February 22, 2021·8 min read

If you’re camera shy, the idea of being on video can be downright terrifying. Here are a few simple tricks on how to be comfortable on video.

We’re all on video now more than ever before—whether we like it or not. It can be tough to make that transition and figure out how to be comfortable on video.

From video conferencing and webinar panels to shoot-and-share social videos and company productions starring employees, video is everywhere in today’s businesses.

If you’re camera shy, an introvert, or just plain uncomfortable on video, it can be a real nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be.

There are a few simple things you can do to get comfortable—and even feel confident—on camera.

And you’ll be glad you did. Being comfortable on video isn’t just a useful skill for actors.

As we use video more across our professional and personal lives—from marketing and sales to internal communications and education—being on camera is increasingly something that everyone should know how to do, so we can all harness the power of video.

  1. Contents
  2. 1. Understand Where Your Fear Comes From
  3. 2. Know What You Want to Say
  4. 3. Rehearse Your Message
  5. 4. Choose Good Lighting
  6. 5. Set Up Your Camera at a Flattering Angle
  7. 6. Dress for Success
  8. 7. Stage Your Background
  9. 8. Keep a Glass of Water on Hand
  10. 9. Talk Slower Than Usual
  11. 10. Start with Screen Share Videos
  12. 11. Be Expressive and Use Hand Gestures
  13. 12. Don’t Worry About Little Mistakes
  14. 13. Don’t Do a Million Takes
  15. 14. Practice By Sending Videos to ‘Friendlies’
  16. 15. Edit Your Own Videos
  17. 16. Just Keep Making Videos
Watch and Learn

If you’re camera-shy, the idea of being on video can be downright terrifying. We’ve rounded up our top five tips to help you get over your fears and feel more confident and comfortable on video.

In just four minutes, Vidyard’s Social Media Manager Charlie Rogers explains some of the highlights from this blog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuUQ630vD7U

1. Understand Where Your Fear Comes From

Before we begin, know this: You’re not alone. Feeling uncomfortable on video (and the underlying fears that feed it) are common. But that’s good news (yes, actually). It means tons of other people have successfully overcome their anxieties and you can too.

The first step in getting over feeling uncomfortable on video is understanding why it scares you.

Feeling uncomfortable on video is the natural intersection of a few other common fears: Camera shyness, public speaking anxiety, and stage fright.

Camera shyness is about image. Public speaking anxiety is about voice. Stage fright is about action.

Video brings together all three: Image, voice, and action. It’s a perfect storm of social anxiety.

Having your image, voice, and actions recorded can shine a spotlight on the things you’re already self-conscious about. You might not like the way you look or the way you sound. It might highlight nervous ticks you didn’t know you had.

Knowing what part of being on video freaks you out will help you focus on steps to feel more comfortable in that area.

Learn From the Pros

Performance and sales training expert, Julie Hansen, shares the techniques actors use to be more confident, engaging, and impactful on video to help you build customer relationships and drive sales. No acting experience (or ambition) required! This video is built for sales reps looking to take their on-camera presence to the next level so you can crush your next Zoom call, Vidyard video, TikTok, and whatever’s next!

2. Know What You Want to Say

Filming yourself (or being filmed) is a lot less scary if you’re not coming up with what you want to say on the spot.

If you’re planning to record yourself, set aside a little time to determine what your message is. Plan out your main talking points. Make some notes.

If you’re going to be in a scripted video production, ask to see the script in advance to review and get to know your lines.

Regardless of the situation, it’s always going to be easier when you know what you want to say.

This isn’t about how you look—it’s about who you are and what you’re saying.

Dieter JaspersB2B Creative Agency BBCHead of Digital Experience

3. Rehearse Your Message

Once you know what you want to say, practice it. Then practice it again.

If you’re nervous about being on camera, going through your message a few times—out loud—will help you prepare. That preparedness will lessen your anxiety.

Don’t worry about exact wording. Focus on knowing your message, not memorizing lines. That way, it won’t trip you up nearly as much if you forget something.

This will also prevent you from sounding like a robot who’s reading off a piece of paper sitting just off screen. This is an important step in learning how to be comfortable on video.

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