“I am the world’s worst on camera”
“I hate the way my voice sounds”
“I don’t know what to say”
“I don’t look good on camera”
In my 15 years as an online marketing video producer, every woman I worked with expressed this kind of anxiety before a video shoot.
Now, as we are working on a new system to helping women create their business videos, I know that fear of being on camera is something to face head on.
We are our own worst critics. Especially women.
This is why:
Genes and gender
Stage fright started back in cave-woman times.
When we are on camera, our brain knows we are trying to stand out.
Standing out was not a wise move for our distant mothers, who spent a lot of time taking cover, especially if they had children with them. The ancient part of our brain doesn’t differentiate between a exposed place on the tundra or a camera in our face.
We feel exposed and it triggers our fight or flight instincts. Either way, our brain is telling our body, “Get down! Hide!”
In modern times, gender plays a role, too. Many of us, especially achievement-oriented women, have perfectionist tendencies. Being on camera throws the perfectionist in us into overdrive!
I haven’t met you so I don’t know exactly where you fall on the spectrum of how you feel about:
By the time a girl reaches her 17th birthday, she will have seen more than 250,000 ads. We have a lifetime’s worth of media conditioning around #1 and #2, a myriad of different voices that basically boil down to one thing - you aren’t good enough.
And while I’m sure you are the exact person to be speaking about your business on video, if you don’t feel that way, it will affect #3.
That is because acceptance of where you are in the moment leads to confidence.
Practically speaking, if you are in business, you are already on stage 99% of the time.
We are simply capturing what you know best from the person best equipped to deliver the message - YOU.
Reframe to a Wisdom Sharing Mindset
So let's just take a minute and step away from the focus on, well, on ourselves.
What we are doing here is more than just a series of videos.
We are capturing your hard-earned wisdom to share it and connect with others.
A popular Facebook personality Nas Daily made a video about all the times he almost gave up because no one seemed to be listening.
One day, he made a video that stopped someone from commiting suicide. What might have happened if he had given up and never posted that video?
By the way, he just celebrated his billionth view. I can’t even really get my head around that, can you?
That may seem like an extreme example, so here is another.
I have a friend who commented recently that when she has a hard day, she thinks about the work I’m doing and it helps her. That makes me happy; I had no idea she was even paying attention.
The point is, apart from metrics and views and conversions and all the business reasons to be doing video, there is someone out there that needs to hear what you have to say.
The fact that video is hard at first, and no one is paying attention except your mom (thanks Mom!), is no reason not to try. Everyone starts with the first view on the first video. Everyone.
Let’s approach this process with enthusiasm, confidence and curiosity.
What to do:
We don’t have a lot of time here. I want to get to you shooting video and mirroring your brilliance as soon as possible. If you are struggling with a lot of dread around doing video here are some ideas.
I’m going to ask you to take a leap and start, today, saying no to those voices and replacing it with a more positive voice. A compassionate voice. The voice you use with your best friend or a young woman you are trying to encourage.
Your first script assignment is to create a 3 line script.
Write down your top 3 - 5 fears you have around being on camera.
I look old.
My voice is weird
I sound stiff.
Now, all of the above may be true, actually. So what?
Does everyone in your audience looks like a supermodel, or have an Oscar for their acting performance?
How about all the people posting their videos, maybe even some of your competition, while you sit and stew about how you look, or sound, or feel? Do they look perfect? Uh, no. Most likely not.
Think about the people that you follow and admire, not just online but in LIFE. Are every single one of them camera-ready perfection? No.
The point is, if you are honest and offering value, people DO NOT CARE if you look our sound less than perfect. It all adds up to your unique delivery.
Perfection isn't perfect, its a problem.
We are striving to connect with our audience, and vice versa. Perfection makes that harder.
I followed a very popular business coach for a few years. She did not start out with perfect videos, but she was sharing great content and she was CONSISTENT.
Now, she’s rich and famous, her videos are perfect, she looks gorgeous in each of them, her delivery is flawless, and she’s got a massive platform of fans.
A few months ago when I was feeling discouraged, I unsubscribed altogether from her list for awhile. Her life was just too perfect. What I needed was someone that seemed real in a way I could relate to.
All of her stories of struggle were from her past, it was as if everything she was working on in the moment was scripted and effortless. She has moved into the realm of celebrity.
Dial into the Gratitude Channel.
Look at your insecurities as a strength, they mirror where your current soul work is. They are containers for your wisdom that is now about to take an exciting leap in reach and impact! Channel some gratitude for the stage life has given you and the opportunity to create your videos. There are literally at least a billion women out there with heart, fire and drive, who do not have this opportunity in any realistic way.
Remember those fears you wrote down around being on camera?
Pretend your best friend just confessed those fears to you.
Write her a 3 line script to counteract her anxiety. For example:
You will not be undermined by outdated, critical voices in your head.
You are the best person to share this information because…….
You will have a calm, confident, positive attitude about your videos and let go of an expectation of perfection.
Now, make the statements personal:
I will not be undermined by outdated, critical voices in my head.
I am the best person to share this information because…….
I will have a calm, confident, positive attitude about my videos and let go of an expectation of perfection.
Write down your script and put it everywhere. If you have a meditation practice (which I highly recommend), add it to your meditation for a few weeks.
Put yellow stickies on your bathroom mirror, in your change purse, on your car dash, above the dog’s water bowl and on your coffee pot - all the places you visit several times a day.
Of course, when you get your home mini-studio set up, you will put the yellow stickies under the camera on the tripod, too.
Finally, do this:
Once you get your video strategy in place and outline your scripts, schedule some practice. Do some takes. Practice for your dog or cat, they will love it. (Well, your dog will. Your cat will yawn and look at her food bowl).
I don’t like to practice in the mirror - because we don’t see ourselves in the mirror the same way we do on camera. Its better to do a take and review it.
If you have any questions, we are here for you.
This is an excerpt from our Ultimate Guide to Fab Videos, Finally Done, the book included in our video coaching program.
If you would like to receive more tips for success on camera and other topics about videos for your business, you can sign up here:
Fab Videos, Finally Done list.
sources “Media Influence on Teens,” Allison LaVoie, 2003