues, and viewers will be able to tell if you’re acting differently to your normal self. Even if they have never met you before it’s uncanny how someone can tell if you’re not comfortable with the words you’re saying, or that you’re trying too hard to look professional. Instead of focussing on looking a certain way, try to relax and talk as you would to a business acquaintance or an old friend. Be yourself, and you will find the finished product ends up much better, more informative and more compelling.

Our team over at Ginger will put you at ease from the start and will help you feel relaxed and be yourself.

Be Aware Of Your Tics

What do you do when you get nervous? Do you clear your throat? Scrunch or wiggle your eyebrows? Move your hands too much? Tap your foot? Shift back and forth? Say ‘umm’ and ‘err’ a lot, even though you know what exactly you’re saying next? Or maybe you blink too much, or you tense up and forget to breathe? We all have some form of nervous tic, and odds are you probably know what it is. While you might not be able to prevent it completely, it’s important to be aware of what your tics are and try to keep them under control during filming. You should also let your camera crew know what they are, as this is a good indication to them of when you might need a break, or if they need to try and relax you a bit before the next take.

Limit Distractions

Distractions in a filming location are never ideal – but sometimes they are unavoidable. If you’re filming in an outdoor location you may have weather or wild animals to contend with, or in a factory you may have machinery or other workers. But where you can, try to ensure there aren’t too many distractions around you, or at least in your field of view. Limit the number of people in the area during filming to those who are strictly necessary, and not those who just want to come and have a nose at what’s going on. Having an extra audience won’t make you feel any more at ease! This will keep you focussed and make you feel less nervous. Make sure you eliminate any unnecessary sounds too – leave your phone in another room (so you’re not tempted to answer it automatically while filming), turn off any alarms and try to keep the area as quiet and calm as possible.

When filming with us at GingerVideo our Creative Team will always plan ahead and will have considered obvious distractions, so that is one less thing for you to worry about!

That’s all we have time for in Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our series on how to feel comfortable in front of the camera, and how to give a great performance for your videos. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about what we do, or how we work, please get in touch with the team today.

Written by Neil Ginger

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