Videos are engaging, easy to watch, and quick for your sales team to record. This year, virtually all businesses - 96% - will use them to sell their products.
But what if you - or your sales team - are a bit camera shy?
This can be a bit of a problem. If you’re not able to record videos, you’re making yourself harder to buy from - and giving the competition an edge. You’re also limiting your ability to sell asynchronously or produce canned content, which buyers want.
Lucky for you, being camera shy is easily fixable. And on this page, we’ll be sharing the tips and tricks we’ve learned to help ourselves (and our clients) get over their fears. Read on and learn how you can record wonderful, persuasive videos - even if you’re not confident on-camera right now.
- Understanding the cause of your camera shyness is the #1 step towards overcoming it.
- Building confidence and practicing can help alleviate camera anxiety.
- It’s important to be patient with yourself and recognize that progress takes time.
- Practicing recording and watching your own videos is the fastest way to learn. Get a free Sendspark account to start today.
What Causes Camera Shyness?
Even in an age of social media and selfies, camera shyness is common. 35% of people are too shy to create video content; 34% don’t know what to say or do on camera (Animoto).
There are several reasons why someone might feel camera shy.
A lack of self-acceptance is first. People may feel self-conscious about their sound, appearance, or mannerisms. They may worry that they don’t look or sound their best. This self-consciousness can lead to feelings of vulnerability and make video recording difficult.
Another factor is negative past experiences with photos or videos. Embarrassing or unflattering photographs from the past can contribute to feelings of hesitation and unease. So can past criticism from figures of authority, e.g. a mentor or superior.
Camera shyness is also linked to a fear of judgment. We all want to feel attractive in our photos and videos, especially when they’re posted online. So, it’s natural to feel sensitive about how we’re perceived by others.
General anxiety can further exacerbate camera shyness, especially if you’re unaccustomed to being the center of attention. High-pressure situations, like pitching to an important client, can be particularly challenging for some people.
Overall, a lack of self-compassion, past negative experiences, fear of judgment, and anxiety are all causes of camera shyness. By understanding whether any of these factors apply to you, you can work on becoming more comfortable in front of the camera.
Simple Tips for Overcoming Camera Anxiety
Facing the camera can be daunting, especially when sales are on the line. That being said, the tips below make recording yourself a lot easier.
This guide provides actionable tips to ease your camera anxiety. Whether it's embracing your feelings, refining your on-screen presence, or enhancing your appearance with fun filters, there's a tip for everyone. Let’s start with a simple one…
Embrace How You Feel
Try to remember that feeling camera shy is completely normal. Nobody is perfect, and it's okay to be nervous; for example, as many as 77% of women are camera shy. By recognizing that your fear is common, you’ll have an easier time getting over it.
Also, remember: you’re the only one who actually knows you’re camera shy at all. You can always choose to fake it ‘till you make it. It’s okay to feel how you feel and still perform; it’s unlikely anyone will be able to tell the difference.
Don’t Expect to Get It Right the First Time
Gaining camera confidence takes time and practice. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect the first time around. It's normal to feel awkward or uncomfortable at first.
Instead, consider practicing video recordings in low-stakes situations. Start recording videos for your internal team, or in your personal life. With a little practice, you will feel more relaxed and confident in front of the lens.
Rehearse and record yourself to refine your camera presence and improve your comfort level. Taking deep breaths and using relaxation techniques can help ease your nerves as you’re practicing.
Use the “Mirror Image” Default
Seeing yourself on camera can be jarring when you’re generally an anxious person. Part of the reason is, we’re used to seeing ourself in mirrors, where our image is reflected back at us. Seeing yourself on-cam is basically seeing an inverted version of the “you” you’re used to.
Use the mirror image setting on your camera to feel more confident when viewing yourself on screen. Because the image will represent what you'd see in an actual mirror, it gives you a more familiar perspective.
Use Camera Filters to Enhance Your Appearance
Filters are a fun and creative way to boost your confidence in front of the camera. Filters can enhance your appearance on a video call, making you feel more comfortable and in control.
