How to develop camera confidence 😎
I’ll never forget the adrenaline rush I felt the first time I hit “Go live” on streaming video.
And boy, did it take me a while to get to that point!
For months, I’d had a strong desire to connect with my community via live video and create a forum where we could all learn from different thought leaders and subject matter experts.
But all I could think about was everything that could go wrong!
Technology glitches, the guest not showing up, and the most dreaded: me freezing up entirely.
I knew I had to overcome this hurdle because being comfortable on camera is practically a universal necessity these days.
Even if you don’t want to host a show or series (kudos if you do!), think about job interviews, presentations, meetings, and networking conversations. All of these things are increasingly happening on video.
And by making a great impression via this popular medium, you will not only boost your self-confidence, but it can lead to other juicy opportunities.
That’s why I’m sharing the tips that helped me go from nonexistent comfort with live video to a place where I’ve now hosted over 75 live shows and regularly make over a dozen videos a week as a content creator on TikTok.
Please know that these situations still get my blood pumping…but in a good way! After all, that’s part of the excitement of speaking to anyone live on camera.
Quick Confidence Tips to Increase Your Comfort and Presence on Camera:
Interpersonal: Picture your most engaged, receptive audience member and speak to them. You can’t control if you’re giving a virtual talk and someone gets up and steps away. You can’t control if someone else is shopping online while listening to you. And you can’t control it if someone else is playing Solitaire. So, rather than get discouraged by those who seem checked out or unresponsive, I want you to focus on one person. Imagine in your mind the most interested participant in your session – the one who’s hungriest for what you have to share. And give your updates, remarks, or presentation to them! When you make this interpersonal shift, you’re less sensitive to small fluctuations in your audience and you keep your enthusiasm and self-confidence high.
Mindset: Give yourself cues and signposts. For so long, I thought the best live presenters spoke totally off the cuff, improvising their way through presentations or interviews. I learned that this is often not the case at all! To present comfortably on camera, you don’t need to be a master improviser. I recommend giving yourself cue cards, post-its, or “signposts” - with very brief notes on them - that you can glance at from time to time. In my case, I tape these notes or clip them on a clipboard right near my computer’s camera lens. That way it looks natural when I break eye contact with the camera, as my eyes don’t have to roam very far away. These cues should only have the essential information: a quick phrase, a few words, or terms to jog your thinking – this way your audience won’t feel like you’re reading from a script. Having these signposts around is a comfort that eases your anxiety and helps you regain your poise if you temporarily lose your place.
Embodied: Don’t curb your enthusiasm. Ever watched someone on video who has slumped posture or a monotone voice tell you about an important update or new initiative? Not too engaging, is it? It doesn’t matter who you are, no one looks convincing when they’re hunched, downcast, or bringing low energy. For that reason, as you go through your cues and signposts you should take a moment to mark down some of the key moments you want to emphasize. I draw a smiley face by something light-hearted or funny where I might smile, laugh or lighten up my vocal tone. I put a double underline under words I want to say louder or in a deeper voice. And I might circle a term that I could gesture or act out as I’m explaining it. This helps the audience stay interested in what I’m saying. So write down your moments of emphasis, practice once or twice, and then bring your full energy! The variety and zeal you bring will translate across the screen and make your message memorable.
I encourage you to adapt these techniques to suit you. Make tweaks as needed and use them to propel your camera presence.
And while the butterflies that wake up right before going live on camera never go away (not for me anyway) I promise you it does get easier each time. Now I can say that presenting on camera is a truly enjoyable experience – and the pre-camera nerves add to the excitement!
Do you have any advice to share on how to get over on-camera jitters? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.