Being on camera is not much different from giving a presentation in person.
It is much easier to record yourself on camera because you can redo it as many times as you want.
If you are a professional who is looking to create a video library for your business, you are probably consuming video content.
And if you are consuming quality video content it can be a little intimidating thinking about doing this yourself.
But, let’s put things in perspective.
A good video is just somebody looking at the camera and talking.
No large crowds, no stage fright, no chances of getting booed off.
Just a camera, how bad could it be?
Recording a video is probably going to be easier than anything you've ever done to close a deal.
Looking for some quick tips on how to get it right? We got you covered.
Here are the top twelve tips to help you get started with recording awesome videos right away.
Be Prepared and Well Read
Whenever we know something and are sure of what we are speaking: it gives us an automatic confidence boost.
We are sure you have experienced this even when speaking to coworkers or your clients.
Just when you know exactly what to say, you say it fluently.
The camera not only catches but loves this fluency.
Thus, it is essential that before you hit the record button you must have done enough research on the topic.
Say you are creating a demo/explainer video for your product.
Go through every subreddit, every online forum, or community your target audience is on and see what problems they face that your product can solve.
And apply your product first hand to get a hang of all the possible use cases before you showcase it to that audience.
We highly recommend that you watch videos related to the topic. And know exactly what you are talking about.
Have a Script
Once you have gathered and gone through enough information about the subject, you will know exactly what you want to convey to your audience.
Note these points down.
Create a script that will function as your cue card throughout the video.
One rookie mistake here that will make you create an awkward video is writing a complete script.
When you are making a professional video, you can’t follow a script with dialogues as such. Since (assuming) you are not an actor, the viewer will be able to see you are reading from a script.
That just looks odd and is kind of unbearable to watch.
Instead, create notes and bullet points just to keep the flow of the video intact and not to miss any important points.
Share Your Notes With a Friend and Rehearse
The notes you create are your best guess at what the viewer wants to watch. But you have to test this out with an actual audience.
So gather thy mighty friends, Brutus, it is time for a showdown.
Perform your entire video as you would to camera to a physical audience. And take in their feedback.
See what they like and what they dislike. Take any constructive criticism you get, and ignore any negative criticism.
This will help you build confidence for the recording since presenting in front of a live audience is tougher (even if you do it over a video call).
Use Your Screen to Navigate
When you are starting out making videos it can be a little too invasive. Just standing in front of a camera and sharing your space seems a bit too much.
An alternative to this is sharing your screen. You anywhere are probably presenting through your screen on team meetings, and have the knack of it.
You can download the StoryXpress Screen Recorder to record your screen. It is a free Chrome extension that will let you record, edit, and share your videos.
Once you start getting a little more comfortable, you can include yourself in the video with a tiny webcam bubble, using the same tool.
Recording yourself and the screen can be very entertaining and informative at the same time. Especially if you are recording for software or online service.
Know What You’re Saying Matters
Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than anybody else.
Once you have done your research, you know your topic and you have a camera. There is not much to worry about.
Don’t suffer in self-doubt just because there is not much reason for this project to collapse.
You put in the research behind this topic, you have an audience for it. Even if you are unable to reach it, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Whatever you have to say, you will find an interested viewer for it. Just make a quality video and think of the viewer as a lead. Give it your best shot.
Set the Frame Right
Setting up the space you are recording in can do a lot for your confidence and the look of the video.
Clear up the background of your frame.
AND, also equally important is clearing up the foreground, aka, the space you will see when talking to the camera.
Tidy up and arrange the room you are recording in a way that exudes focus from you.
If you feel better working in a cluttered space, knock yourself out and keep the foreground messy.
Whatever suits you the best, go for it.
Another thing to make note of is that certain camera angles can be extremely unflattering for some while flattering for others.
It depends on you entirely, and it is an extremely subjective thing. We suggest testing out some angles and choosing what you think makes you look the best.
Perfect Lighting Makes the Perfect Video
Lighting is everything. When you are making a video or even clicking a picture, lighting makes some significant difference to the end product.