Clean Up Your Background
Having a clean and visually appealing background is another way to boost your confidence. Make sure your background is free of distractions before you start a video call.
You can also use a digital background to create a more polished and professional look. For example, Sendspark lets you use a selection of presets - as well as custom images - for backgrounds. You can even use dynamic backgrounds!
Speaking too quickly can make you appear (and feel) nervous. It’s better to pace yourself when you’re talking on camera. Set time aside to practice speaking clearly and calmly. Remind yourself to slow down when you feel anxious or stressed.
Practice with a Trusted Friend or Colleague
Seek feedback from someone you trust. This can be a colleague, a friend, or a family member. By simulating the camera setting and having a friendly face on the other end, you can get genuine feedback on your delivery, posture, and presence.
They can provide constructive criticism, as well as reassure you about things you're already doing well. This method not only helps you improve but also lets you grow accustomed to being watched and evaluated, making future on-camera experiences less intimidating.
Make Sure You Know the Technology
One common source of anxiety when facing the camera is the fear of technological mishaps. Spend some time getting to know your camera, microphone, lighting, and any software you'll be using.
Doing a few test runs to ensure that everything works as it should can give you peace of mind. When you're confident in your equipment, you can focus entirely on your presentation without the added stress of technical difficulties. This familiarity can significantly reduce anxiety, as you'll feel more in control of the entire process.
Look Directly at the Camera
Looking directly at the camera is more engaging, and you’ll appear more confident too. Look into the camera lens as if you were speaking to a person. Doing so creates a genuine connection with your audience.
Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
Remember, everyone makes mistakes – we’re all human. Try not to take yourself too seriously when you’re on camera. A light-hearted approach can help ease your anxiety and make the experience more enjoyable.
It also helps to accept that there will be some imperfections in your videos. Embrace your natural flaws to boost your confidence.
Choose Your Outfit Carefully
Not only should your outfit be comfortable, but it should make you feel confident too. Choose an outfit that makes you feel good and represents your best self. Don’t wear a new outfit on the day you’re recording.
Make sure you know how you look and feel in certain clothing before you step in front of the camera. And record yourself in front of a camera before committing to a look. Something that looks nice in a mirror may not look as good when you’re watching your screen recordings.
Create a Pre-Recording Ritual
Developing a ritual before you start recording can help set the right mood and mindset. This could be anything from doing a quick meditation session, listening to a favorite song to get pumped up, or even simply reviewing your notes.
By following this ritual consistently, you can condition your mind to shift into "camera-ready" mode, helping to alleviate nervousness and put you in the right frame of mind to shine on screen.
Before you begin recording, ensure that your environment is as distraction-free as possible. Close any irrelevant tabs on your computer, put your phone on silent, and notify others around you that you'll be on camera.
By eliminating potential interruptions, you'll be able to focus solely on your presentation. Feeling in control of your surroundings can significantly reduce the chances of unexpected stressors, helping you remain calm and confident.
Record in Sessions
If the idea of recording a long video feels overwhelming, consider breaking it down into smaller segments or chunks. Instead of aiming to record a 30-minute session in one go, divide it into three 10-minute segments.
This approach can make the task feel more achievable, reduces pressure, and offer breaks in between to review and recharge. Plus, if you're unhappy with one segment, it's easier to redo a shorter clip than a long one.
Set the Mood With Good Lighting
Good lighting can make a huge difference in how you appear on camera, and can be a big confidence booster. Soft, natural lighting can minimize shadows and give a flattering glow. If you're indoors, position yourself near a window during daylight hours.
Alternatively, consider investing in a ring light or softbox light to illuminate your face evenly. Proper lighting not only improves video quality but can also help you feel more professional and confident during your recording.
Get Used to Hearing and Seeing Yourself on Video
The more you hear and see yourself on camera, the more comfortable you will be. Over time, this exposure will help you accept your appearance and voice. Eventually, you won’t even think twice about how you might look or sound.
