Camera shy on youtube? Tips you don’t want to miss
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Written by: Dexxter ClarkIn this article I’ll share the techniques and mindset-tricks that I’ve used over the years to overcome my camera shyness on YouTube.
12 tips to get and look more comfortable on camera.
It is perfectly normal to be shy and uncomfortable on camera.
It is one of the most unnatural things you can do, staring at an infinite black hole that professionals call a lens, and everything you do or say is there forever!
1. A lot of practiceYou might think: “that Linus from Linus Tech Tips is so comfortable”.
Yes he is, but Linus does this since 2007.
It takes a lot of time and practice to learn the skill of speaking on camera.
But every time you do it, you get 0.05% better at it and you will learn some tricks to make yourself feel better.
What you don’t see is all the outtakes.
The video edit makes it 1 complete smooth video.
Sometimes I have 60 minutes of footage for a 10 minute video.
How can you get more comfortable on camera?
The only way to learn is to do it and make a lot of videos.
In this article I help you with some mindset tricks.
Let me ask you a different question:
If you don’t do it: how can you get more comfortable at it if you don’t do it?
Your first 50 videos are going to suck.
Everybody sucks when they start out.
My first videos sucked, everybody’s first videos suck.
Even I made over 300 YouTube videos as of this writing, and I’m still nervous.
I still get blackouts with every single time I shoot a video.
Even with all my years on stage, presenting for my local television station, presenting events.
2. Script outWhat helps me is to script out every single word I potentially could use.
This gives me the security that I remember my line of thought when I wrote the script.
Weirdly enough this gives me the freedom to not stick to the script and say it in my “own words”.
For some people this might not work, maybe you have better results with using bullet points.
Whatever your technique is, the most important thing is to pick the technique you feel the most freedom with.
Also sometimes I can’t come up quick enough with the English translation of words I want to say.
With a script I can think ahead of what I could say.
It’s so easy when you are English “by default”, that whole language thing is one less thing to worry about, one more thing you can be more confident about.
3. Watch yourselfYes, it is the scariest thing in the world.
But when you watch yourself over and over again and evaluate what you can do better every single time, your performance will improve and you will get more comfortable over time, you will get to know your own performance.
What 300 videos did to me, I’ve seen myself on camera so much that I’m not embarrassed anymore by looking at myself.
This shines through in my performance on camera.
Can I do better? Yes, but is is 100 times better than when I started out.
4. Sometimes it doesn’t workWhen you are in the routine of recording regularly, you’ll notice some days it works, others don`t.
Don`t push it, accept it.
Don’t try to record when you are not feeling up to it.
When you force it, you’ll get footage that you are not happy with it.
I forced a couple of videos this way in my Social Video Plaza channel, I can see which videos are forced.
I look angry and not spontaneous.
All because I wanted to stick to a murderous schedule of producing 3 videos a week.
There are always other things to do: making thumbnails, doing research, writing scripts, subtitles, meta-data.
5. Not showing your face, you’ll miss outSome people want to make videos without showing their face because of camera shyness.
The problem with not showing your face is that you will miss out on a valuable opportunity to gain a connection with your audience.
As humans we want to see faces, we want to look someone in the eye and hear their voice and intonation to determine if we trust someone.
With trust you gain more views, more subscribers and you can grow your channel much faster.
In videos without a face, you need to have b-roll footage for EVERYTHING, as where with a talking head you don`t need THAT much b-roll footage.
The problem is that searching for footage and finding good footage that fits the topic of the video, takes up a tremendous amount of time.
You can make videos much faster when you show your face.
I won`t say that you won`t get there without showing your face, but it will take you much longer.
6. Look into the cameraI know, it is super scary.
But when you look into the camera lens, you look instantly more confident on camera.
Try not to wander around with your eyes.
It is also easier to establish an emotional connection with your viewers.
7. Set the moodI’d like to shoot with the curtains closed, so nobody can see my f-ups.
I only want people to see the finished result.
This is what works for me, try to find the best setting that works for you and you feel the most comfortable with.
8. Doesn’t have to be perfectSometimes I use slip-ups in the final video.
It makes the video more human.
This is not television, this is YouTube.
When you don’t set the bar too high, it is easier to pass it
9. talk before you shootBefore you start filming your script, talk into the camera and record it.
Tell what you’ve been up to this morning, what you did yesterday or what you told your mother last week.
You’ll never use this footage, but it will get you in the mood and habit of talking to the camera.
You can also do this as homework: every day talk to the camera how you made your breakfast, dinner … the topic doesn’t matter.
You’ll gain more experience, and feel more comfortable after a while, without making videos for the whole world to see.
10. Record in the morningRecord in the morning when your mind is still fresh and you are more relaxed.
When you record later, you might be tired, you make mistakes quicker and you will annoy yourself quicker (which hurts your performance).
11. Fake itIt’s going to sound very weird:
When you project an image of confidence, you will feel more confident.
It is psychological, I can’t explain why it works, but it does.
Fake it, till you make it
12. ConfidenceI noticed that it all comes down to confidence.
The more confident you are the more comfortable you are on camera for YouTube.
I can think of 100 other excuses that I shouldn’t do YouTube, and so can you.
But will it help you?
Will it help you to stay scared your whole life?
Your channel maybe a failure, but at least you tried
At least you do something with your life.
You don’t lay on the couch whole day, watch YouTube all day and type nastycomments, because you too afraid of what other people might say about you.
Steve Jobs said in an interview once: those who are afraid of failing will never succeed.
An extension of this article is “how to read a script on camera without a teleprompter”.
I highly recommend to check it out for more tips to improve your camera performance on YouTube.
When you are serious about YouTube and want to take it to the next level, take a look at my video training program: Viral Strategy.
The program takes you step-by-step through the process of getting views, subscribers and going viral.
For new creators I included a module that guides you step-by-step through the process of starting, creating and setting up a YouTube channel.
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