Even if you end up taking awkward pauses or making some cringe-worthy goofs and gaffs, lighting will always project quality.
One of the ways to get the best lighting that will never fail you at zero dollars is to shoot in natural light.
Sit next to a window and hit RECORD.
If you are looking to have your lighting setup, or if you want to record at night; use a soft box, or DIY a soft box for soft key lighting.
This is a diffused lighting setup instead of an intense harsh LED flashing in your face.
Softkey lighting will make any harsh lines or blemishes disappear and generally give you a more flattering appearance.
If You Mess Up, Take a Breath and Try Again
You will make mistakes. It is inevitable.
Whenever you are beginning, you will end up pronouncing words wrong, frame sentences incorrectly, and just fumble throughout the video.
It is normal.
One thing to remember is that you have complete control over the editing of this video. You can simply trim the certain parts out that didn’t come out so well.
If you accidentally say a sentence wrong, don’t storm off your own set. Take a sip of water and say it again correctly, and you can just trim the bad parts out.
Use Hand Gestures
Your hands don’t always have to be those awkward body attachments that you never know what to do with.
Hand gestures have been used by influencers since time immemorial to add gravity to a message.
You can pull up any old infomercial, and study the hand movement of the hosts.
It is always dramatic movements combined with an aggressive tone of voice that makes their sales pitch.
Here is a good example for inspiration:
Something about body movement just attracts humans. Since you can’t dance, use your hands.
Trying using the basic hand movements like when talking about anything related to lists. 1,2,3..
You can also use hand gestures to describe tense, left being the past, center the present, right the future.
Experiment and find ways to summarize complex concepts by combining hand gestures with your speech.
Talk Slower Than Usual
Whenever you talk fast you tend to jumble your sentences and eat certain words.
Moreover, it will leave you drained and breathless more often during the video.
Hold up, slow it down.
Talk a little slower than you would usually, this will give you time to think, make better sentences. And overall, it will give you more confidence as you speak.
Take pauses whenever suitable, it makes you look like you are in control.
Someone who can gather themselves, calmly talk about a concept or showcase a product naturally appears to be more credible than a loud salesman.
Especially if you are recording for B2B sales, it is best to keep it professional and calm.
Dress Up But Without Compromising Your Comfort
You’ll be comfortable on camera only if you are comfortable off camera. One of the biggest contributors to both your comfort and appearance is clothes.
You might be a suave dresser otherwise but forget to iron your shirt before recording a professional pitch. And you might just lose that nurtured lead.
The one pet peeve most people have with videos is that they are forever.
They will always stay somewhere in digital memory. You should look the part as you perform it. But, make sure you are comfortable with it.
If you are shooting above the waist, by all means, wear whatever you want below it. And if you are somebody who likes to make a statement, now is the time.
Wear what you think will work for that particular client, or that audience. Suit the subject, and impress the viewer.
Just try to keep it appropriate, unless your business allows you to be a little inappropriate.
Even then, keep it appropriate because a lot of video-hosting channels like Instagram will flag your content.
Get a Co-Host
Even after all these steps if you are struggling to get a hang of it, find a partner.
Choose somebody who lifts you and makes you feel better in your workplace and ask them to join you in your video production adventure.
If you are making tutorial videos, you can ask a subject matter expert to come in and record a video for you in exchange for a fee or favors.
You can also get someone to interview, like in a testimonial video with a client.
If you are working from home, download the StoryXpress Screen Recorder. Get on a video call with your co-host or interviewee and hit record.
Having someone else even as an interviewee can take the weight off your shoulders.
And make it a little bit easier for you to get started. You can even have someone out of the frame to talk to as you record your video just to have some support.
Recording videos is not that hard, and neither is looking your best while you are it.
The key is practice, record as many videos as you can, and don’t shy away from being yourself. Let your personality shine through, that is what humanizes the business process.
The more videos you make, the easier it will become for you to record videos.
No matter what, do not quit if you make an embarrassing video. Get up, dust off the dirt on your shoulder, and hit the record button.
Hope this blog post helped you find some quick tips to get comfortable on camera.