For a simple way to practice recording yourself on video, get a free Sendspark account. With free online storage and convenient recording from inside your web browser, it’s the easiest way to practice recording yourself.
Advanced Tips for Overcoming Camera Shyness
Once you’ve mastered the 10 basic tips above, try these 4 to become a true master of video selling.
Work on Posture and Non-Verbal Communication
Once you’ve got the basics right, improve your body language. For example, sitting tall with shoulders back not only portrays confidence but also makes you feel more confident. Non-verbal cues like smiling, nodding, and maintaining an open stance can communicate engagement and ease.
The best thing you can do is periodically evaluate your body language in recordings, then improve it. If you’re not sure what good body language looks like, spend a little time learning effective body language on YouTube, Udemy, etc.
Know What You’re Saying
Don’t just wing it. Prepare a script well in advance so you know exactly what you’re going to say. For a quick and easy way to make scripts, try Sendspark’s AI script generator.
Incorporate tools like teleprompters or real-time feedback software to guide your performance on camera. By having a script or real-time audience reactions at your disposal, you can adjust your delivery instantly, refining your on-camera presence and minimizing hesitancy.
Engage in Mock Review Sessions
One of the best ways to combat anxiety is to simulate the real thing. Organize mock review sessions with trusted colleagues or friends. Have them watch your video - then tell you what they think.
This provides a safe space to experience the unpredictability of live camera interactions. It lets you hone your adaptability and on-the-spot decision-making skills, reducing the fear of the unknown.
End Your Camera Shyness with SendSpark
Moving from camera-shy to camera-confident is more than a personal journey; it's a business necessity. On this page, we’ve shared 14 tips to help overcome this challenge.
At the end of the day, though, the best thing to do is just get in front of the camera and get started. To help you do that, we’re giving you a free lifetime subscription to SendSpark: the video recording software for sales.
Equipped with cutting-edge tools tailored for video recording, Sendspark is your key to rehearsing and recording the perfect video. To learn more, just visit our homepage!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some techniques to overcome camera anxiety?
You can start with deep breathing exercises before stepping in front of the camera. This helps calm your nerves and allows you to focus on the task at hand. Making yourself laugh or thinking of a happy memory is another technique. This releases endorphins, which can reduce anxiety. You can also gradually expose yourself to video and photography situations. Taking selfies in private and sharing them with trusted friends can help build your confidence.
How can I get more comfortable taking videos in public?
Building up your confidence over time can help you feel more comfortable taking videos in public. Start small by shooting yourself in private settings before progressing to public locations. You can also practice posing in front of a mirror to become familiar with your facial expressions and body language. Don't forget to be patient with yourself; overcoming camera shyness takes time and practice.
What are the root causes of camera shyness?
Camera shyness stems from various factors. This can include self-consciousness, fear of judgment, or negative past experiences involving photographs. Some people feel uncomfortable being vulnerable in front of a camera, while others feel anxious due to social pressure or unrealistic beauty standards.
How can I ease my fear of taking selfies?
Start by taking pictures in spaces where you feel comfortable, like your home. Experiment with angles and lighting to find what makes you feel confident and attractive. Consider sharing your selfies with trusted friends or family members to gain positive reinforcement and support. Eventually, you'll gain more confidence and feel more comfortable taking selfies.
How common is camera anxiety?
The fear of being on camera, also known as scopophobia, is more common than you may think. While it’s difficult to predict the exact numbers, it is not uncommon to experience some level of anxiety or discomfort when being photographed or filmed. It’s possible that camera shyness has increased now that more photos and videos are posted online.
How can I reduce scopophobia?
Reducing scopophobia means addressing the underlying causes. Building self-confidence and resilience in the face of judgment is key. Some suggestions include relaxation techniques, gradual exposure to photography situations, and seeking professional help if necessary. It also helps to accept that it's normal to have imperfections. Embracing your unique appearance can be empowering and reduce any fears you have about being on camera.