If you’re like most people who are doing live video, you find it exciting and a little scary at the same time. But the thing is, one aspect of live video people find so exciting is that the majority of us are not professional broadcasters. We probably aren’t as polished as our favorite TV talk show host – and that’s OK! It’s not what we expect or want from social video anyway.
Live video is a way to connect with people like us and we understand when someone gets a little nervous. Just knowing that can be enough to help ease the pressure, but there are ways to boost your on camera self-confidence. Here are some of my go-to methods for dealing with the jitters.
If you plan to do a broadcast telling viewers about your business, a hobby, or a topic you are especially passionate about make some notes first. Keep in mind that you want to be as natural as possible, which means you don’t want to memorize a script or read your notes word for word. Instead, make an outline with your key points. This will keep you on track and allow you to talk naturally about your topic. And remember to practice!
Pay attention to posture
It’s a known fact that when we have good posture we feel more confident, which in turn means people perceive us as being confident. So before you turn the camera on, practice straightening your back by standing with your heels, butt, and shoulders pressed against the wall. Feel the stretch in your spine and keep that up when you’re on camera. Another trick is to stand up straight, put your arms behind your back, clasp your hands together, and do a good stretch. With either one of these quick exercises, you’ll probably notice you’re breathing better and have more energy, which all helps boost your confidence.
Look into the camera
When you’re live streaming, it’s easy to look at yourself! And if you’re like most people, that can result in being critical of your hair, your smile, that little freckle . . . or a myriad of other imperfections that seem to SCREAM out at you – but to nobody else! So rather than staring at yourself, look at the lens. Think of the camera lens as your viewer, because that’s essentially what it is. When you look into the camera, people who are watching will feel as if you’re looking at them. They’re more likely to feel a connection, which is one of your goals with live video. If it feels uncomfortable or odd, imagine a friend (or even your pet) is just on the other side of the camera. If you need a little reminder, put a little sticker or dab of brightly colored nail polish next to the lens.
Put your smile to work!
When you put a genuine smile on your face, your body releases chemicals that help you relax, lower your blood pressure, and just make you feel better. And guess what? When you’re more relaxed, you’re going to feel more confident! Plus, since smiles are contagious, people watching won’t be able to help but to smile along with you. They’ll feel good because you do, and will associate you with that feeling, and voila – they’ll have confidence in you!
Before you hit that ‘Go Live’ button, get up and move! Do some jumping jacks, run in place, touch your toes, or dance. You might even want to get silly and do some exaggerated, goofy grins to prime that smile! All this movement will help turn that nervous energy into something that will energize you. This is something I do before nearly every broadcast. My dog, Jed, probably thinks I’ve lost my marbles, but acting silly for a minute or two before going live helps me relax. It also reminds me that live video should be fun!
Your turn! What tips do you have for feeling confident on camera?